Library Book Sale Book Haul!

This is my first ever book haul post here (although I have posted a few on my Instagram page). Unless I’m ordering from Book Outlet, I rarely get enough books at a time to make a haul seem worthwhile. For two weekends in a row now, I happened to go to my library and picked up quite a few books at their book sale. My library is closing for renovations this summer, and are essentially doing a mass unhaul of their own to try to clear as much space as possible. I went in not expecting very much, and over the course of two visits, left with a total of about 20 new books! I used to be absolutely obsessed with library book sales and went every year, to the point where my room was packed with books that I ended up never reading. It’s really, really hard for me to part with books, especially when they are in good condition, and I always end up convincing myself that I might eventually read them, even if they have been on my shelf literally for years untouched. Here are the books that I picked up:

1) Group 1: Books that I’ve Already Read and Enjoyed

These are books that I’ve already read over the past couple of years as part of my reading challenges and that I really enjoyed. Some of them are books I would not necessarily want to spend a lot of money on, but when the sale offers a bag of books for $2, it’s too good a deal to pass up!

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2) Group 2: ARCS 

These books were technically not part of the book sale itself, but they are available in the staff room for the staff to take. My mom works at the library and I happened to be there with her one day, so she told me to take a look and grab what I wanted. They had already been sitting there for about a week, so it seemed no one else wanted them. I got these 5 books completely for free!

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Group 3: Random Others

I found the rest of these just by browsing the shelves, and was lucky enough to come across quite a few that were on my TBR. I think the best find I had would have to be My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which seems to be brand new! To be honest, most of these books are pretty low priority, and I think a couple of them weren’t even on my TBR at all yet, but seemed very interesting. It will probably help to have a stack of books as backup for when my library is closed, especially since I still have a few challenge prompts left that I have nothing chosen yet.

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Top 5 Wednesdays: 5 (More) Books That Have Been on My TBR Longest

This month, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Top 5 Wednesdays have been left entirely open to the topics of our choice. I’ve spent quite a while browsing through the old topics that have been used before I started participating, and found quite a few that interested me. For this week, I decided to return to one of my favourites and talk about some the books that have been on my TBR longest. I have already made a few Top 10 Tuesday posts (the most recent one here, which also links to the previous two) that addressed just a handful of the many books on my TBR, many of which have already been on there since 2015! I am very slowly making my way through them. In fact, of the books mentioned in the previous 3 posts on this topic, so far I have only read 2 out of the 30 listed, although I have purchased a few of them through Book Outlet and might get to some of those this year. All of the books on this list have been on my TBR since August 2015.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany

12087624I have all of Amy Hatvany’s books on my TBR even though I haven’t read a single one of them yet. This one is about a woman named Eden whose parents divorced when she was a child, after she found her father  on the bathroom floor following an attempted suicide. Since the divorce, her father disappeared from her life, and as an adult, Eden decides to find him so she can finally forgive him and move on with her life. Although all of Amy Hatvany’s books sound very interesting to me, I have never been that motivated to actually pick them up since there are always other books that draw my attention more. If I recall correctly, I discovered her through a list of books that were recommended for fans of Jodi Picoult, and since she is my favourite author, I’m always looking for new books that are similar. With 6 books by Amy Hatvany on my TBR list, I think it’s about time I give at least one of them a try!

2) Some Boys by Patty Blount

18509683I have quite a few realistic fiction books on my TBR from several years ago, and never ended up getting around to them. Many of these are what I like to call “issues books” that deal with difficult topics such as sexual assault, abuse, etc. so I need to be in the right mood to read them. Also, as harsh as it might be to say, it is sometimes difficult to read multiple books on these topics without them all starting to feel pretty alike. This book is about a girl named Grace who falls in love with the best friend of another boy who raped her. I actually completely forgot about this book, but I added it to my TBR in the first place because it seemed like such a unique angle on the topic. Most books that deal with rape or sexual assault focus on the individual attempting to heal and move forward, or the legal case against the rapist. In this case, the focus instead seems to be how to manage a relationship with someone who is close to the person who hurt you, and that is an angle that I don’t think I’ve ever seen explored before.

3) Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

18053148I very recently read Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, and I loved it! I didn’t even realize at the time that this book was by the same author, and had already been on my TBR for close to 3 years. This book is about a 16-year-old girl named Alice who has been diagnosed with leukemia, and convinces her best friend to help her complete a bucket list that includes getting revenge on people who have wronged her. When Alice goes into remission, she is left to face the consequences of everything she has said and done. Once again, this sounds like such a unique concept for a story and it is definitely one I have never read before. If Dumplin’ is any indication, I really enjoy Julie Murphy’s writing style and she creates some very interesting characters. I love the whole concept of the story, and I’m looking forward to finally (eventually) giving this one a chance.

4) Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

1672727Literally every time I see this book on my TBR, I’m faced with the same dilemma — I don’t really like road trip stories, but this one seems a bit more interesting. It is about a couple named Courtney and Jordan who plan a cross-country road trip together to attend orientation for the same college. Just before the trip, Jordan breaks up with Courtney for another girl, but they are (for some reason?) stuck doing the trip together anyway. The reviews for this book haven’t been the greatest but the story sounds pretty cute, and interests me just enough that I’ve never been willing to remove it from my TBR, although not quite enough to ever pick it up either. This book has even been available for under a dollar from Book Outlet, and still didn’t tempt me enough to buy it. Even now, knowing full well that I’m not likely to pick it up any time soon, I’m still hesitant to remove it from my TBR because the plot does sound partly interesting.

5) Lessons from a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles

451220Clearly I was going through a realistic fiction phase when I added these books to my TBR. This book is about a girl named Laine who was involved in an abusive friendship with Leah, a girl who is now dead. Laine hated Leah for some of the things Leah made her do, and is left to deal with the aftermath of her death and to try and make sense of her experiences and the complex emotions resulting from Leah’s death. This book was originally published in 2007 and I’d been hearing about it on and off since then. The storyline has always sounded pretty interesting and unlike other books that I have read so far, but I kept putting it off because there were plenty of other books that appealed to me more. It is another book that I keep seeing for a very low price on Book Outlet so I may need to pick it up with my next haul as an extra incentive to read it.

Top 5 Wednesdays: Freebie — 5 Books I Bought Recently from Book Outlet

**Please note that this post is in no way sponsored by or associated with Book Outlet. I am merely commenting on my own experiences with them.

I’m a pretty recent convert over to using Book Outlet. I’d been hearing about it for a while through various vloggers, but was always hesitant to give it a chance because I can be picky about the condition of the books I buy. If I’m getting a new book (as in, not secondhand), I’d like it to be in as close to perfect condition as possible. It bothers me when the covers or pages are bent or torn, when the dustjacket is ripped, or when the book is very dirty. I decided to give Book Outlet a chance around Christmas because they had a great deal going on which essentially evened out to getting several books for free. I was so impressed with the quality of books that I received that I also took advantage of their recent Family Day offer of triple reward points. I was a bit disappointed to find that either their rewards system had changed or I had misunderstood it, so I got fewer points than I expected, but I still got some great books! Here is a list of 5 of the books I got recently through Book Outlet that I am most excited about!

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

30813401It is literally impossible for me to see this title without thinking of the infamous line from Friends, and honestly, it was the title that drew me to the book in the first place. This book is about a couple named Liv and Adam who are getting engaged, until Adam “accidentally” suggests they take a break. I’m not entirely sure how it is possible to accidentally take a break, so that alone might be interesting to see. The book follows the couple (or ex-couple?) as they try to figure out where they stand, and what exactly it means to be on a break. It is supposed to be a romantic comedy and it sounds like it could be a great read. I’ve never been a huge fan of the (irritatingly named) “chick lit” genre, but I’ve been getting into it a lot more often recently, and often really enjoying it. This book sounds like it could be very funny, but also has the potential to be very meaningful.

