The Christmas Joy Book Tag

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Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re having a great day with friends and family. To celebrate Christmas, I decided to complete The Joy of Christmas Book Tag. Here are my answers:

  • Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue

Since I pretty much mention my love for The Lunar Chronicles on almost every blog post, it’s not surprise that I can’t wait to read the second volume of Wires and Nerve. Even though the first volume didn’t meet my expectations, I’m still excited to see where the story goes.

  • Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but want to sing about?

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen was one of my favorite young adult authors and still is to this day. Her books have such great themes for people of all ages to read. Even if you are nothing like one of her main characters, you can always connect to an aspect of the story.

  • Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

I love reading about the different courts within this series. They each have their own look and culture and I think Sarah J. Maas did a great job of tying that in. Additionally, she provides a lot of background to the faeries and how they operate in this book, which was helpful to me since I don’t really read high fantasy books.

  • A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

Emma

I read most of Emma, but eventually returned it to the library without finishing it. I recently watched the movie and really enjoy the story because it is a little easier to follow than some classics.

  • Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I’m a huge fan of Marissa Meyer. This book is definitely at the top of my bookish Christmas wish list.

  • Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

Lucky in Love

I love reading Kasie West books because even though they aren’t the most original, I always finish her books with a smile on my face.

  • Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

I love all of the covers on books by Kiera Cass. Both The Selection series and The Siren feature stunning dresses on the cover. I read quite a few of her books on my Kindle and couldn’t believe how pretty they were in person when I checked out The Heir and The Crown from the library.

  • Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas and/or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

Image result for taylor swift Christmas cd

Every Christmas Eve, my parents give me a Christmas CD and Christmas pajamas. It’s always fun opening a gift before Christmas Day, especially when it’s something we can enjoy as a family. We always listen to the CD as we travel on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

 

Thanks for joining me for Blogmas!

 

Library Book Haul

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One of the greatest gifts to any book lover is the public library. You can discover tons of new books before committing to purchasing it. With hardcover books being around $20, it’s nice to pick out a new book without being afraid of disliking it. Here are the four books that I recently checked out of my library:

  • Guitar Notes by Mary Amato

Guitar Notes

I never heard of Guitar Notes before spotting it in the YA section of my local library. However, I was looking for a cute, fluffy book and this seemed like it would be perfect! Guitar Notes by Mary Amato follows two students, Tripp and Lyla, as they share a music practice space in school and become friends as they leave notes in the music.

  • Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

I’ve heard of Under Rose-Tainted Skies, but didn’t know too much about reviews of this book before going into it. Under Rose-Tainted Skies follows Norah, a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder and agoraphobia after she meets a cute boy next door.

  • Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

I had seen Warcross everywhere and heard positive reviews for it, so I decided to pick it up after spotting at the library. I started The Young Elites by Marie Lu, but never finished it because I didn’t particularly care for the story. However, Warcross seems a little more up my alley. Warcross follows a teenage hacker whose identity is revealed after a glitch in a game. She is then invited by the game’s elusive inventor to spy on the worldwide tournament.

  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

I’ve seen this book a lot of heard decent reviews for it, so I decided to pick it up when I saw it in my library. Wonder Woman: Warbringer is the origin story for Wonder Woman. I’m not usually interested in books based on comic book characters and super heroes after a movie is released, but I do like Leigh Bardugo’s writing so I thought this could be an exception to the rule. However, this is one book that I checked out that I’m not sure if I will read due to my wavering interest in the plot.

 

What books have you checked out of the library recently?

My Bookish Christmas

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This Christmas, I was worried that school would take away from my Christmas spirit–I didn’t finish finals until December 20th! Once I got home from college, I kicked my Christmas spirit into high gear by watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, making food for Christmas dinner, and going to church with my family.

Now, that Christmas is over, I can’t wait until the new year! Next year will bring a lot of changes for me: I’m graduating college, finding my first adult job, and starting life outside of school. Since these changes are a little scary, today, I’m going to focus on something not so scary.

