Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is to share ten of our New Year’s resolutions, either bookish or non-bookish. I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions about my own life, so I’ll be sharing my blog and reading-related goals for the new year.

1. Move from WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress.org! I’ve been thinking about going self-hosted for a long time, because I feel like it will make my blog seem more legit, plus I’ve been feeling limited by free WordPress in terms of creativity. I’m currently thinking about using Safe Shark, because they have one-click Worpress installation, plus they’ll move my posts to the new blog for free. It also helps that they have a high rating from Nose Graze, a blog I really trust with technology-related issues like this.

2. Read just as many or more books than last year. In 2013, I read 133 books, so I should get to work on that!

3. Complete the Debut Author Challenge. Last year my goal was to read 50 books, and I read 54 and reviewed 53 (still working on my review for Katie Cutogno’s How to Love). This year I hope to read at least 30. I decreased the number because some of the books on my worst of 2013 list were debuts, and also because I’m participating in the Stand-Alone Reading Challenge.

4. Complete Stand Alone Reading Challenge. I’ve ranted a lot about how much I hate series (especially trilogies), so this is the perfect challenge for me. Like my list of TBRs for the DAC, my list for the SARC is also ridiculously long, but my starting goal is to read at least 40 of them. This will probably be an easy goal to achieve, as there are a lot of stand alones on my list for the DAC as well, so when I meet my goal I’ll probably up it between 10-20 books.

5. Only start series by debut authors. I usually hate series, but there are a few really good ones coming out from debut authors this year that I just have to read. I’m already in the middle of so many trilogies and series and I just don’t want to add too many more to the list.

6. Read less dystopian. I have a love-hate relationship with dystopians that I simply don’t need to feed anymore. Everything is starting to sound the same and to melt together in my head, and I always feel disappointed after finishing a dystopian novel. I think the problem is that the genre has been overdone to death. With the exception of series I’ve already started, my goal is to read no more than five dystopians in 2014.

7. Interact more on Twitter. This is something that’s been really scary for me. I want to get to know my fellow bloggers and authors, but I never know how to start a conversation on Twitter. I’m much better at networking in person than online, but since our society relies so heavily on technology, it’s a skill I need to learn.

8. Be more selective about requesting books from NetGalley & Edelweiss. I’m still about 90 ARCs behind between the two for last year, and I don’t want that to happen again. I requested a lot of books because I figured I could decide not to read them and it wouldn’t matter, but now my books read/feedback sent ratio on NetGalley is super low because of all the titles I never got to. I need to only request books for the DAC and SARC, and only books I know I’ll read.

9. Respond to people’s comments more. I always get excited when someone comments on a post, but then chicken out too much to actually respond. Now that I think about it, I think I’m shyer online than in real life.

10. Read more of the books I already own. I still have a bunch of books from BEA I need to read, and books I purchased but have yet to get to. Maybe I should participate in the TBR Challenge as well?

Advertisements

Top Ten Best Books of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

I really tried not to repeat too many titles from my list of top ten new-to-me authors of 2013, but it was hard because those really were the standouts for me this year. Still, I did my best to talk about books I haven’t discussed yet on any of my top ten lists of 2013 bests.

17332968

1. Reality Boy – A. S. King
By far my favorite book of the year. Reality Boy was totally different from everything else I read this year. I read it in October but still find myself gushing about it to friends and family. Gerald’s story is disturbing, haunting, and hopeful, but I never wanted it to end. This book was on my new-to-me authors list too, but it’s completely worth mentioning again (and again and again and again).

17258743

2. Heartbeat – Elizabeth Scott
I haven’t reviewed this yet, but as I will say later, Heartbeat is Elizabeth Scott’s best book. It tackles issues I’ve never read about and could be a difficult read at times, but reading it was a truly rewarding experience. This book will make you cry, but it will also remind you of the beauty of love.

12558285

3. Splintered – A. G. Howard This vivid fantasy became a favorite from the very first page. I loved the Wonderland Howard built and her rich writing style. Everything about this novel is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. I’ve already pre-ordered Unhinged and can’t wait until January 7th to get it!

13450398

4. Pretty Girl-13 – Liz Coley
I don’t even know how to describe this book. It was amazing and disturbing and messed with me in ways I have never been messed with before by a YA novel. If this novel is any indication, Liz Coley is going to be big.

13260536

5. The Murmurings – Carly Anne WestI loved this book from the first sentence. It was beautifully written and thrilling in all the right ways and left me craving more YA horror.

16059410

6. Test Taste – Kelly Fiore
This was one of my most anticipated debuts of 2013, and it did not disappoint. Taste Test was simply a delight to read. It did have its corny moments, but overall it was so much fun I didn’t care.

10662420

7. Fire With Fire – Jenny Han & Siobhan VivianThis book gets the award for biggest book hangover of 2013. I liked Burn for Burn alright, but Fire With Fire has left me chomping on the bit for Ashes to Ashes. I literally screamed about this book, but won’t tell you why because I don’t want to give away the major spoilers.

16248068

8. The Elite – Kiera Cass
This book is kind of a given. Kiera Cass can do no wrong. The Elite was super fun and exciting with plenty of drama and romance. I especially liked how she made me question if I wanted America to choose Aspen or Maxon, because before the book I really had my heart set on the latter. I am ridiculously excited for The One and will drop anything else I happen to be reading at the time to start it the second it comes out.

15764032

9. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets – Evan Roskos
Another repeat from my best new-to-me authors list. I was nervous about this book because I so wanted it to be amazing, but thankfully it exceeded my expectations. Roskos brought up a lot of interesting issues related to mental illness I’ve never read about in a YA book before and captured James’ anxiety and experience perfectly. Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets is a beautiful, sad, and funny debut that I hope more people read.

13206760

10. Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
I did not like Cinder. I thought it was okay, but didn’t really understand the hype around it. Still, something about it compelled me to read Scarlet, and I’m very glad I did. Scarlet was much better than Cinder. It was fun and quirky and I absolutely adored Wolf. So excited for Cress!

mindgames_cover1

Bonus #11: Mind Games by Kiersten White
I couldn’t decide whether to put this book or Scarlet, so this list gets a bonus book. I bought it because I was auto-approved for a review copy of Perfect Lies and didn’t expect much from it. I haven’t read a lot of paranormal books this year, but after reading this I definitely want to change that. It was really well-written and different and I ended up loving it.

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

This week I’ll be sharing my top ten new-to-me authors of 2013. I’ll also be sharing the book that introduced me to them.

o-reality-boy-facebook

1. A. S. KingReality Boy

crewel-e1351555638887

2. Gennifer AlbinCrewel

splintered-arc

3. A. G. HowardSplintered

middle_147c9d0f501b13eac6e1cde90d4f792afd_prettygirl13_quote2

4. Liz ColeyPretty Girl-13

1377049987000-blythewood

5. Carol GoodmanBlythewood

DoctorBirdCoverLarge

6. Evan RoskosDr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

uninvitedslide

7. Sophie Jordan – Uninvited

katie-cotugno-feature

8. Katie Cutogno – How to Love

dark-companion_marta-acost_featured

9. Marta AcostaDark Companion

allyouneverwanted1

10. Adele GriffinAll You Never Wanted

Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

I wrote about this topic yesterday a bit to pare down my list for today. This is only a short bit of my winter TBR list, mostly focusing on January releases:

1. Her Dark Curiosity – Megan Shepherd
Because Megan Shepherd. That is why I need to read this book. She took me completely by surprise with The Madman’s Daughter and made me like a book in a genre I don’t normally read. Also, THAT GODDAMN CLIFFHANGER ENDING!!!!

16182304

2. Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge
I really like retellings of fairytales in YA lit. I’m more used to retellings that place the story in a new time period/setting in general, but I think Cruel Beauty is still in a fantasy world, so I’m curious to see what happens. Plus, I’m planning on this book being my first debut author read of 2014!

15839984

3. Anything to Have You – Paige Harbison
To be honest, this isn’t the kind of book I usually pick up, but for whatever reason, I’m REALLY excited about it.

18168638

4. Being Sloane Jacobs – Lauren Morrill
I’ve heard great things about Morrill’s debut, Meant to Be, but never got around to reading it, so I jumped on a chance to read her 2014 release. This ARC is a must read for me because my acceptance on NetGalley also came with an invitation to be part of a tour, so I need to read it and decide if I want to participate!

Untitled-1

5. The Impossible Knife of Memory – Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak is one of my all-time favorite books, so a new book by LHA on my TBR list is a no-brainer, because everything she writes is amazing. I wrote about this last week, but it’s worth repeating.

18079527

6. Heartbeat – Elizabeth Scott
I hate, hate, HATE this cover but love Elizabeth Scott, author of Living Dead Girl, Stealing Heaven, and many more. The premise sounds absolutely fascinating, as I’ve definitely never read a book about a girl whose brain-dead mother is being kept alive because of her pregnancy.

17258743

7. And We Stay – Jenny Hubbard
I only discovered this one recently, but I already can’t wait. First of all, this book is told in verse and prose, a style I really like. Besides that, there’s a school shooting, a boarding school, PLUS the ghost of Emily Dickinson. How can this book not be good?

17797364

8. No One Else Can Have You – Kathleen Hale
I wrote about this one last week, too, but I just have such a good feeling about this book. I know I’ll love it, but now I’m starting to get a teeny bit worried that it’ll be one I put off because I’m expecting so much from it.

18052934

9. Infinite – Jodi Meadows
I wasn’t sure if I liked Incarnate by the time Asunder came out this past January, but reading the second installment in this trilogy got me totally hooked to the New Soul series. Meadows’ writing is rich and beautiful, and Ana’s story is unique and breathtaking.

13085374

10. Enders – Lissa Price
I couldn’t decide whether to put this book or Ellen Oh’s Warrior (sequel to Prophecy) as my final book this week, but I’ve feel like I’ve been waiting for Enders so long that I couldn’t pass it up. Enders is the sequel to Lissa Price’s debut, Starters, which I ended up really liking, though I wasn’t sure if I would at first. I read Starters last winter, so I haven’t been waiting for Enders as long as the people who read it when it first came out, but I felt like it took FOREVER to get any news about the final book in the duology, and I’m beyond excited an e-galley of it is waiting for me on my Kindle 🙂

13412377

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I’m Most Excited About

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is actually to share the top ten 2014 releases I’m most excited about, but since my mother requested a list of books I’d like for Christmas, I did that yesterday instead. I also chose to focus on standalones I’m excited about in particular, because otherwise this would pretty much be a repeat of the sequels I’m dying to read list.

1. I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
Oh. My. God! Jandy Nelson is going to publish a new book this year! I have been anxiously awaiting this moment since the second I finished The Sky is EverywhereThere’s not even a description for it yet, but I don’t care; I’ll read it whatever it’s about.

2. Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour
Hold Still is one of my all-time favorite books. It was so beautifully written and made me feel all the feels. Need. This. Now.

3. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future – A. S. King
I just read Reality Boy and now plan to read all of A. S. King’s books ever. Maybe I’ll have read them all by the time this one comes out.

4. No One Else Can Have You – Kathleen Hale
This sounds like a quirky murder mystery I won’t have anything but love for.

18052934

5. Panic – Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver. Does this even need an explanation? She stole my heart with the Delirium trilogy, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Thank God I have an ARC of this book, or I would be dying.

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.indd

6. The Impossible Knife of Memory – Laurie Halse Anderson
OMGNEWLAURIEHALSEANDERSON!!!!! I loved Speak, of course, and liked all the other books by her I’ve read, so I expect this will be another winner.

18079527

7. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
This book sounds absolutely perfect for me: a girl discovers that somehow, her letters to all her past crushes have been mailed, and she has to confront each of them. I can’t wait to read this fun, awkward, romantic ride by Jenny Han. I’m a big fan of her Burn for Burn series with Siobhan Vivian, but have yet to read any of her solo works, so I hope this’ll be just as good.

15749186

8. Arcadia Falls – Trish Doller
Okay, this one’s actually cheating, because the release date was pushed back to 2015 😦 But by writing it down on this list, I’m hoping the universe will hear my cry and move it back to this year.

9. Nantucket Red – Leila Howland
I have to break the only-write-about-standalones rule for this book. I loved Nantucket Blue and was perfectly satisfied with the ending, but I was still thrilled to learn there is going to be a sequel. I hope that there’s more Zack/Cricket action, even though the summary says Zack falls for Cricket’s worst enemy (!!!), and that I end up liking Ben, the new guy mentioned in the description.

18453185

10. Rio – Ally Condie
Okay, I had to break my standalone rule again because of this book. But it’s Allie Condie, so it’s okay. I still have somewhat mixed feelings about the Matched trilogy, but I did like it enough to be really excited about this new release. Plus, it has a premise I’ve definitely never heard before, of a girl who lives in a complex underwater world called Atlantia.

Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

This week I’ll be sharing the top ten covers I wish I could redesign.

16059410

1. Taste Test – Taste Test
Don’t get me wrong; I loved this book. That said, I wouldn’t be caught dead reading it in public with this cover, so thank goodness I got an e-arc instead. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading this book, don’t let the cover deter you: it’s super fun and definitely worth a read.

16140922

2. Altered – Gennifer Albin
I’ve already ranted about how much I hate the new covers for the Crewel trilogy, but they’re so bad it bears repeating. The first Crewel cover was beautiful, and I guess it might have been hard to continue in Altered, but surely they could’ve done better than this.

13649079

3. Divided – Elsie Chapman
The cover for Dualed wasn’t too special, but at least it didn’t stand out as badly as this one does. I absolutely hate the color scheme on this one and think it makes the book look super cheesy.

10429045

4. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi
This cover never made sense to me. I get that the girl-in-a-dress trend was big the year it came out, but it makes absolutely zero sense for the story. Also, it is an ugly dress.

13104080

5. Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi
The Shatter Me series was redesigned, but I don’t like the new design either. I just don’t get the big eye thing, and the first two book covers look WAY too similar.

1341760713640928

6. Painted Blind – Michelle A. Hansen
I hated the first cover for Hansen’s novel because it was much too literal (and pink), but I ended up really liking the book. The second cover is a little better, but again, THE COLORS.

955479012806139

7. The Weepers – Susanne Winnacker
I don’t like either of these covers. The butterfly one makes no sense, and the second cover has horrible colors, yet again.

2141551

9. Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story – Ellen Wittlinger
This one needs a cover and a title makeover. It’s too pink for Marisol, who’s super cool and hip. Plus, I absolutely. Freaking. Hate. Titles that have “so-and-so’s story” as part of them. Uber lameness.

13630495

9. Rape Girl – Alina Klein
Nothing about this book is appealing. It’s definitely memorable, but for all the wrong reasons, including the title and that almost disgusting cover. I think I could handle the title if the cover wasn’t so awful. I mean, what is that?

DeliriumDelirium-Trilogy-delirium-31382340-780-392

10. Pandemonium, etc. – Lauren Oliver
Nothing’s really wrong with these covers, I guess. I just loved the original cover for Delirium, so I was really sad when they changed it. I’m not a fan of the whole big face thing either, especially since I don’t like the face on the cover and didn’t picture Lena that way at all. Also, I feel like the covers for Pandemonium and Requiem were way too similar, so that didn’t help either.

Top Ten Sequels I’m Dying to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by the wonderful blog The Broke and the Bookish.

1-3

1. Altered by Gennifer Albin – Sequel to Crewel
I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of Altered at BEA over the summer, but I’ve put off reading it because I know that when it’s over, I’ll have to wait for the third novel in the Crewel World trilogy.

2. Just One Year by Gayle Forman – Sequel to Just One Day
I actually wasn’t a fan of Just One Day the first time I tried to read it, but I ended up warming up to it the second time around. I have no worries about Just One Year not being as good, because Where She Went blew me away though I’d thought nothing could top If I Stay. I’m super excited to hear from Willem’s perspective, and who knows? Maybe I’ll like it even better than the first book.

3. Cress by Marissa Meyer – Sequel to Cinder and Scarlet
I was not a fan of Cinder, but luckily I felt pressure to read Scarlet from all the hype around it, and it left me thoroughly impressed. I loved Scarlet and am now anxiously awaiting the third installment in the Lunar Cronicles, Cress.

2-6

4. The One by Kiera Cass – Sequel to The Selection and The Elite
Words cannot describe how much I love this series. It’s like a dystopian America’s Next Top Model, and I hope the CW makes the show of it they’ve been talking about for months, because these books would work great for television. The Selection was exciting and romantic, and The Elite was even better, so I can’t imagine how good The One will be.

5. Rebel by Amy Tintera – Sequel to Reboot
My one big BEA regret is that I didn’t get a copy of Reboot. But, I really wanted to get a copy of Romily Bernard’s Find Me, and that was just as good as Reboot, so I guess everything worked out in the end.

6. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi – Sequel to Shatter Me and Unravel Me
It took me a while to get to Unravel Me because of series anxiety, meaning I was worried it wouldn’t be as good, but it was even more beautifully written with a lot more steam and romance to go along with it. I have complete confidence that Ignite Me will be equally fantastic.

6-9

7. Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepard – Sequel to The Madman’s DaughterI was skeptical about The Madman’s Daughter because I don’t really like anything in the historical fiction vein, but there was enough creepiness to win me over. I adore books featuring weird experiments, plus the romance got under my skin, too. And that goddamn cliffhanger ending. Thank goodness I have an ARC of Her Dark Curiosity so I don’t have to wait until January to read it.

8. Frozen by Erin Bowman – Sequel to TakenI did not think I would love Taken as much as I did. But Grey won me over with his…um, charm? Okay, let’s be real, with his assholery, but he’s a loveable asshole, so it’s kind of okay. Erin Bowman, if Grey and Emma don’t get back together before the end of the trilogy, heads will roll. But mostly yours.

9. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – Sequel to The Unbecoming & The Evolution of Mara Dyer
This is my favorite trilogy right now. It’s beautiful and dark and painfully romantic, and I do mean painfully because of that thing that happens in book two. I still haven’t processed it yet, and I may be in denial a bit because I just don’t see how Michelle Hodkin could to that. Just no.

10. Unhinged by A. G. Howard – Sequel to Splintered
Splintered is probably my favorite debut of the year. Everything about it was just amazing, so I can’t wait to see what A. G. Howard does in Unhinged. (And that’s Morpheus on the cover!!)

 

Honorable mentions, because 10 just isn’t a high enough number for this post: In the End (Demetria Lunetta), Split Second (Kasie West), Erased (Jennifer Rush), Nantucket Red (Leila Howland), Meridian (Josin L. McQuein), Where Silence Gathers (Kelsey Sutton), Renegade (Debra Driza), Enders (Lissa Price)