2) What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

This was one of a few books that I bought as a motivation to finally get them off my TBR! I have quite a few books that have been on my list since 2015, many of which I haven’t picked up yet just because it’s been tough to find a copy. This book is a about a woman, Lucy,  who kidnaps a baby from a shopping cart and raises the child as her own. As Mia becomes an adult and discovers the truth about the only mother she’s ever known, she sets out to find her birth mother while Lucy is forced to flee. Part of the reason I added this book to my TBR in the first place is because I thought the cover art was very interesting, and it seemed very creepy. It sounds like such an interesting storyline, and I’m actually a bit surprised that I haven’t picked it up yet. I’m not entirely sure I’ll manage to fit it in this year, but I may need to shuffle things around.

3) The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield

I actually read another book by the same title not too long ago, but this one has been on my TBR since 2015 also. It is about a woman named Maris whose daughter was murdered by her boyfriend. The young man’s father, wracked with guilty, calls Maris from the Golden Gate Bridge, where he is standing ready to jump with one question — should he jump? I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have someone’s life in my hands, so this book sounds like such an intriguing concept. It opens up all kinds of moral questions. The Goodreads reviews have been a little mixed, and one of the most common complaints seems to be that the book is often mislabeled as a thriller. Even if it is not a true thriller, it still seems like it could be a very interesting look at the relationships between the characters.

4) Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

18443302This is the kind of book I would have been so unlikely to even try a few years ago, but after The Status of All Things by these two authors became a favourite last year, I decided I wanted to give more of their work a chance. This book is about Casey and Rachel, two childhood friends who have grown up to live very different lives. One day, the two of them wake up to discover they have switched bodies and have to live each other’s lives. This is a fairly common movie trope but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done in a book, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out on the page. I do tend to enjoy TV shows or movies where characters have to switch places, although that’s often because of getting to see the actors try to become each other’s roles. I can’t really imagine how the authors will develop the characters well enough to pull off the switch convincingly, but it sounds like it could be fun to read!

5) Daughter by Jane Shelmit

20505127I bought this book because it was part of my whole push to try more thrillers, so I added a whole bunch of them to by TBR. I was first drawn to this one because of the kind of creepy cover. It is about a successful doctor named Jenny whose 15-year-old daughter, Naomi, does not come home after a school play. A year later, the trail has gone cold, but Jenny is still searching for answers. She soon discovers that everyone has been keeping secrets from her, especially Naomi. The synopsis for this one reminds me quite a bit of Reconstructing Amelia, which I loved. Both of the books are about a mother trying to piece together whatever information they can about their daughters, and discovering that they may not have known the girls as well as they thought. It’s another book that’s received some pretty mixed reviews, but the plot seems like something that would interest me.

Top 5 Wednesdays: Books You Didn’t Get To in 2017 (But I Likely Will in 2018!)

I’ll admit when I first saw this topic on the list, I was a little disappointed because it seemed to be basically the same as the Top 10 Tuesday topic this week. Not that I can really blame them, since it’s a great topic choice. Just to differentiate the posts a little, I decided to interpret this one a little differently, and mention 5 books that were released in 2017 that I did not get a chance to read during that year. I do feel like I made a bit more of an effort to read more recent releases, if not from 2017 than at least for the past couple of years. In part, it was because I felt like I was starting to get stuck putting off newer books in favour of others that I’d been meaning to read for a while. On the other hand, the new releases can be a little tough to get a copy of sometimes. Honestly, I could easily list way more than 5 books from 2017 that I’m looking forward to reading this year, but I’ll try to limit myself (and also limit myself to books I haven’t discussed to death already).

