Thursday, January 29, 2015

Self Esteem and Writing

This is a topic that has been on my mind for quite awhile. Months back, I noticed a shift in my self-confidence - I started to feel a lot better about myself than I had in awhile. And I could not help but notice the benefit this had on my writing.

I almost wrote a post then, but I'm glad I waited - because I have so much more to say now.

Just a few minutes ago - before I rushed to my laptop to type this post - I was thinking about how many authors are known for their low self-esteem, often accompanied by a mental illness of some sort. I also thought about this quote:
"Only bad writers think that their work is really good."
This quote has been a comfort to me during the times that I hate my writing. It has made my thoughts go from this is awful to but if I think that, it must be great! And, admittedly, afterwords to: But now I think it's great ... Am I a bad writer?

I have also come across it in times when I love what I write. Sometimes, I go back and read previous work. And if it's been written in the past couple of months, I usually enjoy reading it! Any further back and I cringe, aside from the odd piece here and there. But does my enjoyment of something I gave a lot of time and effort to a bad thing? Should I not feel proud, like my time was worth it?

Here is another thought I had about this quote:
Maybe, writers with bad self-esteem do have better work - because they have motivation to improve. 
This made sense to me, in that brief thought. If you think something is great, why should you work to make it better? Why put more effort into something that, in your eyes, has already hit its highest potential?

Personally, I believe that you stop improving the moment you think you are good enough. This could apply to anything, not just writing. If have the mindset that you are great at something, that you cannot improve, you won't.

And yet, is that really what having a good, healthy self-esteem means? Can you not think I am good at this but also I can improve this? Do those thoughts never run together?
I believe that a good self-esteem helps writers.
It helps us get words onto a page - because we are not as worried about failure. It expands our ideas, because we are not so anxious about what others will think while reading. We are not constantly wondering if we are correct - not because we don't care, or are writing awful work, but because we know it can be fixed.

A writer with a good self-esteem is also more open to feedback. When you're not taking criticism personally, it's a lot easier to take good advice and use it to improve. It also makes it easier to throw away advice that doesn't work for you or your writing.

Personally, once I began feeling more confident about myself and my writing, it opened me up to so many topics I was afraid to write before. I cared less about writing things "the wrong way" and was able to focus on the stories I wanted to tell.

So, no, I don't think "only bad writers think their work is good." I think you can consider your work horrible, and still be an awful writer. And you can think your work is great, and be right.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Isn't this such a pretty cover? I love the blue, and the clouds and birds, and the font ... It caught my eye right away, and then I found out it was about a girl with an eating disorder and felt even more interested. I can't wait for this one! It releases on July 7th.

You can find it on Goodreads here.

Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is the link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club. My made-up book club reads adult fiction, since I really want to branch out of young adult this year!

1. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

3. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

4. Before I Go by Colleen Oakley

5. Books, Blogs, and Reality by Ryan Ringbloom

6. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

7. The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

I actually don't have any more adult fiction on my TBR, so that's it for this week's list! Let me know if you've read any of these in the comments, or tell me what your dream book club would read! I would also love any recommendations you have for adult fiction or even non-fiction - I want to read more of both through 2015.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: Kate & Alf by Carrie Stone

Quick Facts

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: N/A

Date Read: January 21, 2015

Source: Free review copy from Netgalley

Publication Date: February 5, 2015

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genres: Adult fiction, contemporary

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Kate loves Alf. And Alf loves Kate… Doesn’t he?

Kate can’t wait for her long-term boyfriend Alf to propose. So he might be a bit of a control freak who’s obsessed with his career … and he also seems to have conveniently forgotten their two-year plan to get married, buy a bigger house and have children. But Kate’s sure that ring will be on her finger soon.

When her thirty-second birthday ends in humiliating, proposal-less disaster, even Kate is left wondering if Alf really is The One. Then Alf’s friend, Marcus, needs a place to stay. With his dark eyes, easygoing manner and kind concern for Kate, Marcus is everything Alf is not - and it's not long before Kate begins to wonder if there’s more to life than diamonds.
When Kate's boyfriend Alf tells her about the surprise he has planned for her birthday, she expects a proposal. Things begin going wrong early on, with a ruined dress and Alf driving to a place Kate completely didn't expect for the party. She does not get a ring, but a puppy, and she can't help but wonder how Alf got things so wrong.