Even though Christmas isn’t really about presents, I thought I would share some of the bookish presents that I received from my family! Here are some of the bookish presents that I received:

Corduroy Plush

Madeline Plush

The best thing about Corduroy and Madeline is that they were apart of the Kohl’s Cares program. All of the profits from any of the characters (I believe there was also Paddington and Curious George) went to Kohl’s charity, which supports children’s health and education initiatives!

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Box Set

I’ve been eyeing this set for years–the little Grinch is so cute and I’ve actually never read the book even though I’ve seen the movie several times. It also includes a Good Deed Journal.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Both Winter and Heartless are high on my TBR list, so I can’t wait to read them!

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Kindle Paperwhite

I was so excited to get a Kindle Paperwhite! I’m running out of room for physical books, so this will help me keep reading without taking up more space.

Have a happy New Year! 

 



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?

The Brittany Awards Part Two: Middle Grade Books

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Throughout the month of December, I am awarding my favorite books that I read throughout 2016. There are four categories (picture books, middle grade books, young adult books, and overall favorite books) with 5 winners and 3 honorable mentions in each category. Last week, I chose my top five favorite picture books (see the winners here). This week, I will choose the winners for my top five middle grade books that I read in 2016.

For each winner, I will include a link to the review, my rating, and an excerpt from the review (if there is a review of the book on my blog). For middle grade books, I decided on a top six with two honorable mentions. Here are my choices for favorite middle grade books of 2016, in no particular order:

1.) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

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

“Percy may be a Half Blood, but the book about him is full of action, humor, and heart.”

2.) Jessica Darling’s It List: The Totally Not Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness, and Perfection by Megan McCafferty (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Jessica Darling's It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection

“Megan McCafferty did the perfect job of capturing the middle school voice and creating characters and situations that are extremely relatable. I think this book is hilarious, but also provides meaningful advice to the book’s target audience.”

3.) Judy Moody Declares Independence by Megan McDonald (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Judy Moody Declares Independence (Judy Moody #6)

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of moodiness.”

4.) Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

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“Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream was a cute fall book that was surprisingly deep. Going into this book, I didn’t expect to uncover a really deep message, but I think Jenny Han did a great job of tackling an interesting theme for younger readers.”

5.) Wonder by R.J. Palacio (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Wonder

“Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an inspirational middle-grade novel with well-developed and authentic characters…”

6.) Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Moving Day (Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls, #1)

“I absolutely LOVED this book. Allie Finkle was a hilarious protagonist with sass and spunk.”

 

Here are my honorable mentions for the middle grade category:

1.) Miss Popularity by Francesco Sedita (★ ★ ★ ★)

Miss Popularity (Miss Popularity #1; Candy Apple #3)

“While the main character, Cassie Knight, embodies the Texas girl stereotype, she is also a great role model for girls.”

2.) Sincerely by Courtney Shienmel (★ ★ ★ ★)

 Sincerely, Sophie; Sincerely, Katie

“When I picked up Sincerely, I was expecting a fluffy and lighthearted book, but it was much deeper than that.”

What was your favorite middle grade book of 2016?

The Brittany Awards Part One: Picture Books

the-brittany-awards

For my blog, I decided to create end of the years awards for my favorite books. I decided that there will be four categories (picture books, middle grade books, young adult books, and overall favorite books) with five winners and three honorable mentions in each category. For each winner, I will include a link to my review, what I rated the book, and an excerpt from the review (if there is a review for the book on my blog).

For the first part, I will select my top five picture books that I read in 2016. For this category, I did not select any honorable mentions. Here are my top five choices, in no particular order:

1.) All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

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“If you love this song, Mariah Carey, or are looking for a cute Christmas book for your children, All I Want for Christmas is You is the perfect book…”

2.) Good Morning, Superman! by Michael Dahl (★ ★ ★ ★)

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“Overall, I think Good Morning, Superman! is an enjoyable book that colorfully illustrates a monotonous subject. While I do think this is a great children’s books, I think some additional features, like pop-out pictures of the tasks would enhance a student’s learning experience.”

*Check out this review during my 12 Days of Blogmas later this month!

3.) Isabella in Charge by Jennifer Fosberry (★ ★ ★)

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“Isabella takes charge as inspirational character for young girls.”

4.) Fancy Nancy… Halloween or Bust! by Jane O’Connor (★ ★ ★ ★)

Fancy Nancy Halloween... or Bust!

“Fancy Nancy: Halloween… or Bust! will definitely be a treat for young readers on Halloween.”

5.) Happy Halloween, Biscuit! by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (★ ★ ★ ★)

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“Overall, Biscuit is a fun and appropriate book for its target age range. While this consistency is great for younger readers, older readers might become bored with the predictable sentence structure and situations.”

 

What was the best picture book that you read in 2016?

Top Ten Tuesday: A Gift Guide for the Fangirl

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is the Holiday Gift Guide freebie. While Black Friday’s craziness is over that doesn’t mean your Christmas shopping is over! Many TV shows, fandoms, and books have given us so many fandoms (and merchandise for those fandoms) to enjoy. Here’s ten gifts that would be perfect for a fangirl or fanboy of ten different book fandoms (and are under $25!):

1.) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

This Lunar Chronicles ring features the popular “Even in the future, the story begins with once upon a time” quotes. For only $15, you can purchase this ring from RichLoveShoppe’s Etsy store.

2.) The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Herondale Necklace - Choose your favorite Herondale and colored stone

This necklace will make any Will Herondale fangirl swoon. You can buy this necklace from TheAdored’s Etsy store for $22.50.

3.) Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Pack 3 badges Throne of glass - Handmade

These three badges will be loved by any Throne of Glass fan. You can buy a pack of these three badges for $4.08 on Boookmarky’s Etsy shop.

4.) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Elias | 4.5oz tin | An Ember in the Ashes Scented Soy Candle

This candle, found on BookAndNook’s Etsy shop pays tribute to one of the favorite characters in the An Ember in the Ashes series. The Elias candle runs for $7.04 and smells like a combination of desert, spice, amber, and rain.

5.) The Raven Cycle by Maggie Steifvater

Words of Unerring Destruction Shirt-- Gansey Quote, Raven Boys,  Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater, Cabeswater, Raven King, Blue Lily, Book

This shirt features the “My words are unerring tools of destruction” quotes from the Raven Cycle. This shirt is available in sizes S-XXL on VergeofWisteria’s Etsy shop for $21.99.

6.) Eleanor and Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Magnetic bookmarks - Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell characters (2 bookmarks)

These adorable magnets show off some YA characters from Rainbow Rowell’s novels. You can buy each character or each pair separately at Bonitismoland’s Etsy shop. Individual characters are $2.99 each and a pair is $5.44.

7.) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Book Inspired Soaps - Mist & Fury Shea Butter Soap (a court of mist and fury)

This would be the perfect stocking stuffer for a fan of A Court of Mist and Fury. This book inspired soap is only $3.84 on Bookwormcandlescraft’s Etsy store and is wrapped in pages of the book.

8.) The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection Series MiniBook Pendant/Necklace

Fans of The Selection would love having a book necklace that features their favorite book in the series! Prices range from $4-7, depending on the chain you select, in the Etsy store of NightFoxCreations.

9.) To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before Lara Jean Letter//Handmade: Bookmark

This cute book mark models an envelope that Lara Jean’s letter to Peter was in! You can purchase this bookmark from Boookmarky’s Etsy store for only $4.08.

10.) Fandom of the Month Subscription Box 

This subscription box focuses on a new fandom every month and comes with 3-4 handpicked fandom items. For one month, the cost is $13.00. For more on this subscription box, check out the Fandom of the Month website.

 

What bookish gift would you like to find under your tree this Christmas?