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

33163378Honestly, I was not really looking forward to this book until very recently. I chose it for a prompt in my 2018 reading challenges requiring a book about feminism, and I picked this one because many people on the Goodreads board were raving about it. I’ve read Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu, and it really impressed me. I have all of her books on my TBR. This one specifically is about a girl named Vivian Carter whos is fed up with the sexist attitudes in her school, and creates a n anonymous feminist zine to distribute to her classmates. It sounds like such an interesting concept and if the writing is anything like Devoted, I’m sure I will love it. I’m slowly learning to buy into the hype sometimes when it comes to books, and with all the rave reviews I’ve seen, I’ve started to get really excited for this one.

2) Dear Martin by Nic Stone

24974996This was another book that I wasn’t so sure about since it seemed quite similar to The Hate U Give, although after I read and enjoyed that book, I started to be more interested in this one too. This book is about a young African-American man named Justyce who is involved in a confrontation where shots are fired by a white off-duty cop. One of the things that really interested me about this book was the idea that Justyce starts writing a journal addressed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to try to help himself work through the racism he faces. Martin Luther King is a historical figure who I’ve always been very interested in, and it seems to be a relatively unique angle on this story. It was another book that I was hesitant to try at first, but it’s starting to become really exciting!

3) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

29283884I think this book has reached my limit on avoidance due to overhype. It always gets to a point where I finally start to look past the hype and think that maybe the book really might be as good as everyone suggests. I heard about this book literally everywhere all through 2017, and I wasn’t that interested at first because for some reason I assumed it was about pirates. I have no idea where I got that impression from at all. Once I started to see all the rave reviews come in about how funny this book is and how interesting the characters are, I started to change my mind. I think all but one or two of the reviewers I follow on Goodreads have given this at least 4 stars, so it seems like it might actually live up to all the hype. Plus it seems to fit very nicely into a challenge prompt requiring a book that involves at least one of the seven deadly sins.

4) Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

31123249It almost feels like there were so many interesting books that I wanted to read in 2017, that I couldn’t possibly be excited for all of them at once. This was a book that I added to my TBR about halfway through the year, and then essentially forgot about until recently. This book is about a Muslim Indian-American teenage girl named Janna who is trying to figure out what kind of person she wants to be. The synopsis also hints at someone in her community who has done something wrong (I’m not sure what. No spoilers, please!) and Janna needs to decide if she wants to speak up about it. This was one of the last few books that I added to my reading challenge plans for this year. As I was browsing my TBR, it seemed to all of a sudden jump out at me as something I really wanted to read so I made sure to find a place for it.

5) Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

15837671In a way, John Green has kind of become the new Nicholas Sparks for me. I always tend to read his books, although I’ve never really loved one enough to give it a full 5 stars either. I really liked The Fault in Our Stars, and I’ve read a couple of his other books which I liked but didn’t love. Yet every time John Green puts out a new book, something about it still interests me enough to want to read it. It seems to be the theme today, but this was a book that I was not necessarily super-excited for at first because the plot seemed a bit weird. The synopsis talks about 16-year-old Aza investigating a mysterious billionaire for the possibility of receiving a reward, and that plot didn’t really appeal to me much. However, I’ve since heard that the book has very good OCD and anxiety representation and I’d be interested in that aspect of it. Since I tend to usually like John Green’s books, I think I’d probably enjoy this one too.

Top 10 Tuesdays: 10 Books We Meant to Read in 2017 but Didn’t

Toward the end of each year, when I start looking at the prompt lists for different reading challenges, I make myself a semi-tentative list of the books I want to use for each category. Part of the reason I plan in advance is to make sure I can fit in all the books I’m most excited for, and part of it is also the practicality of depending on the library. Although I’m generally pretty good at picking books that I’m excited for, it’s inevitable that there will be at least a few that I change my mind about. Often toward the end of the year, I end up switching things out when I know I don’t have enough time to enjoy the book properly, or when I’m just not excited at all for it anymore. I try to avoid switching too much because it sometimes feels like a bit of a cheat to me, even though I know it isn’t. Here are ten books that I planned to read this year, that I didn’t get to, for a variety of reasons.

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

1) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

320Let’s get the big one out of the way upfront. Every year, there is at least one book that I plan on reading that I just keep putting off and putting off until eventually I scrap it from the list. A couple of years ago, it was The Goldfinch, and last year it was One Hundred Years of Solitude. It chose it for a difficult prompt requiring a book  set in South or Central America, by a South or Central American author. To be fair, I wasn’t super excited to read this book in the first place, and as a result I kept procrastinating on it. It didn’t help that it was a lengthy book that I just didn’t think I would have time for as I got closer to the end of the year. It didn’t help that I saw very mixed reviews. I’ve learned in the past that if I go into a book expecting that I won’t like it much, it’s almost guaranteed that I won’t be into it. I consider this book more of a long-term goal.

2) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

14935I’ve been meaning to read more Jane Austen for a while, and I think I’ve had this book in mind every year so far that I’ve done a reading challenge. I kind of burnt myself out on classics over the past couple of years, so I ended up being pretty unmotivated. I love Pride and Prejudice, and I liked Northanger Abbey, and I would love to read the rest of her books at some point. I’ve decided to take a break from classics for this year, but this is one of the only exceptions I’m considering. The main reason I didn’t read this book last year was because I ran out of time and didn’t have the patience for the more old-fashioned language. I know Jane Austen is usually a little more accessible than other classics, so I would still like to give it a chance.

3) Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

30002998I think this was the first year in a long time that I didn’t read the new Nicholas Sparks book within a few months of it coming out. Nicholas Sparks used to be my favorite author, and although I still enjoy his books, most of them only reach the 4-star mark for me. I kept putting this one off because I wanted to buy my own copy, but the hardcover was so expensive! I ended up buying the paperback version, and continued putting it off because the book was close to 500 pages and the plot synopsis didn’t grab me that much. This book is a pretty big departure from Nicholas Sparks’ other work, focusing on the breakdown of a marriage and the husband’s bond with his young daughter instead of on a the romance. It ended up being the first book I read in 2018 because I didn’t want to put it off anymore, and as expected, it was 4 stars.

4) Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

1472878This was another book that I really wanted to read, but I kept putting it off because of a combination of the nearly 500 page length, and because it was a book I owned and I was prioritizing my library books. By the time I got to it, I only had a few days left of the year and didn’t think I’d be able to finish in time, so I decided to switch it out for something shorter, and prioritize it this year instead. This ended up being the second book I read (although two 500 page contemporary books in a row might not be the wisest start). This book is about two best friends, Tully and Kate, over the decades of their friendship. This ended up being one of those frustrating books that was exactly between two star ratings, and Goodreads does not allow half-stars!

5) Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

32075662I think this is the one book that I am genuinely shocked that I did not get to. Immediately after reading This Savage Song, I just knew I had to go out and buy the duology. I bought them both not long after, but put off reading this one so I could work through my library books first. It was one of the books I was most excited for, and I just ran out of time. I originally planned to make this my first book of 2018, but I ended up picking the Nicholas Sparks book instead because I had a day off work and figured I would need to the time to devote to it. I am currently in the middle of this one, and looking forward to reading the rest of it! This Savage Song was easily one of my favourite books last year, and so far, this one is just as good!

6) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

5659This was a book that I put off for strategic reasons. I had it in mind for a prompt last year requiring a book from the BBC’s Top 200. As my Goodreads group started voting for prompts for this year’s challenge, I was disappointed to find a prompt that required a book from Amazon’s Top 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. Looking through the list, I realized that I’d already read all the books that interested me most, and the remaining books that were on my TBR tended to be lengthy classics or books that I just was not in the mood for. When I saw The Wind in the Willows on the list, I decided it was the best available option and since it was pretty easy to replace for the 2017 prompt, it seemed logical to switch. I know very little about this classic, although a version of it was performed at my elementary school. I can’t say I really remember enjoying it much, but I think it’s worth trying again.

7) Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life by Sandra Beasley

9833965I’m generally not a fan of non-fiction, but this book sounded very interesting. I had a prompt for one of my reading challenges last year that required a book about food, and I had another book lined up for. I had to request the library to purchase that one and it seemed that it would not be available in time. When that book actually showed up, I decided to put this one off and use it toward a different prompt for 2018 instead. This book is about a woman who grew up with severe food allergies as well as other allergies to mold, dust, etc. I have a family member who has severe allergies, and I also work with participants in my day program who have a variety of allergies. It sounds like this book would give a very interesting look at the topic, and I’d love to give it a try.

8) This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee, and 9) Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

2281180719223830I had a lot of trouble finding options that interested me for my challenge prompt requiring a steampunk book. These two books appealed to me most, but they were both books that I had to ask the library to buy. They didn’t end up getting copies in the system until it was much too late in the year for me to get them in time, so I had to find something else. I’ve managed to work This Monstrous Thing into my plan for 2018, and I’m thinking of trying to squeeze Ticker in as well. They are both very interesting, although I wouldn’t really consider steampunk (or even sci-fi) a genre I really reach for.

10) The Princess Bride by William Goldman

21787I think I must be the only person in the world who has never seen this movie. I wanted to read the book for a tricky prompt requiring a story within a story, and I’d heard great things about how funny it was. Every time I went to release holds from the library, I found myself putting this one off in favour of other books that appealed to me more. As I got to November and December, I realized that I’d pretty much lost any interest in reading it and decided to switch it out for something else. I’m sure I would have been more driven to try it if I had seen and loved the movie like everyone else, and I would still like to give it a chance at some point, but as of right now, it doesn’t appeal to me much.

2017 End of Year Book Survey

Best books of 2017

Number Of Books You Read:  158 for my challenges, plus about 15 or  so side-reads
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Probably YA fantasy or YA contemporary

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1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

It’s hard to pick just one! I can at least narrow it down to one per genre (and even that was a struggle):

Best YA Contemporary – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Best YA Fantasy – This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
Best Graphic Novel – Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Best Fiction – Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Best Horror or Thriller – And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Best Non-fiction – Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Best Classic – Lolita, but probably only because it was narrated by Jeremy Irons

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai. I read her first book last year and absolutely loved it, but this one was a complete disappointment. It felt like it took me forever to read (even though it was only 2 days) and it was boring.

Also, Gena/Finn. It was one of the books I was most excited to read, but it was nowhere near as good as I expected. I still gave it 4 stars, but I thought this one would be an easy 5-star book. It just veered off in such a strange direction toward the end, that it seemed like an entirely separate book.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Definitely a toss-up between The Hating Game and The Status of All Things. I didn’t expect much from either of them, and they both ended up being favourites.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I have no idea if anyone has actually read it based on my recommendation, but I’ve been encouraging people to give Red Queen a fair chance. I feel like it’s a book that gets a lot of hate because it is similar to other dystopians, but I really loved it.

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Best series started – The Raven Boys
Best sequel – Cress
Best series ender –  Winter

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

I think any of the authors of the series I started this year: Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah J. Maas, Laini Taylor and Victoria Schwab.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I read a lot of really great graphic novels this year, which is a genre I’ve been trying to read more of. Aside from Nimona which I already mentioned, I also absolutely loved Strong Female Protagonist.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Illuminae! I was hoping for a place on this list to add this one in, since it was by far one of my favourites.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I generally don’t re-read the same books year after year, but if I had to choose one that I’d probably pick Hyperbole and a Half because as soon as I finished, I wanted to re-read it!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Probably Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone. For some reason, compared to the other series I started this year, I feel like I tend to overlook this one a lot, even though I liked it just as much as all the others. I definitely don’t give it as much attention as it deserves.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Homegoing was definitely thought-provoking.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

Gone Girl! I’ve been meaning to read this for 3 years and kept putting it off.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

This is a hard one because I don’t keep very good track of quotes that I like. I usually just notice them as they come up, and then move on. I actually went back to Goodreads and looked at the quote pages for some of my favourite books to pick:

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you.”
― Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone

“Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is accord. Harmony.”
― Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke & Bone

“The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home.”
― Jodi PicoultBetween the Lines

“There’s no kindness in offering false hope.”
― Naomi NovikUprooted

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest – Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
Longest – Winter

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

And the Trees Crept In. I did not expect that ending at all.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Cress and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles! Also, Levi and Cath from Fangirl.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Nimona and Ballister Blackheart from Nimona. The interactions between them were amazing. The friendship between the Raven boys was also great!

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I’m purposely excluding books from a series for this one, so I would have to go with Fangirl.

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Raven Boys. I’ve heard about this book literally non-stop for the past year.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Levi from Fangirl and Reid from The Upside of Unrequited.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

The Hate U Give

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

There are quite a few good contenders for this one, but I really loved the worlds in Uprooted and This Savage Song.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Adulthood is a Myth

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

History is All You Left Me and Goodbye Days (even though I still take issue with one of the key plot points in this one).

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Might be a bit of a weird choice, but Baba Yaga’s Assistant. It was a very fast read, but I really enjoyed it! I think Wrecked is another hidden gem, since it is a late-2016 release that was very much overlooked, yet an excellent story.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I’m not entirely sure what this means, if I’m honest. I would assume it means a book that is very upsetting, so I’d have to say History is All You Left Me

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

Ella Minnow Pea, which was a lot of fun to read!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Goodbye Days. As I mentioned above, there was a key plot point that really annoyed me because it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Even though I tried to overlook it as I progressed through the book, it kept coming up and every time, it bothered me!

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

I can’t actually remember if I started following these people in 2016 or 2017, but some of my more recent favourites are Anushka @GoingThroughBooks, Destiny @HowlingLibraries and C.G. Drews @PaperFury. These last two were actually people I followed on Goodreads, and discovered that they had blogs of their own.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

So I guess I’m a weird kind of a blogger since I don’t actually write a lot of reviews. I find them very time-consuming, and hard to write without repeating myself (and I’m wordy enough as it is!). Instead of reviewing books, I often ended up reviewing adaptations instead. I think my favourite would have to be my review of the movie version of The Girl on the Train (found here) or of the Emma Watson version of Beauty and the Beast (here).

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I’m not sure if anyone actually read it, but I really liked my post about diversity using the TV show Degrassi as an example of how to do diversity properly. This post can be found here.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Nothing that I can think of. I don’t really go to these kinds of events.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Finally winning a Goodreads giveaway! I’ve entered so many of them and never really expected to win anything, so I was very surprised to get an e-mail last week saying I’d won a book.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Keeping up with my posts during the week! I have a full-time job, and I always intend to pre-write my posts for the week over the weekend, but I rarely actually do that. In general, I participate in Top 10 Tuesdays, Top 5 Wednesdays, and then I post at least one more time during the week doing something of my choice. It’s hard for me to sit down and write during weekdays after work.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Apparently my post about my 10 favourite books from 2017 got over 100 views, and I didn’t even know it!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

The Problem with “Problematic” because it took me such a long time to figure out how to put what I wanted to say into words!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I recently tried ordering from BookOutlet for the first time. My books haven’t arrived yet, so I’m hoping they will be in good condition, but I was very impressed with the Boxing Week deal they were offering, which let me get close to 20 books for about $2 each, including some I want for next year’s reading challenge and couldn’t find otherwise.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes, I surprisingly managed to complete all of my reading challenges by December 30, with one day to spare!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

Our Dark Duet. This may literally be the first book that I read.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Folded Notes from High School by Matt Boren. I only heard about this one recently, but it sounds really cute!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

War Storm and Obsidio.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Just to read as much as I can, and hopefully finish the reading challenges I’ve taken on.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read any yet!

Top 5 Wednesdays: Top 5 Authors You’d Want to Write Like

I spent at least half of my childhood convinced I was going to grow up to be a professional author. In fourth grade, my best friend and I decided that we were going to start our own series of children’s books. He would draw the illustrations, and I would write (although neither of us were particularly talented). This led to many recesses and lunch breaks working on our first “book,” a bizarre story involving talking animals that have special powers and go on small adventures. Growing up, I always tried to write stories of my own and although I had many ideas, I never had the ability to follow through on them and often abandoned them midway.

When I saw this week’s topic, it brought me back to my childhood wish of being a professional writer. Although writing is one of my strengths, I’m not really sure that extends to creative writing. I definitely wish I had the abilities of some of my favourite authors!

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Jodi Picoult

It’s no secret by now that Jodi Picoult is my favourite author. I would love to have her ability to tackle complex topics from a variety of viewpoints. Jodi Picoult takes controversial issues, and crafts a story that includes such a range of characters that it is nearly impossible for me to tell her own personal biases. I also have a lot of respect for the amount of research she puts into each book to make sure they are as accurate as possible. Her characters feel so real that I sometimes forget that they are not real people. Like all authors, some books are better than others, but even my least favourites tend to be very strong. I would love to have J.K. Rowling’s ability to to manage difficult topics so sensitively and realistically, while avoiding her own biases.

2) J.K. Rowling

I really admire J.K. Rowling’s ability to create such an intricate and detailed world, and especially how she manages to tie together seemingly insignificant details and characters from previous books. A character who is mentioned in passing in the first Harry Potter book, who seems like no more than just a random name, often later becomes an important figure. It takes a lot of forethought and planning to pull that off, and I love how J.K. Rowling was able to bring it all together so smoothly. In my own attempts to write stories, I tend to get stuck on specifics and stop writing until I can sort things out, which sometimes means abandoning things if I can’t find a good solution. I would love to have J.K. Rowling’s ability to plan ahead and make such strong connections, as well as to build such a fascinating world.

3) Daniel Handler

For those who don’t know, Daniel Handler is the real author behind the Lemony Snicket character who wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think it takes a lot of talent to create this whole persona of a mysterious author who is a character himself in the books, and I love the series for the blend of intelligent writing, interesting (and strange) characters, and humour. Aside from the series, Daniel Handler has also written several books under his own name which are great as well. I love how he wrote a children’s series which treated the children who read it as well as the younger characters as competent and intelligent people who were able to understand the story and the jokes. I would love to have Daniel Handler’s ability to play with language and create a story that is so funny and so serious at the same time.

4) Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger hasn’t written very many books yet, but I love her writing style! I fell in love with The Time Traveler’s Wife as soon as I read it, partly because of the intriguing concept but mostly because of the beautiful writing. I love how Audrey Niffenegger takes on storylines that are kind of complex and weird, but presents them in a way where the story does not seem so impossible. Even when the events that are happening are strange, they are written so well that they seem completely real and plausible. I’m not even sure I can put into words exactly what it is about her writing style that I love (and maybe that’s why I would love to write like her), but it is so easy for me to get absorbed into her stories. I would love to have Audrey Niffenegger’s general ability to write so beautifully.

5) Suzanne Collins

I’ve only just realized that Suzanne Collins had another series before The Hunger Games. It was a middle grade series called the Underland Chronicles, which I’d never heard of and never read (and to be fair, probably won’t read at this point). I avoided The Hunger Games for a long time because it was so overhyped, even though my mom, who rarely reads YA but loves fantasy, kept highly recommending it. It wasn’t until after I saw the first movie that I decided to give it a chance, and all three books quickly became favourites. I loved how Suzanne Collins struck a perfect balance between action and character development, in a completely believable world. Her characters were all so well-written, especially Katniss. I thought this was by far one of the strongest YA dystopian series I’ve ever read, possibly because it was the first, but the writing style really made it stand out. I would love to have Suzanne Collins’ ability to balance action and emotion/character development.