As misunderstandings and lack of communication continue, Kate's doubts about her seven-year relationship grow. Although I personally thought the Goodreads synopsis hinted at a love triangle, there is not one - which was a great relief. This book focuses on Kate and Alf, just like the title says.

Before I began this review, I kept trying to think of ways to describe this book without using the word dull. But in the end, I can't. I cared about Kate, by the end, and wanted to see her happy. I even cared about most of the other characters and what happened to them. But it wasn't enough.

The events themselves were not out of the ordinary - mostly, we followed the daily life of Kate, although this story was told in third-person point of view. We saw everyone's thoughts, even those of a few side characters. Nobody had an extraordinary life, but that's not the problem - or at least, I didn't see it as a problem.

The writing is what ultimately ruined this book. The dialogue never felt quite believable to me - I kept wondering who actually spoke like that. The story was not told in an interesting way, although I think it could have been. The writing itself just wasn't engaging.

It seems to me like this book tried too hard, and played things too safe. There was also a bit too much story for me here - I felt like many characters and relationships were only introduced in order to add twists to the story. It didn't work, and it took away from the main characters and their stories.

Honestly, I have a difficult time making sense of my feelings for this - because it was both too much, and not enough. There were too many points of view shown, too many romantic relationships, too many cliches. But there was not enough of the main story - not enough Kate and Alf. Not enough focus on any individual part of the book, because there were too many subplots.

Overall, I like what this book was trying to do. I liked its viewpoint on relationships and doing what is right for yourself. But I also felt like the story was all over the place, and for that reason I did not enjoy it like I hoped to.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Scheduling Posts: Pros and Cons

When I began blogging back in May, I did not pre-schedule posts. As a new blogger, I did not know this was an option. If I had known, I probably would not have seen the purpose in scheduling posts ahead of time.

I began scheduling posts around the same time I joined Netgalley. I noticed that, while publishers put up books months in advance, they did not want the reviews up so early. But as an excited blogger with my first review copies, I wanted to read them right away. I have never waited to write my reviews, and at first I thought I had to remember to post them - which would have been a huge pain!

That was when I discovered scheduling posts, but I only used that feature for reviews. Especially because a lot of my posts were memes such as WWW Wednesday and Friday Finds, I could not really schedule them in advance, anyway.

I think I started to schedule posts more frequently around the time I switched to Blogger. This was also during the time where I changed a lot of my posts, and I went into a pretty bad blogging slump a bit later - making the scheduled posts really useful for when I was in the mood to blog.

Mostly, I am a planner when it comes to blogging - I have a review schedule on a word document, my blogging schedule on Google calendars, and I do schedule nearly every post I write. I can find so many pros to this, number one being: I don't have to blog every day.

Although it's great for beginning bloggers, I think after awhile everyone gets a bit tired of writing posts every day. I go back and forth - sometimes being on the blog a few times daily, and sometimes not checking in for a week or so. The scheduling gives me room to do that, while still putting out posts for my readers.

I also like scheduling posts because it keeps the blog organized. Not only does it keep the posts consistent, so I'm not spamming you guys with ten posts one day and then giving you nothing for an entire month, but it lets me know what is going up each day. It makes it easy to plan around things, to keep to my review-a-week schedule, and to make sure each post goes up at the time I need it to.

There are tons more pros to this feature, I'm sure - I really love having every post ready in advance. It has saved me from feeling guilty a huge number of times. But lately I've been thinking about the cons to the scheduling system.

This one might be limited to me, but I think scheduling posts in advance makes my posts inconsistent, or hypocritical. The thing is, I change my mind a lot. To use a recent example, in my New Year's Resolutions post, I talk about how my Goodreads goal will be 75 books, but I will raise it if needed. But later I posted a discussion about why I will NOT be raising my Goodreads challenge. These posts were both written pretty far in advance, and they were scheduled a few weeks apart - which could be enough time to change my mind. But they were also both written in 2014. I made the decision before either of these posts went up, and if I did not schedule them in advance, they would not be so inconsistent. My mind would have been made up previously and for that reason, the posts would not contradict one another.

