Blogmas 2019 Day #1: I Won NaNoWriMo!

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Hello and welcome to the first post in my annual Blogmas series, where I post everyday during the month of December. Today, I’ll be discussing my recent experience with NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, this past November. If you aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it is a, annual month-long writing writing event in November that challenges you to write 50,000 words towards a new novel in thirty days. For more information, check out the official website here.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo once before, however, I only made it to about 35,000 words. This year, I was determined to reach the 50,000 word benchmark. Throughout the month, I faced a lot of challenges to reach my goal. I was sick for the first three weeks of November. Then, in the middle of the month, I was in the process of rearranging my room, which cost me several weekends of building IKEA furniture.

However, I prevailed on the last day of the month with only a few hours to spare in the day by writing more words than I have ever written before in one day… a little over 8,000 words! While I’m not completely finished with my first draft, I have a great place to start.

This year, I really focused on just writing whatever came to mind instead of focusing so much on making every single word perfect. While I have much to revise, I am still excited to meet my goal and have words written down that I can work on over the next several months.

On NaNoWriMo’s website, they provide several statistics about your writing experience. Here are some of my statistics:

  • 50,075 words: This was my ending total word count.
  • I’m a night owl–I wrote mostly between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.: This does not surprise me, considering I work all day.
  • I mostly wrote at home: I only worked at home while writing, so this is also not a surprise.
  • I wrote an average of 1,669 words per day: For NaNoWriMo, they suggest you write 1,667 words per day. For me, that number greatly varied. At the beginning, I tried to stick to 2,000 words. However, there was one week where I wrote 0 words. As a result, my word count spiked at the end where I tried to catch up, sometimes writing around 6,000 words per day.

 

Overall, I was excited to complete NaNoWriMo successfully for the first time. Did any of you try NaNoWriMo this year?

 

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Words in Deep Blue Review

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley follows Rachel Sweetie who returns to a town where she formally lived with her aunt after a traumatic accident that left her brother dead. Rachel takes a job at Howling Books, where her old best friend and old crush Henry, works. Rachel and Henry’s relationship ended abruptly after he never responded to a letter she wrote which expressed her true feelings. Henry struggles to rekindle his friendship with Rachel and the possible end to his family’s store.

I’ve heard rave reviews for Words in Deep Blue, so I requested it from my library’s online catalogue as soon as I saw it available. While Words in Deep Blue isn’t necessarily a bad contemporary YA book, it wasn’t exactly what I expected. Even though it didn’t personally meet my reading preferences, I can still see why many other people would enjoy this book.

Since I read so many YA contemporary books, it’s hard for any set of characters to really stand out for me. I had the same problem with this book. Rachel is the somewhat sarcastic YA narrator who tries to fight her feelings for Henry, but eventually falls in love with him again despite his numerous attempts to get back with his ex. Henry is a lovesick boy who doesn’t realize what is in front of him until it’s almost gone. Henry’s ex is a typical mean girl who will do whatever it takes to sabotage Rachel and her connection to Henry. Since I’ve seen this all before, and have liked it better in other books, these characters didn’t really stick with me after reading.

That being said, I did really enjoy one of the sub-plots in this book. Henry’s quirky younger sister and her developing relationship with one of the popular boys in her grade was very enjoyable to read. I felt like I liked their communication between letters more interesting that Rachel and Henry’s correspondence. I would love to see a book from her point of view that reveals her reactions to Cal’s death and her developing relationship with the boy introduced in this book.

Overall, Words in Deep Blue is a pretty solid story. However, I just really didn’t connect with the story or the characters. I give this book three out of five stars.

Six of Crows Duology (Spoiler-Free) Review

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I wish there were six more books with these characters because I love them so much!

The Six of Crows duology follows six dangerous outcasts recruited to complete one impossible heist. After a dangerous drug is created to enhance Grisha powers, criminal Kaz Brekker is offered millions of dollars if he successfully breaches the Ice Court and abducts the scientist responsible. To complete the mission, he selects a spy, a Grisha, a prisoner, a sharpshooting gambler, and a formerly wealthy boy on the run.

I heard so much hype around this duology that I was extremely interested to read it, but worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I’m glad that I finally picked up this series because it even exceeded my expectations! This is definitely a book that I see myself recommending to a lot of people in the future.

