Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of Winter 2017-2018

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Hey Everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am SO excited for 2018 to begin! One of the main reasons for this is the fantastic collection of new releases that will be hitting shelves throughout the year. It was difficult narrowing down my most anticipated releases for these first few months, but I’ve finally managed to choose the ones I am dying to get my hands on! 🙂

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (January 2nd, 2018)

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Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy. 
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list. 
One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (January 9th, 2018)

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Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.
Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh (January 23rd, 2018)

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Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (February 8th, 2018)

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A brilliantly original high concept murder mystery from a fantastic new talent: Gosford Park meets Inception, by way of Agatha Christie
‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.
But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. 
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

People Like Us by Dana Mele (February 27th, 2018)

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Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple.
The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

What new releases are you guys looking forward to this winter? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of Spring 2017

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Hey everyone!

Wow! It has been WAY too long since the last time I posted, and I am so sorry for that. My absence for the past few months—as well as my spotty posting schedule for most of last year—can be summed up in one familiar phrase: Depression sucks! I have been dealing with severe depression and anxiety for over a decade now, but never has it impacted me quite has much as it has in the past year or so.

In short: I am not in a good place. I’ve been experiencing the deepest depression and most crippling anxiety that I ever have in my life so far. I have had zero motivation to do anything, and for the first time, I have not been successful in recovering any of that motivation. I constantly feel tired and worn out—I can’t focus on anything, especially reading and writing. My educational/career/financial life is very uncertain. Every day is very uncertain. And on top of everything, I have been more frustrated and angry with myself than ever because I haven’t figured out how to cope with any of it. I feel overwhelmingly lonely.

This is difficult for me to write about because I am prone to being extremely private about my personal struggles with mental illness. I’ve been scared to open up, I’ve even been scared to just come back to posting on here after being away for such a long time. I feel incredibly overwhelmed. But I also know that I am not alone, that there are plenty of people that understand, and that it is much healthier for me to get out of the habit of hiding.

I love reading, I love writing, and I LOVE interacting with all of you and getting excited about our mutual love of literature! Whether you are aware of it or not, you guys have been one of my biggest support systems and sources of friendship this last year and a half, and I thank you so much for that.

I desperately want to get back into things. I want to start posting more and reading more, and I know it’s going to be hard. It’s not something that is going to fix itself overnight—it will probably take a long time. But I need to make the decision to start working my way back toward “normal”, and I have. No matter how much I want to get back in bed and curl up into a ball and ignore everything I’m feeling, I’m not going to continue doing that.

So my posts might still be spotty for a time. My reading lists may take a bit longer to get through than usual. But, I will absolutely not let another two months go by without reading or writing!

Anyway, thank you for reading through my ramblings and for sticking around even though I’ve been MIA for so long! Now let’s get back into things with some anticipated upcoming releases! 🙂

1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (March 28th, 2017)

strangethedreamerThe dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. 

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

2. Dreamfall by Amy Plum (May 2nd, 2017)

dreamfallCata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

3. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (May 16th, 2017)

flameinthemistThe daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

4. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (May 30th, 2017)

oneofusislyingOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. 

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

5. House of Furies by Madeleine Roux (May 30th, 2017)

houseoffuriesAfter escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

What upcoming releases are you guys most looking forward to? What are some of your favorite reads of the year so far? Let me know in the comments! And I promise, I really will be posting more frequently! 🙂

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Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of Winter 2016-2017

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Happy December, everyone!

Once again, I must apologize for my long absence! Though we are into one of my favorite seasons of the year, it is also never very kind to me in the illness department, and I’ve been in bed with a bad sinus infection for the past three weeks. But I’m back and finally feeling a bit more up to snuff, so it’s time to finish out 2016 and head into a new blogging year stronger than ever! And what better way to start out than looking ahead to some of my anticipated upcoming releases in the new year? 🙂

1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (January 10th, 2017)

thebearandthenightingaleA young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

2. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (January 17th, 2017)

carvethemarkOn a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.

3. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (January 31st, 2017)

caravalWelcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

4. Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer (January 31st, 2017)

wiresandnervesIn her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure — with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

5. Traveler by L.E. DeLano (February 7th, 2017)

travelerJessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

What books are you guys most looking forward to this winter season? Let me know in the comments!

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March 2016 TBR

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Happy March, everyone!

My second favorite season of the year is on its way, and I am really starting to look forward to the warmer weather! I’m still catching up on a few reads, so this month’s TBR is mainly going to consist of review copies that I need to work on. Also, I am hoping to begin getting reviews out a bit more frequently this month. I like writing a good variety of posts, and I feel like I want to be getting reviews out slightly more often than I have been. I tend to be too much of a perfectionist when it comes to my reviews (and I write way too much to begin with!), so that’s definitely been slowing me down quite a lot. My goal is to start trying to get out about two each week, so we’ll see how that ends up going! 🙂

March TBR

1. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

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The synopsis for this novel has me extremely intrigued. It promises to have a mix of both fantasy and realism, which is a style that I always love. On top of that, there is going to be a musical element to it—that completely sells me on this! It seems like it will be an emotional read but an incredibly unique one, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.

2. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

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I am so incredibly excited about reading this novel! In fact, I’ve already started it because I just couldn’t wait any longer, so this should be my first completed read for the month. I’ve not actually read a novel by Matthew Quick yet, though I have had a few on my TBR for a long time now. I can’t wait to finally give his work a go!

3. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

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This is the one novel on this list that isn’t an ARC copy, but it is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Since it isn’t a review copy, it’s not a top priority on my TBR, but I am still really hoping I’ll be able to get to it this month. I’m too excited to wait much longer!

4. The Haters by Jesse Andrews

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As well as not having read any of Matthew Quick’s novels yet, I’ve also not yet read Jesse Andrew’s other novel—Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl—yet, though I have been meaning to for a while. I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions about his work, specifically the humor that he uses in his stories, so I’m really interested to see where my opinion falls.

5. The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates

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This is one final ARC that I need to review soon. I don’t intend to read the entire book this month, but I would like to get started reading some of these stories over the course of the next few weeks. I prefer reading collections of short stories in small bursts anyway—I think it’s more fun to spread them out as you read other novels, rather than rush through them all in one go!

Read in February

I’m still in the process of dealing with these migraines I’ve been getting, so my reading and reviewing pace is not quite up to snuff just yet. I definitely hope to pick up my normal speed again soon, as I begin to feel better. However, while this was a rather slow reading month for me, it was overall enjoyable, so I’m feeling good about it!

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1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – It’s taken me forever, but I’ve finally started to continue on with this series and it’s so nice to dive back into this world. Full review coming soon!

2. Camp Midnight by Steven T. Seagle and Jason Katzenstein – I was in the mood for a new graphic novel this month. This one was an ARC that had been on my reading list for a little while, so I decided to give it a go—and I absolutely loved it! This was a quick, fun, and satisfying read with some wonderful artwork to boot. Click here to read my full review.

3. The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee – This was a novel that I had heard very little about, and picked up randomly a few months back. As I expected, it was an extremely unique, fantastical, and intriguing story. I will definitely be posting a more in depth review very soon! I’m looking forward to discussing this one.

4. Doctor Who: Deep Time by Trevor Baxendale – If you haven’t yet been able to tell, I love reading Doctor Who novels! This was another ARC that I had on my reading list for the month. There will be a full review of this coming very soon.

5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – I (finally) began reading this at the end of the month, so it is technically rolling over onto my March TBR. As I said earlier, I like to take my time with short story collections, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing with this one. But, whenever I do complete it, you can be certain that there will be a full (probably very fangirly) review! 😀

February Book Haul

Okay, so I may have gone mildly overboard with my book buying this month…But in my defense, I haven’t been buying all that many books lately. Also a few of these are ARCs as well…

Nope, still can’t justify this. I went overboard…but I’m a happy little book nerd. 😀 ❤

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  1. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
  1. The Haters by Jesse Andrews (ARC)
  1. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black (ARC)
  1. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
  1. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

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  1. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  1. Soulless by Gail Carriger
  1. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  1. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (ARC)
  1. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

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  1. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
  1. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

All right, no more book buying for me for a little while… 😛

What books do you have on your TBR for March? Are you looking forward to any new releases this month? Do any of you guys need to join me in my book buying ban? Let me know in the comments! 😀

-Ariana

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Top 10 Tuesday – February 23rd, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books you enjoyed recently (in the last yearish) that weren’t your typical genre/type of book (or that were out of your comfort zone). I’ve been on a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy binge for a while now (a.k.a. my comfort zone), so we’re going to have to go more toward the “ish” side of yearish. Also, to help myself come up with ten, I’ve split the list into two parts—five that I enjoyed and five that I did not. There is a little bit of a theme here, since the majority of this list are romance and contemporary novels.

This will probably come as no surprise to anyone, but I am and always have been a complete reading addict. I am someone that will read absolutely anything I can get my hands on, and I typically do stray out of my comfort zone a fair amount. In fact, I enjoy doing so, even if I end up not enjoying the novel I choose—it’s always fun to try new things no matter what, and you might end up finding a new favorite! I don’t regret trying any of these novels, I just definitely preferred some over others…

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Liked

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1. Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Over the past few years, I have been making a point of trying to read a larger number of debut authors, and this is one that I picked up from the library for exactly that reason. This novel was pretty far outside of my comfort zone, but it ended up really taking me by surprise. It was very well written, with a sweet romance and a lovely message about the importance of love, friendship, and literature. Plus, there were tons of references to To Kill a Mockingbird in it! 😀

4.5 TARDISes

2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

I picked up a copy of this back when it first came out (to be honest, I think this was a bit of a cover buy!), but had let it sit on my shelf for ages. I finally got around to reading it last year when I was looking for something a bit different from my normal type of read—and I actually ended up really enjoying it. This story had much more depth than I was expecting, and I thought the author’s writing style was great. It ended up being a quick and unexpectedly satisfying read, and I’m so glad I gave it a try.

4.0 TARDISes

3. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This was not all that far out of my comfort zone, but it is still a contemporary romance novel, so it totally counts! I read this at the end of last year and absolutely loved it—this was a perfect way to wrap up my 2015 reads. It was hilarious, adorable, and made me feel all of the warm fuzzies I was hoping to feel. ❤

5.0 TARDISes

4. Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

I found this one while randomly browsing at the bookstore one day, and decided to add it to my debut author TBR. I absolutely did not expect to enjoy this novel as much as I did. This story had a fantastic amount of depth and I thought that the writing was stellar. The characters and all of their storylines were developed and presented well in the context of the plot, and I loved the unique choice of narrator. This was definitely a good impulse purchase!

4.5 TARDISes

5. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

This was another one that I picked up from the library on a whim—mainly because I love reading novels in verse—and it’s another that ended up taking me completely by surprise. The plot is sort of a common contemporary novel premise, but it is still successfully unique. And when done well, like it is here, I usually really enjoy this type of story. The prose flowed beautifully, and I found the story itself to be quite captivating and thought-provoking. On top of this, I actually quite enjoyed the romance aspect—it was sweet, touching, and well-paced.

4.5 TARDISes

Didn’t Like

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1. Dead Rules by Randy Russell

This book…just…nope. I grabbed this from the library for no particular reason. Couldn’t get into it. Didn’t actually finish it (which is insanely rare for me). In hindsight, that tagline should have told me to maybe skip over this one when I found it.

0.5 TARDIS

2. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, so to be honest, this is probably another book that I maybe shouldn’t have attempted, but I still don’t regret it! I figured I would give it a go after all the incredible things I had heard about it—and I can definitely see why people enjoy this series. But I think I can finally confirm that supernatural romance just really isn’t my thing…

1.0 TARDIS

3. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

This novel caught my attention due to the creativity when it came to points of view. I figured this would be a really unique take on a typical contemporary romance novel, so I was more than happy to give it a go. Sadly, I just could not feel any connection at all between the romantic interests, and it was difficult to fully immerse myself in the plot due to the constantly changing viewpoints (as well as the quantity). I actually have a full review for this novel that I will be posting pretty soon, so I will go into a bit more detail then!

2.0 TARDISes

4. The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

This one was slightly closer to my comfort zone than some of these other novels. However, though it is a fantasy story, there is a much larger focus on romance than the typical fantasy novels I read. In fact, the romance ended up being pretty much the main focus of the story, which unfortunately did not serve it well in my opinion. It made sense, given the premise, that love would play a significant role in the plot, but the romance fell quite flat for me. Overall, the story was creative and incredibly unique, but I would have liked to see more attention paid to the fantasy aspect, and a much stronger and more well-developed setting and cast of characters.

2.0 TARDISes

5. Almost by Anne Eliot

I purchased this novel back when it first came out, but it sat on my kindle for a really long time. Honestly, I can’t recall why I bought it—but again, trying new things is always good. This was definitely my favorite from the “disliked” section of this list. I would mainly chalk my dislike of it up to unlikeable characters and slightly repetitive and frustrating plot progression. It was not a bad novel by any means, it was simply just not for me.

2.5 TARDISes

No matter what my feelings were, once again…

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What are some books that you’ve read lately that were out of your comfort zone? How did you feel about them? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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The Book Courtship Tag

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I was tagged to do the Book Courtship Tag by my friend Heather from The Sassy Book Geek. Thank you so much for the tag! Heather is an absolutely wonderful book blogger, so please take some time to head on over and check out her posts!

Phase 1: Initial Attraction – A book you bought because of the cover?

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I’ve never bought a book solely because of its cover. However, covers and editions are definitely important to me when it comes to buying books. Two books whose covers were the main reason I checked them out in the first place were All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Jackaby by William Ritter. They kept catching my eye every time I went to the bookstore, so finally I looked into what they were about—they ended up being right up my alley. The edition of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier that I own was a total cover buy. The movie adaptation is one of my favorite films, so I had been wanting to read this novel for a long time—when I saw this beautiful copy, I absolutely had to get it!

Phase 2: First Impressions – A book you got because of its summary?

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I pretty much only ever buy books based on their summaries, except in the rare case of auto-buy authors. However, I remember finding the summary of More Than This by Patrick Ness particularly captivating. It was a very vague description, incredibly cryptic, and sounded like it would be one of those intense, heart-pounding stories. I completely adore mysteries and thrillers, so I knew I would have to give this a try. Plus, Patrick Ness is perfection. ❤

Phase 3: Sweet Talk – A book with great writing?

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Speaking of Patrick Ness… 😀 Okay, so I’m not going to be able to choose just one novel for this answer, but I’ll keep it to two: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Both of these novels had some of the most spectacular writing that I have ever come across—Schwab and Ness are extraordinarily talented authors. They are both masters at creating a captivating plot and a cast of characters that their readers can easily connect with. On top of this, their words themselves flow beautifully. If you have not yet picked up either of these novels, I highly recommend them!

Phase 4: First Date – The first book of a series that made you want to pick up the rest of the series?

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I have always been more of a standalone reader than a series reader, and any of the series on the embarrassingly small list of ones that I’ve read would fit this question. However, The Hunger Games is the one that stands out the most in my mind. I was totally addicted after just a few chapters and I could not put it down. This was the first series after finishing Harry Potter that I got really excited about, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls – A book that kept you up all night?

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This is one I’m going to have to narrow down a bit so I don’t write an insanely long list (yeah, I basically don’t sleep…who needs sleep anyway?). A somewhat recent one that comes to mind is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. It took me forever to pick this novel up, but as soon as I did, I was immediately hooked. I spent multiple nights reading these stories until…well…it wasn’t actually night anymore. 🙂

Phase 6: Always On My Mind – A book you could not stop thinking about?

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There are so many books that I’ve read just in the last year that I still cannot get off my mind. One in particular that really stands out is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This is one of the most insane, twisted, and mind-bending stories that I have ever read, and I adored every second of it. It’s definitely one of those novels that requires a lot of mental processing afterward and really sticks with you. Gillian Flynn is an evil genius!

Phase 7: Getting Physical – A book that you love the way it feels?

thehobbit

I love the way the edition I have of The Hobbit feels. I prefer books that have a textured cover rather than a smooth one, and this one does (and it’s a gorgeous edition in general!). Just for the record, The Lunar Chronicles novels—both the hardcovers and paperbacks—feel amazing as well!

Phase 8: Meeting The Parents – A book you would recommend to your family and friends?

hyperboleandahalf

I definitely have to agree with Heather on this one and say Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. Recommending books to my friends and family (and basically anyone who will listen to me!) is one of my favorite things in the world to do. However, everyone is going to have a different taste when it comes to what they are interested in reading, so I usually have to tailor my recommendations to the person. Hyperbole and a Half is one novel that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone—it’s hilarious, clever, heartfelt, and something that I truly believe everyone will enjoy.

Phase 9: Thinking About The Future – A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?

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I don’t tend to re-read books too often, though there are some very obvious exceptions. The Harry Potter series and The Chronicles of Narnia will be series that I will definitely read a countless amount of times throughout my life. But of course, the number one book that I know for a fact I will re-read many times in the future is…you guessed it…To Kill a Mockingbird! 😀

Phase 10: Share The Love – Who do you tag?

The Orang-utan Librarian

Papercutpetals

Chelsie @ Chelsie’s Book Addiction

Jasmine @ jazzycliffhanger

Ragan @ Read.Rinse.Repeat

Anna @ Cheeky Column

Emma @ Em Does Book Reviews

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The Sunshine Blogger Award #1

I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Sarah over at Sarah’s Bookshelf. Thank you so much for the nomination, Sarah! 😀

Click here to check out part 2 with questions from Heather!

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sunshinebloggeraward1The Rules:

-Thank whoever nominated you.

-Answer the questions.

-Pick five bloggers to answer your questions.

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Sarah’s Questions:

1. What made you begin blogging?

I have had a love of the written word for as long as I can remember. Reading and writing have always been essential parts of my life, and blogging was a chance to combine my two great passions. On top of that, there is nothing better than having the chance to discuss literature with fellow book lovers; that’s one of my favorite things in the world to do!

However, I also have to give credit where credit is due, and say that one other reason I started blogging when I did was my family. They had been encouraging me for a while to give it a go, so finally I got up the nerve one day and just went ahead and created it. And I am incredibly glad that I did! This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have discovered tons of new books and met so many incredible people. It has been a hugely positive thing in a rather difficult time in my life, and I am so thankful every day for blogging and for all of you! ❤

2. If you could explore the ocean or space, which one would you pick?

I would definitely choose to explore space. Fun fact about me: I am utterly fascinated by anything and everything to do with space, and have been ever since I was a kid. There is an endless amount to learn and explore, and it is all completely mind-blowing. Plus, I think that space is full of some of the most beautiful sights in existence.

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3. What is the item that has the most sentimental meaning to you?

I have so many items that have sentimental meaning to me, but the necklace I always wear has the most by far. It’s a chain with my grandmother and grandfather’s wedding rings on it. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I get to carry a little piece of both of them close to my heart every day.

4. Dogs or cats?

This is a tough question because I am just generally a massive animal lover! I love both dogs and cats, but if I had to choose, I guess I would have to go with dogs. I would love to have a cat one day, and I do cat-sit three cats that I absolutely adore. However, I’ve mainly been around dogs most of my life, and my puppy (my eleven-year-old puppy!) is my best buddy!

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5. What was the last thing you ate?

The last thing I ate was smoked salmon on grilled bread, which is the most amazing thing in the world (…aside from pizza…)! ❤

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6. What is your favourite quote?

I love quotes, so I have a ton of favorites, but this is by far my all-time favorite. And it’s from To Kill a Mockingbird (surprise, surprise).

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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7. What is your favourite place in the whole world?

My absolutely favorite place in the whole world to be is with my family, no matter where we are and especially if we are all together. But if I had to choose a specific favorite location, it would be at my choir. It’s basically my home away from home, and the people there are like a second family to me. It is one of the few places and groups of people that can always make me feel better no matter what; it is a place of true happiness for me. 🙂

I Nominate:

Kelly @ Stellar Scrutiny

Frances @ Nightjar’s Jar of Books

Poppy @ Poppy’s Best of Books

Kimsiang @ The Spines Breaker

Magda @ Magic of Books

My Questions:

1. If you could travel to any period in time, where would you go and why?

2. What is your favorite under-hyped novel?

3. What type of music do you enjoy listening to the most?

4. What are three books you absolutely refuse to read?

5. Do you prefer series or standalones?

6. What are your favorite and least favorite book to movie adaptations?

7. What is one food you never get tired of eating?

8. What are the most difficult and most rewarding things about blogging for you?

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