I also find myself having to move around posts. Of course, this isn't a huge deal - but sometimes I just don't know where to put them. A post I did not plan for will need to go up very soon, and so all my pre-scheduled posts need to be pushed back. It does get to be a pain, especially if I have to move a lot of posts to make the schedule work again.

The last con I can think of is just having to wait. I'm not an especially patient person, so when I type of a post that I like, I want feedback. I want to know what others think, and obviously I have to wait as the post has not been published yet. This is especially difficult when I really like a book I review, when I make a change in post formats, and when I have a discussion post that I am super excited about.

I would love to hear what you guys think - have you found any more pros or cons to scheduling blog posts? Do you schedule posts in advance, or just publish them as you write?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

I found this book on Netgalley and it really seems like my type of book. It's a novel in verse (I LOVE those) and I really like the concept as well. A good girl falls for a bad boy, only to find that she can't change him and has entered a relationship that is harmful to herself. It comes out on April 8th, which is WAY too long of a wait - I hope I'm accepted for a review copy instead!

You can find the book on Goodreads here.

Goodreads Synopsis: When a good girl falls for a bad boy

She thought she loved him. She thought she could change him. She thought if she just believed in him enough, his cheating and his drugs and his lying would stop, and she'd be his and he'd be hers and they'd love each other forever.

But for Samantha Henderson, X-the boy she will not name-is trouble. He's older, edgier, bohemian . . . and when he starts paying attention to Sam, she can't resist him. Samantha's family and friends try to warn her, but still she stays with him, risking her future and everything that really matters.

As moody and vivid as it is captivating, Dating Down is told in scenes and bursts of poetry that create a story filled with hurt, healing, and hope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is the link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is a freebie, so I decided to talk about the five classics I would like to read in 2015.

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I wanted to read this in December, but I did not get to it, and now I've jumped right into my January TBR. However, I do want to make time for this book very soon. I believe I've said this to myself for two years now, but this will be the year it actually happens!

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

There are a couple of books (Belzhar and And Then Things Fall Apart) both mention and (I think) make references to this book, and I always prefer reading the original first. I actually want to dedicate a month to these three books sometime during the year - I think it would be great to read them one after another.

3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I read this book in middle school, but I have been thinking about rereading it for quite some time. I think I will get more out of it now, especially as it won't be required reading! (I never was much to actually read required books.)

4. Emma by Jane Austen

I listened to an audiobook version of Pride and Prejudice in 2014, and I cannot say it was a favorite of mine. If I actually had to read it, I'm not sure I would have made it to the end. Regardless, I want to read more of Jane Austen's work, so I'm going to try and read Emma this year!

5. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I really want to read something by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so I think I might begin with this one. If not, I just want to read one book by him this year!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

Quick Facts

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Series: N/A

Date Read: January 10, 2015

Source: Free review copy from Netgalley

Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genres: Adult fiction, contemporary

Summary (taken from Goodreads): A gorgeous literary debut about an elderly woman’s last great adventure walking across Canada. A beautiful novel of pilgrimage, of fulfilling lifelong promises, of a talking coyote called James, of unlikely heroes and hundreds of papier-mâché animals…

Eighty-two-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometers from rural Canada eastward to the coast. 

Her husband Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. I will try to remember to come back, Etta writes to him. Otto has seen the ocean, having crossed the Atlantic years ago to fight in a far-away war. He understands. But with Etta gone, the memories come crowding in and Otto struggles to keep them at bay.

Russell has spent his whole life trying to keep up with Otto and loving Etta from afar. Russell insists on finding Etta, wherever she’s gone. Leaving his own farm will be the first act of defiance in his life.