Going into this book, I hadn’t read Leigh Bardugo’s original series set in the same world. However, Leigh Bardugo presents enough background information that readers in the same boat as me will have no trouble understanding the universe. While there may be some minor spoilers from the first series, for example it mentions the outcome of the main character from the original series, I didn’t really pick up on any others.

Besides the world building, another strong component of this series are the multiple points of view. I’ve read some books that did a terrible job juggling two characters where the two points of view added nothing to the plot and voices weren’t distinguishable. However, Leigh Bardugo definitely uses this strategy in her favor. With so many characters with varying levels of knowledge of Kaz’s plan, readers are constantly surprised by the twists and turns that the plot takes. Additionally, every characters possesses their own unique voice which makes it easy to know whose telling the story at all times.

My favorite aspect of this series, however, would have to be the characters. Bardugo provies ample background on each character, so readers really understand their actions and motivations. Every characters possesses different opinions and attitudes which greatly affect the plot and their relationships with each other. Additionally, each character experiences growth throughout the series. You can’t help but love every single main character within these two books!

Overall, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are two of my favorite books of the year. Both of these books are equally strong halves of the story. With non-stop action and humor, this book kept me hooked from the first page. I literally sat down and didn’t put these books down from hours. I give both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom five out of five stars.

 

Under Rose-Tainted Skies Review

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My feelings towards this book are a little cloudy.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall follows Norah, a seventeen-year-old girl with severe obsessive compulsive disorder and agoraphobia. Norah spends her entire life in her house, only venturing outdoors for weekly meetings with her psychiatrist. When a cute new boy moves in next door, Norah fears her mental illnesses will prevent them from forming a relationship.

I remember seeing Under Rose-Tainted Skies a lot when it was first released, but I couldn’t really remember most people’s thoughts towards this book. However, I decided to pick this book up anyway after I went into my library looking for another book that included a character with obsessive compulsive, but they did not have it. As a result, I went in this book with only a vague idea have the plot. After reading this book, there were aspects that I liked but also aspects that I believed needed improvement.

I think the strongest aspect of this book is its portrayal of mental illness. In the author’s note, Gornall explains that she struggled with mental illness in similar ways to the main character. As a result, I believe both obsessive compulsive disorder and agoraphobia are both authentically represented within this book.

That being said, there are several aspects in which Norah’s mental illnesses are used that I did not enjoy. While I think the author tried to stay away from the “love cures mental illness” trope, I do believe this was used to a degree within this book especially in the end during Norah’s recovery. Additionally, I didn’t care for the situation (unrelated to the love interest) that forced Norah to confront her mental illness. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt like this particular scene didn’t fit in with the rest of the book and took away from the realistic quality to this book.

As for the characters, I didn’t love them or hate them. Norah is a similar character to many books with the same them with her somewhat sarcastic personality. Luke, her love interest, is pretty nice, but unremarkable. Additionally, his other somewhat-love interest is a cardboard cutout character tat personally did add much for me to the plot. The final other big character in the novel, Norah’s mom, was okay but her actions often confused me and felt inconsistent for the way the author wanted to portray her. For example, readers are told Norah’s mom sacrifices her career for her daughter, however, she goes on a lengthy business trip during particularly stressful time for Norah.

I also had mixed feelings towards the plot and pacing in this book. This book wasn’t extremely long (I think it was almost three hundred pages), but it took me awhile to read. The plot moved fairly slow and not much happened until the last thirty pages or so of the book. That being said, when the action picked up, it felt out of place and inconsistent with the rest of the book as I mentioned earlier.

Overall, Under Rose-Tainted Skies isn’t an awful book by any means, but it also wasn’t one of my favorite books of the year. For me, it needed a little something extra with the characters or plot to make it stand out more. I give this book three out of five stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked, But Can’t Remember

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books I liked, but can’t remember. Since I usually remember why I like books that I really enjoy, I’m going to choose ten books that I rated on Goodreads, but don’t remember at all. Here are my choices:

  • That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite YA authors, but I cannot remember some of her earliy books, like That Summer or Someone Like You. I just remember I didn’t enjoy them as much as some of my favorite, such as Just Listen, and never reread them. All I remember from these two books is someone’s sister getting married and someone working at a grocery store.

  • Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

Wherever Nina Lies

I literally remember nothing about this book except it’s a mystery, my sister recommended it to me, the main character’s sister is named Nina. I think this was a popular YA book back in the day, but like with everything else concerning this book, it’s a little fuzzy.

  • Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen, #1)

I remember picking this book up at my library. I also remember something with football, a farm, and moving boxes. However, I’m not how that all ties into the story!

  • Dream Factory by Brad Barkley

Dream Factory

I remember seeing this book at my library and being so excited by the plot. In this book, Disney park character go on strike and teenagers go in as their replacements. Beyond that idea and not enjoying the book very much, I can’t remember anything else.

  • Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Suite Scarlett (Scarlett, #1)

With this book, all I know is it takes place in a hotel. Beyond that, I can’t remember a thing about the plot. If it wasn’t for Goodreads, I probably wouldn’t have remembered reading this book at all.

  • Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer

Little Miss Red

This was my least favorite book by Robin Palmer and the one that I remember the least. I believe the main character meets a boy on a plane and goes to her grandmother’s retirement community. Beyond that, I can only remember not thinking the love interest was cute.

  • What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True

I didn’t like Huntley Fitzpatrick’s first book, My Life Next Door, but remember wanting to give another book by her a shot. I also remember liking this book even less than my life next door. Other than that, I think this book has something to do with rich people and lawn care.

  • Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

The only thing I remember from this book is when a little girl in a beauty pageant smears makeup all over her face before going on the stage. This definitely wasn’t one of my favorite books by Elizabeth Eulberg, so I don’t really remember it.

  • On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

On the Jellicoe Road

I remember seeing this book all over a book blog I read whenever I was in high school. I remember some sort of fire, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge about this book. I also remember feeling so-so about this book and feeling like I “didn’t get it” like other people.

  • Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

I loved Meredith Zeitlin’s book Sophomore Year is Greek to me, but I remember only rating this book as average. Aside from that, I honestly have no clue how this book unfolded.

 

What books have you read, but can’t remember?

Lola and the Boy Next Door Review

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Lola and the Boy Next Door is the second novel in the Anna and the French Kiss companion series by Stephanie Perkins. In this installment, fashion lover Lola Nolan wants nothing more than two things: for her parents to approve of her older boyfriend and for the Bells to never move next door again. Since Lola had a bad experience when she fell for Cricket Bell, the boy next door, she hopes to never see him again. However, much to her dismay, the Bells move back into town.

When I was in high school, I loved Lola and the Boy Next Door. Out of all the books in the Anna and the French Kiss companion series, it was always my favorite. While I still enjoy some elements of this story, there are other aspects that really aren’t my cup of tea after rereading it now.

I think one of my biggest problems with this series now is the main character, Lola. However, there are also several parts of her personality that rub me the wrong way. Lola constantly lies to many characters throughout the novel; including her boyfriend, Cricket, and her parents. Additionally, THIS. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but I think Lola believes she is extremely mature for dressing however she wants, dating an older guy, and doing “mature” activities. While some of these instances could be attributed to her age, and in those cases I can’t fault her actions, I do believe she sometimes acts even more immature than a sixteen-year-old.

Another problem that I had with this book was the confusing message surrounding Lola’s clothes. Throughout the book, Lola’s clothes are either thrown in her face, she’s lying about who she and she just does it for attention, or hailed for representing how she is as a person. I think in the end with Lola’s outfit to the dance, it’s supposed to give the message that she can still look like her while dressing in costume every day. However, I know that didn’t really come across clearly as I read this book when I was the same age as Lola.

One part of this book that I still love after all these years in the love interest, Cricket Bell. While his name is unfortunate, I still really like him as a character and his relationship with Lola. Cricket is a genuinely nice guy who respects Lola and her interests. Additionally, he makes an honest effort to earn the respect of her parents, be friends with her best friends, and help her succeed in her projects. While I do think the whole Alexander Graham Bell part of his story is completely unnecessary, I overall like his part in the story.

Even though I don’t love Lola and the Boy Next Door as much as I did when I was younger, it still brings back a lot of good reading memories. Overall, Lola and the Boy Next Door is a cute, fluffy book that you can have fun reading. I give Lola and the Boy Next Door three stars.

Books that I’ve Changed My Opinion On

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There are books that I rate immediately on Goodreads after reading just to find myself changing the number of stars a few days later after thinking more about what I read. Even though I am pretty confident about my feelings towards a book after finishing it, there are definitely some books that I’ve changed my opinion on after another read. Here are five books that I’ve changed my opinion on (for better or worse):

  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby

I’m a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I’ve reread her books countless times and they rank as some of my favorites in young adult fiction. However, I really didn’t like This Lullaby when I firs read it. I didn’t care for the main character, Remy, or the story line. However, I completely changed my opinion after I reread this book! I think at the time when I first read This Lullaby, I probably was in eighth or ninth grade. At that time in my life, I don’t think I was at the point where I could relate to the main character or the story’s message which are essential parts of a Sarah Dessen novel. Now, I find it easier to relate to Remy and her attitude even though we aren’t very similar people. This Lullaby is now my second favorite Sarah Dessen novel, right behind Just Listen.

  • The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us

When I first started my blog, I saw Kasie West’s name everywhere. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of her since she’s such a well-loved contemporary author and my favorite genre is contemporary. The Distance Between Us is one of the first books that I downloaded on my Kindle. I flew through this book and initially rated it very highly at four stars. However, I think I was initially swept up in the Kasie West hype to form my true opinion on the book. When I started thinking about the book, there were several aspects that I didn’t enjoy. I really noticed how much I wasn’t a huge fan of this book after I read other Kasie West books that I really loved. This isn’t the worst book that I’ve read by any means, but looking back, I would probably rate this as 3 stars, but maybe 2.5-2.75 if I was being picky.

  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

Lola and the Boy Next Door was one of my favorite books in high school. I reread it countless times and after I thought that I lost my copy, I went and bought another one. I was such a huge fan of Lola and Cricket! However, I recently read Lola and the Boy Next Door and didn’t find it as enjoyable as I once did. I think now that I’m older, I can’t identify with Lola as much as I notice the flaws in her characters more. Additionally, I notice a lot of unnecessary drama in novels by Stephanie Perkins (especially with Anna and the French Kiss), which is one of my pet peeves in books. In high school, I would probably have given this book four or five stars. Now, I would probably only give it three stars.

  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately

I read Alex, Approximately at a very hectic time in my life. I received this book as an eARC when I was student teaching, so I had little time to read. However, I still managed to read books that I was really invested in on the weekends. I remember I read the first half of Alex, Approximately pretty quickly, but then put off the second half for awhile. While I liked the first half, I noticed the second half became a little more trope-y, filled with unnecessary drama, and had predictable plot twists. Despite my issues, I initially rated this book as four stars. As I continued to think about this book and see more reviews for it, both positive and negative, I began to realize my true feelings. This isn’t a terrible book by any means, it just wasn’t for me. Like with The Distance Between Us, I would give it three stars now, or 2.5-2.75 if I was being picky.

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

I heard a lot of people talking about We Were Liars when I first started reading and watching book reviews and book recommendations online. I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks by the same author and enjoyed it, so I thought this would be a great book to pick up. When I first read this book, I was wrapped up in the mystery and I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to see how it ended. I had an idea of the plot twist, but wasn’t disappointed whenever it happened in the book. Initially, I rated this book four stars right away because of the plot twist. However, after thinking about it, I knocked it down a star. Like with Alex, Approximately, I could maybe take off a quarter or half star if wanted. Looking back, I didn’t care for the writing style in this book, the characters, or the story line. I just read through this book to find out the plot twist. Even though I did enjoy this book while reading it, it just doesn’t measure up to other books that I’ve rated with the same amount of stars.

 

What books have you changed your mind on?

Least Favorite OTPs of 2017

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Baby, it’s cold outside, but my feelings toward the OTPs below may be a little colder. I love happy endings, so it makes me happy when I find a great relationship between characters in a book. However, there are some relationships that are either so problematic, unnecessary, or confusing that it drags the book down for me. Here are five of my least favorite relationships from books this year:

  • Eliza and Wallace from Eliza and Her Monsters by Francescia Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters

I actually didn’t mind Wallace at the beginning of this book. Compared to other love interests I typically see in young adult books, Wallace was definitely more reserved and the trauma he experienced in the past actually affected his actions in this book. However, I really didn’t like Wallace at the end of this book. I found his actions contradictory and hypocritical. Even worse, I felt like this was never acknowledged in this book and Eliza never received the apology that she greatly deserved. As a result, I really didn’t like Wallace as a character and couldn’t root for his relationship with Eliza. For my full thoughts on this book, see my review here.

  • Eadlyn and the Selection winner from The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

The reaction I had towards Allegiant by Veronica Roth is the same reaction I had towards this book. I actually really enjoyed The Heir despite its pretty negative reviews and liked the potential love interests introduced in it. However, Eadlyn’s selection for me came totally out of the left field. I felt like I couldn’t root for the relationship because it didn’t have time to develop. I understand the message the author wanted to make, but it caused a really disappointing ending to the Selection series for me. To see my full thoughts on this book, see my review here.

  • Emma and Jack from Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Can You Keep a Secret?

Before I read this book, I heard that some people regarded this as their favorite Sophie Kinsella book for its laugh-out-loud humor and romance. However, I found myself greatly disappointed with the couple in this book. In typical Sophie Kinsella fashion, the male love interest is a rich businessman with some secrets. While I don’t usually have a problem with her male love interests, I found Jack a little too secretive and unpleasant. One of the main reasons I can’t ship this couple is one of Jack’s actions towards the end of the novel. Jack completely betrays Emma’s trust, but this is kind of brushed off and then a lot of unnecessary drama ensues. I think a lot of excuses are made for Jack in this book. Since I couldn’t root for one half of this couple, I can’t support this pairing as a whole.

  • Jackie and Cole from My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

My Life with the Walter Boys (My Life with the Walter Boys #1)

Out of all the couples of this list, Jackie and Cole’s relationship is definitely one of the most problematic. Like in most love triangles, there is always the angsty, drama-filled choice. However, this character usually has other redeemable qualities to make them likable. Unfortunately, Cole has no likable qualities. For the entire book, Cole acts like a complete jerk to Jackie and I have no idea why she would like him besides his appearance. Cole puts Jackie in many uncomfortable situations, like stealing her clothes from the bathroom which would force her to run through the house naked or getting her completely wasted to kiss her in a game of truth or dare. There was nothing healthy about this relationship which is why it was one of my least favorite of the year.

  • Lee and Jefferson from Walk on Earth a Stranger

Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)

There was a lot I didn’t like about Walk on Earth a Stranger, but one of my least favorite parts would have to be the “relationship” between Lee and Jefferson. At the beginning of the book, Jefferson literally gives her the worst proposal on the planet followed by, “or we could pretend to be brother and sister.” Once they are reunited on the trail, I was happy that Jefferson showed interest in another girl, but (SPOILER ALERT) of course that had to be squashed (END SPOILER ALERT). To me, Lee and Jefferson were both bland characters and pushing a romantic relationship between them felt forced. They definitely came across as having a more sibling relationship to me, so much like the other parts of the book, the push for a romantic relationship fell flat for me as well.

End of the Year Book Tag

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With the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s finally time for the end of the year book tag! Here are my answers:

  • Which book did you have expectations that were dashed? What book surprised you?

When It's RealThe Selection (The Selection, #1)

After hearing such positive reviews for books written under the name Erin Watt, I was incredibly disappointed after reading When It’s Real! I felt like the plot and characters were all over the place and it lacked a spark that would make it stand out from other similar books. On the other hand, The Selection really surprised me! I hadn’t heard great things about this series. While I don’t think the books in this series are amazing, I was completely hooked and devoured the entire series over the summer.

  • Choose a book that best represents your 2017.

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)

I could have chosen a few books for this one because I feel like this was a year of series ending books for me, especially for some of my favorite series. I finished both The Winner’s trilogy and The Lunar Chronicles this year… two of my favorite YA series!

  • What is the author revelation of your 2017? Which book did you find out?

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

I was never interested in Marie Lu’s Prodigy series and couldn’t get into The Young Elites. Even though Warcross was hyped, I didn’t go in with the expectation that I would really enjoy it. However, I really liked this book! While it wasn’t the most memorable book that I read this year, I really appreciated Marie Lu’s clean and easy-to-read writing style.

  • What genre have you read the most of in 2017? And which is the least?

Lucky in LovePride and Prejudice

Contemporary has always been my favorite genre, so it’s no surprise that most of the books that I read this year fall into that category. As for my least read genre, it would have to be classics. I haven’t read one classic this year!

  • Choose one of the best and one of the worst books your read in 2017.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)

A Court of Mist and Fury was one of the books this year that I literally couldn’t put down until I finished it. I read A Court of Thorn and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury over one weekend! One of the worst books that I read would have to be Walk on Earth a Stranger. This book has such a promising premise, but fell flat in terms of pacing and character development. It took a lot for me to finish this book, so I can’t imagine picking up the rest of the books in the series!

  • What is the TV series you have followed the most in 2017?

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New Girl is one of my favorite series and this year, I finally convinced my sister to watch it! Of course, I had to rewatch the series with her.

  • What’s the best movie you saw in 2017?

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Wonder was one of my favorite books when I started my blog. It was so exciting to see one of my favorite books become a movie!

  • What was the song/album/singer you loved the most in 2017?

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Even though I’m not completely sold on Taylor Swift’s sound on this album, I still find her songs so catchy!

  • What literary intentions do you have in 2016?

Like last year, I will setting a Goodreads goal. However, with my job that has fewer breaks and a shorter summer than college, I’ll probably set my goal a little lower at 50 books.

 

What are your literary goals for 2018?

Books that I Didn’t Enjoy, but Would Recommend to Other People

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I’m always cautious to read hyped books because I’m worried that they’ve been built up so much that they won’t live up to some expectations. In some cases, I am disappointed by a book, but still understand why people loved it. Here are five books that I didn’t enjoy, but would still recommend to other people:

  • Milk and Honey Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Goodreads describes Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur as a collection of poetry “about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.” This poetry book is extremely hyped, so even though I’m not the greatest fan of poetry, I decided to pick it up after seeing snippets of it on social media. Unfortunately for me, the only parts that really caught my attention were the snippets I saw on social media. Additionally, I felt like I was just reading to finish this book most likely because I’m not a big poetry reader but it was a quick read. While I didn’t personally enjoy reading this book, I can see why some readers would appreciate it if they enjoy poetry and the themes explored in this collection.

For my full thoughts on Milk and Honey, see my review here.

  • Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall follows a teenage girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder and agoraphobia after a cute boy moves in next door. I didn’t hate this book, I rated it three stars after initially reading it, but there were some aspects of the story that hindered my reading experience. While I personally only found this book average, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a book that authentically portrays mental illness written by an author who shared similar experiences to the ones presented in the story.

  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex and Eliza

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz features the love story between Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. I ended up rating this book two stars because I wasn’t sure what parts of this book were historically accurate and how much was created in the author’s head. A lot of these characters in this novel came across as a little too love sick for me, which is one of my bookish pet peeves. However, I know Alexander Hamilton stories are extremely popular right now and fans of Hamilton may appreciate this story more than I did.

For my full thoughts of Alex and Eliza, see my full review here.

  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett follows Bailey as she moves across the country to the same town as her online friend. Once in California, Bailey takes a job in a museum and finds herself falling for a cute new boy with a secret. I received an ARC of this book and found it okay. At the time, I rated it three stars, but looking back, it was probably more of a 2 or 2.5 stars book for me. The story was similar to other books I read before, I thought there was some unnecessary drama, and I felt like the synopsis gave away too much of the plot that you knew all of the story’s twists before they happened.

This book is extremely hyped, and while I don’t necessarily agree with all of the hype, I can see why other people would like this book. Bailey is a relatable main character and the love interest is fairly decent, if not predictable. I think if people went into this story not knowing what movie it’s compared to, then they may enjoy the story a little bit more than I did. This is a cute, summer contemporary book that I could see people wanting to read when the weather gets warmer.

For my full thoughts on Alex, Approximately, see my review here.

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. After a girl’s best friend is killed by the prince, she decides to marry him and get revenge. Like a few other books on this list, I rated this book three stars, which for me means that I didn’t love it but didn’t hate it either. For this book, I really liked the author’s writing style and world-building, but wasn’t a fan of the characters or romance. For me, the main character flipped too much back and forth with her emotions and I felt like she gave in to the romance a little early on. Additionally, I felt like I didn’t get enough out of the love interest to invest in his character or the romance. However, I can see why other people may like this book because the writing is so strong that it completely transports you to the book’s setting.

For my full thoughts on The Wrath and The Dawn, see my review here.

 

What books do you not enjoy, but would still recommend to other people?