Books, Reading

So….it’s September….huh…

I don’t know about many of you, but I absolutely love fall and all the things fall brings.

Sweaters.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes (yep, as long as those are available I’m getting one, or Pumpkin Spice Creamer because…yum!)

Crisp cool weather.

Rain.

Lovely scented candles that smell like caramel and apples and just make me very happy.

And perhaps most importantly, new books.

 

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(Literally in the first 4 days of September I bought these…I might have a bit of a problem)

While there are some books that come out in the summer months, I’ve noticed that during September is when the majority of new releases come out, and when my wallet starts whimpering and my shelves start groaning because OF COURSE I’m going to buy some books.

But this September I’m actually participating in a month-long readathon called SequelSeptember. In which we (the participants) try to read all the sequels that we have purchased for series but…haven’t quite…got around to them yet?

I am personally a master at this.

I find out that a book I really enjoy is coming out with a sequel, or the last book in the series is coming out.

I wait with anticipation, preordering it and constantly checking my mail. Then the glorious day arrives, IT’S HERE!! All celebration and happiness, until I go to read it and realize that I actually don’t remember anything of the previous books. And then I set my newest conquest on the groaning whinging TBR shelf and tell myself “One day I shall reread all these again”. (Which, spoiler: really hasn’t happened much at all this year. I have so many books I need to reread, see photo below!)

 

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So this readathon is something that I’ve been needing to do for a while. Not that it’s helping matters at all because I’ve been getting a TON of library books lately and all of them have been over 400 pages long (why must good stories take FOREVER and a day to write decent characters?)

There are about 7 series that I need to finish before the end of the year (I would say month but we both know how that will end…in failure) although most are duologys so that’s a small good thing. I’m hoping I can finish the Jackaby series, Into the Dim duology and the Blackhearts duology by the end of this month (I’ve already finished the reread of Into the Dim, so yay!)

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And I know that a lot of people would say “Just find a review and read that, so that way you don’t have to reread a lot of books” but see for me, that’s kinda the whole point. Also sometimes what I catch and what others point out in reviews are two totally different things…and I like rereading books.

It’s like coming home, knowing all the characters and the plot (basically) and knowing what is going to happen with them, it’s nice. And also it helps my goodreads goal so there’s that.

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(a ginormous stack of part of the library books that I have checked out…these do not really help my own personal TBR get down at all)

Anyways, hope y’all are having a great day!

Are you joining up for any readathons this month? Any books high on your radar for this month? What is something you are currently reading? Let me know below!

Happy Reading Dragons!

~Stephanie

(follow me on all my social media accounts: Goodreads- dreams_in_blue

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Books, Reading

My marvelous May wrap-up

Ok, so this is slightly late, but at least it’s not in the end of say June where I’m talking about the books that I finished in May. Priorities y’all. ūüôā

Seriously though, I somehow got through 26 books in May.

I really don’t know how, perhaps witchcraft was involved because let’s be real, May was a crazy month for me. I had stuff happening every weekend, my birthday happened and Memorial Day, where I didn’t do anything but dog sit. So yeah, I’m as shocked as you to learn how many books I actually read this time around.

Out of all the books, they are separated into pretty much 2/3 categories, ¬†new/library and rereads. I try to reread quite a few books each time, not that it helps me to conquer my TBR monster but hey, it makes me happy. The problem I’m finding is because I’m a mood reader, when I have a huge stack of library books around I need to tell myself that I’m in the mood to read such and such book. Which sometimes works, and sometime I have to renew them so that I can get them done.

So I read 18 new books and 7 rereads this past month. Of those 18 new books 15 of those were from the library. Which means I really only read 3 books that were brand new to me and were off my TBR. Which means that if I continue this rate of reading, I will read all the books in the library but yet I will still have a TBR that crushes me to death. I might have to work on this for this month.

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My 5-4 star reads this month

In May I managed to finish the Finishing School (haha lame pun I know) series by Gail Carriger. I had previously read her adult book and didn’t care for it, but the finishing school series worked really well for me. I felt like there was a ton of snark and sass, along with evil genius’, were-wolves, vampires and of course how to be a spy while still being a lady. The whole series is 4 books long and I rated it a collective 4.5 stars for the whole thing, (and all the books pretty much got a 4 star rating, or even a 4.5 rating) I strongly think it’s worth a read. (I got them from the library but I’m probably going to be picking them up in the next couple of months because they were so good)

I also got an ARC of The Color Project, and let’s be real, I geeked out over this book! You can read my whole review here The Color Project

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I also read The Careful Undressing of Love, which to be honest is a strange magical book which I quickly got involved in and really liked. I gave it a 4 stars, it had strange and beautiful writing, and I really liked it. (I will state though there is some bedroom times, not very graphic but they are there so just so you are aware.)

Other 4-5 Star books

  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  • Curtsies & Conspiracies, Waistcoats and Weaponry, Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Lord Edgeware Dies by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (reread)
  • Grace for the good girl by Emily P. Freeman (reread)
  • God is Able by Priscilla Shirer (reread)
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (reread)
  • The Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson (reread)
  • Let me be a woman by Elisabeth Elliot (reread)
  • Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs (reread)

 

3-4 star books

  • The only Necessary thing by Henri Nouwen (basically a rehash of many of his books, not really a fan)
  • Writing down the bones by Natalie Goldberg (the tone was so much talking down to people that I could barely stand it)
  • Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (I really really really had a problem with how the MC treated her friend, I loved it up till that point which is why it’s only as a 3)
  • Until we meet again by Renee Collins (science and logic took a break with this book though it was semi-squishable, the fact that nothing was really explained made me unhappy)
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl (I kinda had a problem with this, mainly with the portrayal of the adults and such. Granted I wasn’t the intended audience but still…wasn’t great)

 

Major disappointments

  • The Assassin’s Curse/The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Man I had such high hopes for this duology but in all aspects it failed and failed miserably. The first book was pretty decent, but both of them had a tendency to drag on and on and on, even though they both were small books, it felt like they had been going on forever. I was not pleased)
  • The life changing magic of cleaning up by Marie Kondo (this one had some good points but on the whole, not worth my time. The only redeeming factor? It was a quick, easy read.)
  • The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis (ugh. rich snobs who share a necklace that cost more than my car. Not a fan)

 

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So that’s what I read this past month. I actually did read quite a few books that were really amazing and some that missed the mark. As always, what I don’t like is just my opinion. If y’all like it, or want to try it, please do! What works for me might not work for you.

That being said, have you read any of the ones I listed up there? What were you’re thoughts? Did you disagree with any of my ratings? Let me know below (courteously of course)

Have an awesome day Dragons!

And remember Life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

 

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Books, Reading, Uncategorized

The Color project review (cue all the feels y’all)

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Every booknerd I know has “a list” of books they cannot wait to have in their hands, to cry over and love and basically recommend to ALL THEIR FRIENDS, and I am no different. My list was relatively short, and there were smatterings of different genres and one of the most anticipated reads was The Color Project written by Sierra Abrams.

I randomly got an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) at the beginning of May and sat down and read it in one sitting. Like I was so engrossed in this book and the story that I didn’t even put it down while I was making dinner (which is why that day I had very sad tacos consisting of tortillas, one piece of chicken, no sour cream or cheese and hot sauce on only one of them)

This book is pure 100% perfection. But of course I can’t just state that and expect y’all to go and get it (though you should) so I shall show you some lists of what I absolutely loved in this book! (because lists convince everyone, general fact.)

Can we first just talk about how ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS the cover is? The design and color and it’s just so pretty!! I honestly want to take ALL THE PHOTOS with this book because it is just so pretty!

-I adored Levi. He is precious and wonderful and real, no 2d romance trope for him. He is driven, having started The Color Project and loves to be goofy and just…. *Swoon* seriously, some of the girls who have already read this have been like “He’s mine” and I hate to tell them, but Levi is so totally mine it’s not even funny.

-Bee. Oh my gosh she is just a sweet¬†little bundle of anxiety and worry and I LOVED reading about a character who actually had trouble stating what they were feeling. She is snarky and fearful but at the same time, she’s the person you root for. She does this thing where she will say something and then she will think “WHAT AM I DOING?’ and I relate to that so much y’all.

-Gretchen. Oh I’m Gretchen. I love her with her positive upbeatness and the things she says randomly and just…I now need a spin off story with Gretchen and what she is doing and a love story of her own (hint, hint Sierra)

It would take forever and a day to go through all the wonderful characters that I fell in love with so let me just stop there and start with some of the other things that I loved!

-Characterization: You guys know when you get into a book and realize that the plot is the only thing that you like because none of the characters are redeeming? NOT IN THIS BOOK!! Y’all, all of these characters are fleshed out and full dimension. They actually have side lives and laughs and different personalities and that is so wonderful to read about.

-Families. There are so many positive families in this book and I just loved them all! The Wescotts with their cute parent’s romance and the older brother and younger sisters, the single mom, and even the crew at TCP: and the best thing is that they ACTED like normal families, like the teasing and annoying habits but at the end of the day they loved each other and that was good. You can definitely tell that Sierra comes from a bigger family because how she treats her creations of family they are spot on! (Especially coming from someone who was older of 2 girls)

-The Feels. I won’t say much about this but one thing: THIS IS A KISSING BOOK AND I APPROVE! Seriously I kept telling Levi and Bee to kiss already because the feels are so real and wonderful in this book. Also, there may or may not have been some ugly crying. Just as a forewarning.

So as a wrap up (though I could go for quite a long time gushing about this book) if you are fans of Morgan Matson and Emery Lord you need to get this book. Sierra’s writing is phenomenal and does not sound like a debut novel. You need this book. Sadly it doesn’t come out till July but preorders are available (the links are down below for both the e-book and regular)

Favorite quotes:

-I was light and stardust in his hands.

-There is darkness but in that darkness are a million pinpricks of light and they are all shining at me.

-You should be doing all the things that will make you happy if the world does end tomorrow.

Synopsis: 

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing that she doesn’t want anyone to know, her name.¬†

That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project. 

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giver up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.¬†

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project–a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds–is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that has ever happened to her.

 

This book is incredible. I am so happy that it actually exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait for it to be out in the world for everyone to enjoy! Now if you’ll excuse me, writing about this book has made me realize I really need to reread The Color Project again.

Happy Reading Dragons!

~Stephanie

 

 

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Books, BookTube, Reading, Uncategorized

#Read30Days

 

I have a sort of reputation as being “The Bookworm” in my group of friends in real life. They call me when they have recommendations for books or when they have heard about a book but are wondering if it’s worth it or not. I generally can tell them if it’s good, or if I haven’t read it, if I’ve heard it’s good or not.

I actually like this reputation, not only does it make me feel awesome to help someone out, but usually I can walk away with a good book rec as well, which is always nice.

But lately I haven’t been reading as much as I would like to. In fact, I haven’t been reading much at all for the past 3 weeks. I still have finished a few books, and I still want to read, but I’m finding that it’s so much easier to just turn on Netflix or go to social media and let my brain just relax then it is to pick up a book and start reading.

It’s like I have gotten out of the habit of how much fun reading really is, which frustrates me, which then causes me to go back to Netflix because why would I pick up a book? (this doesn’t even make sense to me as I’m writing it but still)

So I was watching on SarawithoutanH’s booktube and she was having this same problem and decided to do a challenge to read for 30 days straight. Even if it was just for like 10 minutes or so, just to get her back in the habit of daily wanting to read.

And I first thought that it was a cool challenge but since I had no problem reading everyday, while it was cool, it wasn’t for me. Then I started thinking when I had read a book last, or really when I had picked up a book last. Before I knew it, I realized I was in the same spot, where I liked to read but at the moment I wasn’t reading.

So I decided to do this challenge. I’m going to do the #Read30days on my twitter, and I’m going to document it on my insta-stories, that way you can see how I’m doing. (Both twitter and instagram are dreams_in_blue for the newbies here)

Read for 30 days. At first I wanted to be super competitive with myself and try to finish a book a day, and that lasted maybe 5 minutes, 4.5 of them laughing hysterically at myself, and then I decided to just read each day. Solid uninterrupted reading time.

So I’m going to be doing this for the month of March. If anyone wants to join me, just let me know. This is super lowkey, just to let you know, the goal is just to simply get back into the reading habit, not to try and read as much as possible. (although that’s a good goal too)

Anyway Dragons, have a great night and remember, life is too short to read mediocre books!!

~Stephanie

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10 books I’m constantly recommending

 

Ok, so I was going to do this for the Top Ten Tuesday post but I fell a bit behind so I thought I would put my own spin on it and state some of the top books that I constantly am recommending to people. These will range from “Do you want YA, adult etc.” to simply “You should read this book”

These are in no particular order, just how I thought of them. Enjoy!

1- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. (All of them but specifically the Voyage of the Dawn Treader) Narnia was my gateway to reading fantasy. It was the turning moment for me realizing that fictional characters could make you cry and laugh, and I wanted nothing more than to find a passage to Narnia. I cannot imagine what my reading would be like if I hadn’t discovered Narnia, and I’m so thankful for that series.

2- From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwieler by E.L. Konigsburg. This holds sweet memories as it was one of the books my mom would read out loud to my sister and I when we were younger, one chapter per night. I loved the story of Jamie and Claudia running away to hide out in a museum. Always struck my fancy and I will admit I thought about doing that sometimes after a fight with my sister. And it’s one that I recommend simply because it’s a great quick read.

3-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Seriously this is one of my all time favorite books, it has it all: Romance, intrigue, wealth and snobbery, and it’s one of my favorites of all time. Besides, after watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy, tell me if he isn’t your ideal bloke. ūüôā

4-The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book is my stepping stone into high fantasy. There are elves, and dwarfs and even dragons. I love the simple story of a small hobbit going there and back again, and it makes me so happy. The only thing that could have made this better was that the movie adaptation was better than what it was. But all in all, this was an amazing book and one I always read right before I need courage to do something or to remind myself that even the smallest person can change the course of the history.

5-Jackaby series by William Ritter. This series really got me into YA about 3 years ago. It is like a Buffy meets Sherlock meets Supernatural, in the 19th century. I love this series, where there are vampires, skin shifters, dragons and guardians. It has so much action and such a strong female character that I gush about this series pretty much all the time. It makes me so happy.

6-The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. This is a magical realism series regarding Cabeswater, a search for a Welsh King, an amplifier, Raven boys and magic. I fell in love with how Maggie writes her stories and how she drizzles each word with magic and strength. This was one of the best series that I have read so far, and I cannot wait to read more by her.

7-Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is a gritty heist book where none of the crew is good, or nice or actually very good except for Matthias. And it’s amazing. Think V for Vendetta with the wisecracks of Oceans 11 and food, and you might have the start of what this is about. I love the snark, and the heist and this is one I cannot believe was just a duology because it was so good I needed more, like yesterday.

8-The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is one of my absolute favorite books, it has magic and a game and love and a circus. Not just any circus though, this circus is only done up in black and white with dashes of red, and it is specific to talents. Why have a large tent when you can have many small tents where you can see the illusionist or the lion tamer or have a cloud maze? Trust me when I say I wish she would write something else, because her writing is fabulous.

9-Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie. I am a sucker for mysteries, and you add the Great Christie onto that, I’m gone. She is one of my favorite authors and the reason that I love this book so much is that it is one of 4, like she doesn’t introduce a random person towards the end that could do it, it is only one of the 4 previous introduced. Also I love her twists and turns. And then there was none is another favorite of mine.

10- The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. This is a sweet and wonderful story that revolves around Max and Paige and I just fell completely in love, head over heels for their story and build up. They are slight friends that turn to good friends and maybe more? Plus Max is a geek who knows and loves things like Firefly, Star Wars and Chucks. I love him immensely and want him all for myself. Like, no one else can have him.

Honorary Mentions: The Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy by Trenton Lee Stewart; Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater; The gold seer trilogy by Rae Carson; Love fortunes and other disasters duology by Kim Karalius; P.S. I like you by Kassie West; Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; A darker shade of magic by V.E. Schwab; Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson; Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling; Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman; The invisible library series by Genevieve Cogman; the Rebel Mechanics series by Shanna Swendson; Uprooted by Naomi Novik; The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen.¬†

 

What are some books you constantly recommend? Any that you have read on the list that I recommend to people? Any you now want to read? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers!

Stephanie

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Books, BookTube, Reading

Why I no longer do a TBR list….

 

I am a BookTuber, and one of the things that I have stopped doing in the past couple of months is not posting a TBR list of books I want to read that month. (TBR=To Be Read)

I’m not knocking that those work.There is nothing more satisfying then looking at the list of books you wanted to get to and crossing all of them off and making sure that you let people know, you have conquered the ever elusive TBR pile, at least for this month.

But for me, they don’t work.

I have tried.

And I have failed. Numerous times in fact.

Posting TBR lists somehow always make me seem like I’m a failure at reading because to be honest, I don’t complete them.

I will actually avoid the books that are on my TBR because I’m just not in the mood for them. Or I was in the mood to read that certain book when I posted a video about it, but then as the video went up and the month went along, my feelings changed.

I would no longer want to read that book.

Or I would hear of a mixed review.

Or someone would tell me a different book that I just had to pick out and read because that one had all the feels attached to it.

So there are many reasons why I stopped posting a TBR. And you know what dragons?

It’s made me a better reader. It’s made me really¬†want to read more books because I tell myself I can read whatever I want in whatever order I want.

This is actually termed as being a mood reader, and there are so many readers who really understand this and go with the fact that they are just not in the mood for a book they said they wanted to read.

Now the only exception when I do post TBR posts is when I am doing a Readathon. And for those I always post a video with a TBR because there are usually challenges and contests attached to each one, and I like seeing if I can get through all of them.

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I complete¬†all the challenges, and sometimes I don’t even complete one of them.

But¬†I keep reading. I guess that’s the most important part isn’t it? To make sure that we are still reading, still striving towards the unattainable goal of conquering our TBR pile.

What about you dragons? Do you do a monthly TBR? A yearly TBR? Tell me down below!

~Remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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judgement free zone

So something happened the other day that kinda wrecked what I was going to talk about today, and even though it happened over a week ago, it still bothers me every single time that I think of it, or try and talk about it, so this personally is going to be a sort of rant, but not much of one.

For the seasonal time of the holidays in the US over here, I worked a second job as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble. I really do love telling people what I thought of certain books and what they should or shouldn’t get, (which is also why I started this blog) and I¬†love seeing kids get excited about reading.

So I was checking out this girl who was maybe about 8 or 9 and she was getting a couple of books, one of which was the Ever After High Book #3, which she said was one of her favorite series. Now, I had just come on shift and had passed the newest book when I came in so I told her about it. Her face lit up and she asked her mom and dad if she could get that one as well. Her parents agreed and she sprinted off and got it.

(this part was awesome, I love seeing kids run for books).

Then the girl asked if I had read them. Well, I had so I told her yes I have, they are pretty cool. The girl standing next to me on the cash register snorted with laughter but didn’t say anything until the girl left.

Then my coworker, still laughing, manages to say “Nice lie about those books, good thing you thought on your feet to sell more.”

Me: Why would I lie to someone? I don’t care if she bought another book or not, I was just letting her know.

And this dear readers was where it went down hill. This coworker proceeded to not only mock me, but also anyone who had the audacity to read something outside of their age group. She said “If you are older than 16 you shouldn’t be reading anything that is geared towards Kids or Teenagers.”

I couldn’t put into words precisely what I was thinking because I was so irritated.

I know I told her that she shouldn’t have any judgments on what people choose to read or not to read, and that age shouldn’t tell me that I can’t pick up a YA book and enjoy it.

I love YA, simply because there is a lot in there that you don’t realize. Not just the Hunger Games/Divergent/Twilight but more thought-provoking, more plot entertaining, more of a thrill than most of the adult books I’ve read. Age should never deter you from buying or reading a book, just because you are older than teen or YA, doesn’t mean that you should feel shame for liking or reading that book.

Let’s be real, all of us have a guilty book pleasure, one that we read but that we would never admit to anyone that we like. Maybe because of the stereotype surrounding it, maybe because it’s in the wrong section, or maybe because we just feel “too old” to be reading something that 12 year olds are reading, but let’s stop bookshaming each other. Let’s stop making the snide comments about age, or gender or whatever.

Do you like it? Do you enjoy it? Then why does it matter what others say or think? At least you are reading.

Personally I think that we need to just remind people that reading is reading, no matter what you are reading. (ok one exception because I know that I know that people are going to start twisting saying that I’m saying that kids should read whatever they want, no…the age rule doesn’t apply to them. They need to read in their genre, but for adults it doesn’t matter. Got it? Ok good)

For the record, when I got off of work that day I walked over to the YA section and picked up Jackaby which I had been waiting for, for about 2 months to come out, and went through her line. And when she rolled her eyes at me again, I laughed and said “I can’t wait to read this book. It’s for me.”

Cheers friends.

Stephanie

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