As Etta walks further toward the ocean, accompanied by a coyote named James, the lines among memory, illusion, and reality blur. Rocking back and forth with the pull of the waves, Etta and Otto and Russell and James moves from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty burnt past of hunger, war, passion, and hope; from trying to remember to trying to forget; and inspires each of its characters to visit the sites they’ve longed to see and say the things they’ve longed to say. This is dazzling literary fiction about the rediscovery and care of the soul, and the idea it’s never too late for a great adventure.
This is the story of three people, each around eighty, who have spent the majority of their lives together. When Otto and Russell were in school, their old teacher was replaced with Etta, who was around the same age as themselves. From there, the lives of these three are mixed together, blended, it seems, almost into one.

The book itself intertwines the past and the present. In the past there are war memories, the story of Etta and Russell's brief romance, and school and dancing and songs. In the present there is Etta, walking to the ocean, Otto, making papier-mâché animals, Russell, in search of Etta, and James, a talking coyote who follows Etta around.

At first, the story felt pretty cohesive, but further in things get more scrambled. I found myself reading parts over again, to be sure I read them right. We are mostly following Etta's journey in this book, and she is not completely in touch with reality - sometimes, her memories are clear. Other times, she is confused. She keeps a note in her pocket to remind her of herself, and that lists her family members.

While the book lacked clarity, this did seem intentional, and I actually really liked the writing style. I liked getting further into the story and feeling just a little bit more lost on every page. This resembled the characters and the situation very well. It added to the book, rather than took away from it.

The characters themselves were great as well. I loved reading their pasts, although sometimes I did want to just jump ahead to what was happening currently. I did expect to see more of Russell in the present, as I really enjoyed his character - if he had a story of his own, I would read it. If there was one more thing I could ask for in this book, it would be more Russell. His present scenes were so short, and so far apart. Still, I loved reading about Etta and Otto. I enjoyed the parts with James as well, especially early on in the book.
I do have to say that this book won't be for everybody. The style is different, and some readers won't appreciate that. If you like a straightforward story, I would recommend reading something else. However, this is a sweet story of love and friendship and adventure, and it's perfect for readers who don't mind being a bit confused, It all felt very real, very heartfelt and touching, and - given the right reader - so, so much can be taken from this story.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Why I Won't Raise my Goodreads Challenge this Year

The month of December in 2013 and 2014 was STRESSFUL for me. I struggled to meet my challenge of 100 books. Both times, I began the year hoping to read 50 books, but later raised it due to meeting my goal early.

I will not do that this year. The number one reason? Stress. Why should I be so pressured about reading? It's a hobby. I enjoy books. I should be able to take my time with them.

By this logic, I suppose I could just not do the Goodreads challenge at all - but, silly as it sounds, I always feel accomplished being able to say I finished it. I also like seeing what I read each year, and I'm not sure if Goodreads keeps track unless you participate in the challenge. (Correct me if I'm wrong about this!) And also, probably most ridiculous - I like having it on my profile. I like seeing that I completed several years' worth of challenges.

So, I'm doing things this way. I am keeping my challenge the same all year. After all, doesn't it also look cool when people read way more than they challenged themselves to? Why do I need to change the number from 75 to 100 when it will still say I read 100 books? And if I don't, I did not fail, because I hit 75!

Anyway, I am interested in whether or not you raise your challenges, or have done so in the past. Is it only me who gets super optimistic and ups it by 25 each time?

Also, what is your challenge this year? I'm going for 75!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Finished Series

Last week, I posted about the series I need to complete. In order to be a little more positive this time around, I wanted to talk about all the book series I have completed!

These aren't really in a certain order, but they are just about in the order I read them, since I set my Goodreads list from oldest read to most recently read before going through to make this post. It was fun to be reminded of some of them I read years ago!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Brenna Blixen by Liz Reinhardt

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Awaken by Katie McGarry

The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

The Maze Runner by James Dasher

I think it's kind of funny that I am in the middle of eight series, and I have also completed a total of eight! Hopefully I can raise this number a lot this year, because I really thought I would have more completed!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

First of all, isn't this cover gorgeous? I cannot get over how beautiful it is. The colors are awesome, the font is pretty - it's all just wonderful.

Also, it sounds like it might be a road trip book! Those are always perfect for spring and especially summer, and it's coming out around that time - on April 21st.

The Goodreads Synopsis: A page-turning, evocative novel for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and SPEAK, about a girl who must follow a trail of mysterious clues to discover what happened to her sister.

Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love.

But Leo isn’t going anywhere yet… until Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared?

When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is the link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

1. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

2. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

3. Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

4. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

5. Talon by Julie Kagawa

6. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

7. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

9. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

10. Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

Quick Facts

My Rating: 4 stars

Series: N/A

Date Read: January 6, 2015

Source: Free review copy from Netgalley

Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Genres: Mystery, adult fiction

Summary (taken from Goodreads): Following his award-winning debut collection of stories, Michael Christie's heartfelt and wondrous first novel is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for our anxiety-prone age--and marks the emergence of a stunningly gifted young Canadian writer. For readers of Mark Haddon, Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Safran Foer, Heather O'Neill, Anthony De Sa, and Junot Diaz. 

Will has never been Outside, at least not that he can remember. For most of his young life he has lived happily Inside with his mother, Diane, a fiercely loving yet wildly eccentric agoraphobe who drowns in panic at the thought of opening the front door. Then one day, Will ventures Outside clad in a protective helmet and braces himself for danger. What he finds instead will set him on an unexpected journey of discovery. 

Will embraces the Outside and his newfound freedom with enthusiasm, and he eventually befriends Jonah, a quiet Native boy who introduces him to the most reckless and exhilarating activity he's ever seen: skateboarding. Even as Diane's fears intensify, Will finds his own fears fading and his body hardening with each new bruise, scrape, and fall. But life Outside quickly grows complicated. When a local boy goes missing, Will and Jonah embark on an extraordinary adventure that draws Will far from the confines of his mother's closed-off world and into the throes of early adulthood and the criminal underbelly of small town life. All the while Diane must grapple with her greatest fear: will she be brave enough to save her son? 

Full of dazzling prose and irresistible characters, If I Fall, If I Die is a beautifully tender and unforgettable story about mothers and sons, love and friendship, and learning when to protect the ones you love and when to let them fall.
Upon checking Goodreads for the genre listing, as I do for every review, I realized the third genre listed is young adult. I feel like this may be due to the low amount of users shelving the book so far - although it's third, only 6 users have marked it as YA. I realize it might (and probably will) change as time goes on and more people read the book after its release, but I also thought I should say here that this book is not young adult. Although the protagonist is in middle school, I don't think most kids that age would get as much out of the book as someone older. 

The center of this book is anxiety. Will's mother has gone through a lot in her life, including the tragic loss of her entire family - even her twin brother, whose death she feels responsible for. As time went on, her fear grew, until she could no longer leave her house or even answer the door. 

She never told Will not to leave the house, but of course she led by example. On the day he does leave, he realizes that outside is not as dangerous as his mother thinks. As Will grows more fearless, his mother's fears seem to multiply. How can she protect her son, the only thing she has left, if she cannot even leave her own house?

I really enjoyed this story. Although it took me a long time to read - the pacing was slow, especially in the beginning, and I normally read adult fiction pretty slowly anyway - the story had my attention from the start. Part of it had to do with my interest in psychology, and how interested I was in the anxiety Will's mother faced, but the other part had to do with the characters.

The characters felt like people. They were complex, with several sides to them, and each had a past, several of which were shared throughout the book. Seeing things through Will's eyes was wonderful, but the parts from his mother's perspective were just as great. The perspective change to "Titus" around the center of the book threw me off and I found it difficult to care for this new character who so suddenly took over their story - but by the end, the importance of his chapter was shown. I still wonder if there wasn't a better way to introduce him.

Overall, this is a great book. There are a few things that bothered me, including a part that felt incredibly unrealistic and something towards the end that felt a bit unresolved to me - neither of which I can give away without spoilers. But I think the positives outweigh the negatives by far, and I personally took a lot out of this book. I cannot help but feel it would be a very relatable book for parents as well, as Will's mother worrying over him and wanting him safe was such a central theme in the book. She had the same fears as I imagine most parents do, only amplified due to her anxiety.

I think this is one to read when you're in a patient mood, although the pacing does pick up towards the end, but it's definitely one I would recommend.

Friday, January 9, 2015

I Don't Know How to Edit

I have been writing all my life - or at least what I can remember of it. I've even finished first drafts here and there. I've even finished second, third, fourth drafts, all of them being complete rewrites of the drafts before them.

But something I'm now realizing, as I dive back into my NaNoWriMo novel, is that I don't know how to edit. Sure, I know the basics. I know how to edit grammar, spelling, punctuation. I can fix inconsistencies.

In the past, my "edits" have been rewrites. I guess it might have been a way to avoid proper editing - sure, I'll edit this, once I rewrite it a dozen times.

My novel from November does not need to be rewritten. The entire plot does not need to be changed, because I actually like the plot. I put a lot of thought into the direction of the story and, for the most part, I feel that it went just the way it needed to.

The truth is, editing overwhelms me. It's this scary writing place I have never been to before. But I will be editing this novel.

Like I say, I know the basics. Perhaps I even do know how to edit, when it comes down to it. This just isn't something I'm experienced at. It's not something I've practiced.

If you have any tips, or a strategy of some sort you use when editing novels, please feel free to let me know in the comments. Or, if you also have no idea what you're doing, or you're not even a writer so you don't have to worry about it, tell me that too!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Series I Have Not Finished Yet

If you read my 2015 resolutions post, you know that one of my goals in 2015 is to finish some series. I used to be the kind of person who waited until a series was out and had to read it all at once, but that changed in 2014, and for that reason I'm in the middle of several series.

I obviously have a ton of books to choose from, so if you really love a series, let me know! It'll get me excited to read it, and I might even read it sooner than the others. (I'm pretty easy to convince, when it comes to books.)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I started this series in January, and have been reading the books in a slow, scattered sort of way since then. Right now, I have finished the first five, but I really want to say I've read this series fully! I want to understand when people talk about the later books. Also, I have really enjoyed the ones I read and just really badly want to continue!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

This is another one that I swear everyone else has read! I really want to complete this and get started on the spin-off series. Just recently I finished book four, so hopefully I can continue onto book five soon.

Slated by Teri Terry

I've only read the first book in this trilogy, but I definitely enjoyed it. It was pretty fast-paced and played a part in getting me out of my reading slump, but I went onto other books instead of continuing the series. (I had review copies!)

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

I just recently began the first book, and I'm still in the middle of it. (At the time I'm writing this post, anyway. By the time this is posted, I'll probably have finished!) Still, it's a series, and I am technically in the middle of it, so I'm adding it onto the list!

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

I loved this first book, but never bought the second! I definitely need (and want, badly!) to catch up with this series very soon.

Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith

I'm honestly just waiting until I finish up some other series so I can dive back into this one. It's been awhile, and I'm in the middle of the second book, so I'll probably have to go back and reread some - or at least skim. Still, I'm excited to finally get to this, even though it'll likely be awhile.

Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I only made it about 50 pages through this book, before putting it down due to a reading slump. Regardless, I did enjoy the story and want to get back into it, and then finish up the series!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I began this series quite awhile ago on audiobook, and plan to switch over to ebook copies to finish up the series. I'm currently three books through the series!

That's EIGHT series to get through. If I were to finish even one a month, I would complete them all in 2015. Of course, there are always those new ones that I will inevitably read as well.

How many series are you currently in the middle of? Does it drive you crazy to leave so many unfinished, or are you not bothered by it? Have you read any of the series on my list?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday

I was SUPER excited when I found out this was happening. It's been awhile since I finished the Princess Diaries series, but I'm more than ready for another book. Honestly, this would have been my pick weeks ago if it had a cover back then!

This one comes out July 2, 2015.

The Goodreads Summary: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding--but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.

For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.

But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone--especially herself--that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Here is the link to the Top Ten Tuesday information from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015.

1. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

2. The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

3. The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

4. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

(This is by two authors, but neither have previously released works listed on Goodreads ... So I'm counting it!)

5. Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen

(This one is told in verse! I love novels in verse.)

6. Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

7. The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

8. Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

9. Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

10. Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca