Review: The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani + Giveaway!

2nd Sep 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani + Giveaway!The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani
Published by SparkPress
Pub Date: 7 June 2016
Pages: 282
Format: Paperback | Source: Author
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Fifteen year old Courtney wants to be normal like her friends. But there’s something frighteningly different about her—and it’s not just the mysterious tattoo her conspiracy-obsessed grandfather marked her with before he disappeared. She's being visited in her bedroom at night by aliens claiming to have shared an alliance with her grandfather. And imaginary or not, they're starting to to take over her mind. “Mental illness is a slippery slope,” her mother warns her.

The last thing Courtney wants to do is end up crazy and dead like her grandfather did. But what about the tattoo? And the aliens trying to recruit her? With her new alien-savvy friend Agatha and her apocalyptic visions, Courtney begins connecting the dots between the past, present and future—of her bloodline, and the ancient history that surrounds it. Is she going insane, like her family claims her grandfather did, or is she actually a "chosen one" with ancestral connections to another world? Either way, Courtney has a mission: untangle her past, discover the truth, and stop the apocalypse before it's too late for everyone.

The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman follows Courtney through some crazy and out of this world adventures. When Courtney was seven years old her grandfather tried to drown her in a bathtub. He always spoke of aliens and people being out to get him, and after he died Courtney’s mom wrote him off as crazy. Courtney wants to think her grandfather was crazy too, except she sees the aliens too. Strange things just keep on happening to her, the aliens are visiting her in her dreams at night. So, maybe Courtney and her grandfather aren’t crazy after all. Maybe the aliens are real and it’s up to Courtney to figure out what they want.

This is a sci fi, alien story with some secret society mystery thrown in. Courtney meets a lot of interesting characters along her journey. It’s hard to know who she can and can’t trust. I trusted no one in this story. I thought everyone had ulterior motives, and didn’t know what to believe. Agatha is one of the first people Courtney meets. The aliens also visit Agatha’s brother and she looks exactly like Courtney’s imaginary friend Astra. She is the first one to believe Courtney and not write her off as crazy. All of this can’t be a coincidence.

There is a lot going on in this story and I never knew who to believe or trust. Most of all I felt bad for Courtney, being 15 years old and having to deal with all of this on her own. She isn’t just visited by aliens; she’s also alienated from her family and friends. These events keep her very isolated and alone. It’s hard for her because no one believes her and everyone just wants her to act normal.

The major thing I disliked about this book was Courtney’s mother. I know she’s not supposed to be likable but she was awful to an extreme. She treats Courtney like a nuisance. She believes her daughter is mentally ill and she is constantly shaming her for it or threatening to lock her up in an asylum. She seems to have no desire to actually help Courtney; she just wants her to shut up and act normal. She drove me crazy!

The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman is a great sci fi adventure with some conspiracy thrown into the mix. The bad guys are easy to root against and I found myself rooting for Courtney to figure out this mystery and finally find her place in the world.

I was lucky enough to receive a signed finished copy of this book from the author to giveaway to one lucky reader!

Giveaway

Signed paperback of The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass

6th Jun 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza WassThe Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: June 7th 2016
Pages: 272
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2.5 Stars

Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.

Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

Castella Cresswell lives deep in the woods with her five siblings. They live by the rules of their strict, religious father. He controls everything they do, from what they wear to who they can talk to. As they get older Castella and her siblings start to question their way of life.

I felt sorry for Castella and her family. Her family lives in such a strict and controlling household, but none of them are brave enough to completely go against the strict rules and religious beliefs of their father. Religion can be a scary thing. The father in this book based everything he did on his belief in God and his wanting to do what was best for his family in his mind. It is not very clear what exactly the father believes in, just that he is adamant about his beliefs. He does some seemingly crazy things like claiming he does not need a job because God will provide for them and telling his children that they will all grow up to marry each other. As a reader it’s easy to discredit him and write him off as crazy. It’s hard to believe that his wife and children just go along with his ideas, but then again they don’t know any other way to live. They truly believe in him and that his rules are God’s will, which makes them terrified to completely disobey him.

Castella and her siblings start to doubt her father’s teachings about the world around them. All of the children have their own interests that do not go along with their father’s teachings, yet none of them are really ready to rebel and stand up against him. Castilla starts to have questions and pushes her limits. She starts to see what life outside of her home is really like and what’s to be a part of it. She starts to question her father more and more, until she is ready to escape from her father’s control. The one thing that stops her is her siblings, she does not want to leave her family behind. She ends up finding out some harsh truths about her family, and has to fight to keep everyone safe.

This book wasn’t very long and I was able to get through it fairly quickly. The pace of the book was pretty good, and I never felt bored. There was something about it that kept me hooked. I was really intrigued by Castella and her father’s beliefs. I wanted to see how the story would play out and it there were any unsuspected turns coming. The ending did leave me feeling little disappointed and there were just too many questions left unanswered and things were wrapped up too quickly for me. All in all, it was a quick, interesting read with a slightly creepy vibe that kept me engaged the whole way through. I just wish that the book had a little more depth and explored the characters and ideas a bit more.

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

25th May 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve TucholkeWink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Published by Dial
Pub Date: March 22nd 2016
Pages: 247
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Wink Poppy Midnight is not like any other books I’ve read lately. The story is about three teens, Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. Each of them is very different and has their own story to tell. April Genevieve Tucholke’s writing style is mesmerizing. The whole book read like a lovely poem. This story was beautiful and addictive.

Poppy is a mean girl. She’s cruel and a bully, she has her own little group of followers called the Yellows that she loves to boss around and play games with. Midnight is in love with Poppy, but he doesn’t want to be. He sees the kind of person she is and he is trying so hard to break away from her and her manipulations. That’s when he meets Wink. Wink is one of the Bell children. She has the nickname “Feral Bell” because most of the other kids her age think she’s a little weird. She loves fairy tales and reading about adventures in books. When Midnight moves in next door she thinks it’s a sign that her own adventure is starting.

We follow all three of these characters throughout the book and get to see the story through each of their viewpoints. I enjoyed the different narrators and they all have such independent voices. You could tell who’s point of view it was without seeing the names in the beginnings of the chapters. Midnight is the main character, caught between two girls and trying to start over. I liked Midnight and felt his struggle when it came to Poppy and Wink. He is a nice guy and just wants to be with someone who actually wants him back. Poppy is easy to hate, she’s mean, cruel, and loves to play games. As the story goes on you start to see Poppy as more than just a mean girl and even start to sympathize with her at certain points. Wink is a strange character, she is obsessed with fairy tales and making real life just like a story. She seems too naive and childlike to be real. At time I just couldn’t take her character seriously at all, and she kind of annoyed me.

The messy little triangle between Poppy, Midnight, and Wink is really interesting. Poppy is determined not to lose Midnight, not because she loves him but just because she hates to lose. Midnight tries so hard to stay away from Poppy and he genuinely likes Wink and wants to spend time with her. In the beginning of the book it seems pretty clear that Poppy is the villain and Midnight and Wink might be the heroes of the story. As the book goes on it becomes harder and harder to tell who’s the villain and who’s the hero. The lines get really blurry and it’s hard to trust any of our narrators.

When I finished this book I realized there are no heroes or villains, just people with different motivations. It’s hard to point out who’s right or wrong in the end, everyone has their own baggage and does questionable things. I enjoyed the plot twist, which I didn’t see coming. The writing was enthralling and just drew me in. I loved the lyrical prose throughout the book and it just added to the atmosphere the author was building throughout the story. I recommend this book to anyone who like a mystery and a story that’s a little out there.

And the perfect gif to sum up this story…

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Challenges Update: March 2016!

2nd Apr 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reading Challenges

Challenges Update: March 2016!

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Hi guys!!

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I didn’t do spectacularly these last couple of months with my one challenge, haha. I read three books for this challenge, and here they are:

Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill4 Stars – This one was really cute!! Keep an eye out for a Bitsy Words post on this one soon. :)
November 9 by Colleen Hoover5 Stars – First CoHo read and it was a winner! Read my review HERE!
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover3 Stars – Still mulling this one over but I think I’ll post something on it soon too.

 

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Still going strong! Between the last two months I read six romances.

Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie – 2 stars – I was really excited about this book and it turned out to be a total dud. I hated both the main characters and definitely wasn’t rooting for their unhealthy relationship.

Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott – 2 stars

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 5 stars – I absolutely loved this book. It was an awesome romance and story about the main character figuring out who she is and what she wants.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover – 4 stars – Colleen Hoover is an author that never seems to let me down when it comes to romance. Jess wrote a great review for this book not too long ago.

Losing It by Cora Carmack – 3 stars – I liked this book, it was a really cute romance.

 

I read 9 books for this challenges, but some of the romance books crossed over.
 
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Start a series) – 4 stars – I completely understand why everyone recommends this book. I loved every minute of it. Sarah J Maas never seems to disappoint.
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Brennan (New release) – 3 stars – I was disappointed with this book. I just couldn’t get drawn into the story.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (Goodreads winner) – 3 stars – This was funny, but I enjoyed her first book a lot more.
Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott (Goodreads nominee) – 2 stars – Nothing too special about this book. Typical bad boy/good girl romance.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book to movie) – 5 stars – Loved, loved, loved this book! Can’t wait to see the movie and read the sequel.
Zero Day by Jan Gangsei (Debut) – 4 stars – This was a really interest political drama.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Start a series) – 4 stars
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Start a series) – 3 stars – I wasn’t crazy about this book, it was ok but I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.
Winter by Marissa Meyer (Finish a series) – 5 stars – I thought this was a perfect ending to the Lunar Chronicles series. I loved that we got to see pieces of every characters journey.

 

Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought!

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

23rd Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn FisherThe Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me with Lies #1
Published by Author
Pub Date: November 14th 2011
Pages: 278
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

Olivia and Caleb, these two are just one crazy and toxic couple. They both do some pretty extreme things in the name of love. Olivia and Caleb meet in college and their twisted story just spirals on from there. It’s hard to talk about details because there are so many twists and turns in this book that really shouldn’t be spoiled.

Olivia goes to extremes to get Caleb back and keep him. After their relationship ends, Olivia feel like she is getting another chance when she sees Caleb in a music store one day and he doesn’t seem to recognize her. She could tell him the truth or she could stick to her scheming ways and try to make things right with him again. Obviously, she chooses not to tell the truth and just go with it. Olivia is definitely complicated, she loves Caleb but she screws things up left and right.

Now lets talk about Caleb, he blames Olivia for a lot of things when he is equally guilty, if not a little more. I can’t say too much about what he does without giving things away, but let’s just say Olivia is not the only manipulative one. I had a problem with Caleb, he’s so quick to blame everything on Olivia but he’s not perfect at all. He made a lot of mistakes in their relationship and instead of owning it he just seems too pass the blame on to Olivia. He’s a pretty shady character himself.

Another major player in this book is Leah, she’s Caleb’s current girlfriend when he gets amnesia.  She is even more manipulative than Olivia and down right evil at times, it seems like Caleb has a type. She is not just sitting around letting Olivia have Caleb, she is fighting for him, and she’s fighting dirty. By the end of the book you just want her gone.

I’ve seen a lot of ranting about the ending of this book but I thought it was fitting. It was exactly how I thought these two would end up. It may not make everyone happy but I think it’s realistic.

Olivia and Caleb are not perfect, it’s hard to even tell if they’re good people. This isn’t a classic love story, sometimes it’s hard to root for them and it’s definitely not a fairytale. The Opportunist is a unique take on a love story where the two main characters are crazy about each other, but have no clue how to make things right.

 

 

About Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of five novels, and is currently working on two more (Marrow and the second installment of Never Never). She is the co-founder of Clothed Caption, a fashion blog she runs with her friend, Madison Seidler. Tarryn resides in the Seattle area with her family. She loves rainy days, Coke, and thinks Instagram is the new Facebook. Tarryn is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

17th Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Bitsy Words: You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Bitsy Words: You Were Here by Cori McCarthyYou Were Here by Cori McCarthy
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: March 1st 2016
Pages: 400
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2.5 Stars

Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother's death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake's favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother's exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn't bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Jaycee’s brother Jake loved to do crazy stunts, he’d take any dare, and he lived for the adrenaline rush. One day, that love of the thrill cost Jake his life when one of his dangerous stunts kills him. Five years later, his sister Jaycee is still recovering from the lost and the trauma. Now, she wants to be just like Jake and tries to recreate moments in his life to feel closer to him.

The book follows several characters. Jaycee’s ex-friend Natalie, Natalie’s boyfriend Zach, their friend Bishop, and Jake’s childhood friend Mikivikious. Honestly, I didn’t connect with any of the characters. I didn’t find any of them particularly likable. That being said, I did like how each character had their own struggles to overcome throughout the story. They all had their own personal demons that they had to deal with. Mik was by far my favorite. He was quiet and supportive, all he wants is to help Jaycee. Plus, I really loved the illustrations that we’re given for his POV. One major downside was that with all the different POVs it was hard to give the characters the depth and focus they needed to make them a little more well rounded.

The pace of this book was a little slow, it was more character driven than plot driven, which was difficult for me because the characters were pretty bland. Overall, It is a good story about grief, finding yourself, and figuring out who you want to be.

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

7th Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #2
Published by Entangled Teen
Pub Date: November 3rd 2015
Pages: 290
Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.

I loved The Book of Ivy, it was one of the best books I read last year and I was so excited and ready for The Revolution of Ivy. While I enjoyed this book, I liked it a little less than the first book. This was a good wrap up of the story and the plots but it was missing a little bit of excitement I felt in the first one. That being said there were a lot of big decisions and risks taken in the story.

Ivy and Bishop were a little aggravating because they just wouldn’t talk to each other and work things out. They drove me crazy! I just wanted them to figure things out and move forward. A big part of the book is spent with these two dancing around each other and avoiding their issues. After a while it was just annoying.

The new characters Ash and Caleb were a great addition. I really liked them and their friendship with Ivy. I was a little wary at first, but they won me over, especially Ash. Ivy definitely needed some more trustworthy and loyal people in her life.

Life outside of the fence was what I was most excited about seeing in this book. Ivy has never left Westfall, and I knew life on the outside would be rough. I wanted to see how she would handle it. I was pleasantly surprised in this respect because Ivy did go through a lot of obstacles on the outside and it was not easy for her. Honestly, I would have loved a whole book about Ivy adjusting to the outside and leaving Westfall and her family behind but that just wouldn’t have worked for the character or the series. Ivy gets to make peace with some of the issues of her past and her family. All while proving that her awful father and sister definitely never deserved her loyalty.

I’m a little sad the series is over. I wish it was longer, but at the same time I’m glad the author didn’t drag the story out. All of the questions I had were answered and the story wraps up pretty nicely. Not too perfect, but still hopeful for the future of the characters. Even though this book didn’t quite live up to my expectations I still enjoyed it and was happy with how the series ended.

 

 

About Amy Engel

Amy Engel

Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which she says is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  :) When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’d Give Songs To

15th Feb 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’d Give Songs To

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I’ve always loved the idea of pairing songs to books, so I was really excited about this topic. I’ve had Halsey on repeat these days, and I think I could probably find a book to pair with every one of her songs. lol So she’ll be mentioned a few times, I hope you don’t mind.

Control / Halsey – This is Juliette’s theme song in Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

 

 

Dark Paradise / Lana Del Rey – This is Ethan’s theme song in Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

 

 

Castle / Halsey – This is Mare’s theme song in Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

 

 

The Moon / The Swell Season – This is Anna’s theme song in Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs

 

 

Young God / Halsey – This is the Darkling’s theme song for Alina in Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

So what do you think? Let me know if you agree/disagree with my song choices for these, or if you had different songs in mind in the comments!

 

 

 

gwtw-heading-tamara

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | I Found by Amber Run

The perfect song for an unexpected love.

And I found love where it wasn’t supposed to be
Right in front of me

 

You by Caroline Kepnes | Animals by Maroon 5

Have you ever noticed how creepy this song is? Even the video is creepy, it completely fits this book.

Baby I’m preying on you tonight
Hunt you down eat you alive
Just like animals

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Celaena) | Control by Halsey

I think this song really fits Calaena.

I’m bigger than my body
I’m colder than this home
I’m meaner than my demons
I’m bigger than these bones

 

Confess by Colleen Hoover | Halo by Beyonce

This song just screams Auburn and Owen. Such an awesome love story deserves a great song.

Hit me like a ray of sun
Burning through my darkest night
You’re the only one that I want
Think I’m addicted to your light
I swore I’d never fall again
But this don’t even feel like falling

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Give Us A Little Love by Falluah

I don’t know, this song just seems perfect for a group of misfits just trying to get by.

Where do we belong, where did we go wrong
If there’s nothing here, why are we still here?

 

 

Lety @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

8th Feb 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Glass Sword by Victoria AveyardGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Published by HarperTeen
Pub Date: February 9th 2016
Pages: 448
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

 

Don’t read this review if you haven’t read Red Queen because spoilers, spoilers, spoilers…

Glass Sword picks up right where Red Queen left off. Mare, Cal, and the rest of the Reds are on the run from Maven. The mood of this book feels a lot darker than the first one. There’s lots of betrayal and hurt going around. No one can be trusted and there are some shocking events. My favorite part, no more love triangle. I hate love triangles and that was my biggest issue with Red Queen, the whole torn between two brothers thing never appealed to me. Thankfully that isn’t a problem in this book. Mare is still torn between two brothers, but one of them wants to kill her, which is a lot more interesting.

Mare goes through a big change throughout this book, and you can see the effects of everything that happened in Red Queen. She’s colder, meaner, and a little more selfish. Her ability to trust people has been ruined and she has a very single minded focus in this book. All she can think about is the revolution and getting rid of Maven. Her single mindedness can be really frustrating at times, especially when her friends and family are trying to help her. She feels very alone, and she does things to push everyone away.

Maven, Maven, Maven. He turned out to be such an awesome villain. I hate him, but he is so interesting and you just have no clue what sick, twisted thing he’ll do next. Mare spends most of the book battling her guilt when it comes to Maven, he tricked her and she trusted him now all of this is happening because of him.

Overall, even though I had a slow start with this book I ended up getting caught up in this world and what was happening to the characters. The action kept building and building and it ended up drawing me in. Just a little warning, there is a huge cliffhanger that might make you want to throw your book against a wall :)

 

 

About Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard

Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She currently splits her time between the East and West coasts. As an author and screenwriter, she uses her career as an excuse to read too many books and watch too many movies.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Challenges Update: January 2016!

6th Feb 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reading Challenges

Challenges Update: January 2016!

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Contemporary Romance Challenge‎

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Last month I read four books for this challenge. Unfortunately, some of them were just disappointing and made me hate romance just a little.

When I’m Back & When I’m Gone by Abbie Glines

2 stars. I think I may be done with this series and with Abbi Glines for a while. These books were both two star ratings from me. I just feel like it’s the same story over and over again. Boy and girl fall in love, boy is a huge player, girl is virginal, innocent and has a shady past, but then she meets the guy and he fixes everything. Every book in the Rosemary Beach series seems to follow this pattern. So no more for me.

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

4 stars. This book was really awesome and original. A really twisted love story with characters that you’re not quite sure you should root for. I have a review for this one coming up.

Confess by Colleen Hoover

5 stars. This is only my third Colleen Hoover book by she is turning into one of my favorite. I love her stories and the characters she creates. I really like that she can write love stories that seem new and creative, without being repetitive.

For this month I think I’m going to try to read four more books for this challenge:
Surviving Ice by KA Tucker
Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie
Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica

6 Square Challenge

I read four books for this challenge and I’m still in the middle of reading Winter, wow that book is long! I had lots of luck with the books I read for this challenge because I ended up loving all of them. Two 5 stars reads in one month, that almost never happens with me!

The Wicked + The Divine Vol 2 (Goodreads Nominee)

5 stars. I loved, loved, loved, this graphic novel. This series just keeps getting better and better. I totally recommend this to everyone even if you’re not into comics.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

4 stars. Even though I heard a lot of great things about this book I was a little hesitant to read it. I am one of the few people who really didn’t like The Grisha series. So, I didn’t know how I would feel about this one. Luckily I really loved this book, the characters were amazing and even though it’s set in the same world as Shadow and Bone, the stories are independent.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

4 stars. Another great book, I have a review for this one coming up.

Confess by Colleen Hoover

5 stars. I already mentioned this book above but it counts for both challenges since it’s a romance and a Goodreads winner.

Here’s the list of books I’m going to try to read this month. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy them as much as last month’s reads:
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (Start of a series)
The Cage by Megan Shepherd (Start of a series)
Zero Day by Jan Gangsei (New Release Debut)
Winter by Marissa Meyer (Finish a series)

 

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I started off the year right and got to knock out quite a few books for my January reading challenges!!

#ASeriesAMonth

Goodreads Bookshelf

The 5th Wave  – 4 Stars
The Infinite Sea – 2 Stars

For January, I chose The 5th Wave series since the movie was getting released and I had yet to read the books! Although I had some problems with the first book, I still really enjoyed it and gave it 4 stars. The second book was a real downer for me though and only scored 2 stars. :( I’m still looking forward to reading book 3 when it’s released.

#ContRom2016

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Goodreads Bookshelf

In Real Life – 3 Stars

This was a super cute read about two friends who have never met in person and have only ever talked through phone calls, text, video chats. Hannah finally decides it’s time to meet Nick, so she drives to Vegas to surprise him! What could go wrong right?

#FlightsofFantasy

Goodreads Bookshelf

Soundless – 3 Stars

I actually just had a review for this book go up on the blog yesterday so check it out HERE!

A Thousand Nights – 2 Stars

I think I just went into this story expecting something different and I ended up pretty disappointed.

A Game of Thrones – 5 Stars

Can’t say enough good things about this book!! Not only is the writing fantastic, but the characters are phenomenal! I loved being able to learn even more history of characters that I’ve came to love from watching the tv show.

#RockmyTBR

Goodreads bookshelf

Soundless – 3 Stars

Check out my review on the blog HERE!

The 5th Wave  – 4 Stars

I loved the concept of aliens taking over in “waves” where the humans were left not knowing what to expect next as opposed to bam… flash… everyone DEAD! The last couple of chapters were intense and I was left ready for more…

The Infinite Sea  – 2 Stars

…. but then I read book two (lol) and was not a happy camper. I was confused almost 50% of the time and really had to push myself to finish it. :/

Never Never – 5 Stars

Not only was this book AMAZING, but it was left with such a cliffhanger that I couldn’t be bothered to write a review. I just HAD to hurry and read the next one!

Never Never Part 2 – 4 Stars

So I did! And I really enjoyed book 2! These were super short reads and the story had tons of mystery. I wasn’t the biggest fan of book 3, but I still recommend this series.

 

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I had an ok start to the year. Let’s break it down…

Leaving Amarillo (Neon Dreams, #1) by Caisey Quinn – 2 Stars – Not bad, just… Ok. I’ll still be reading book 3, especially since I read book 2 first by accident and it was a 3 star read. Maybe book 3 will be 4 stars! :)

Listen To Me (Fusion, #1) by Kristen Proby – 4 Stars – Sooooo good! It was just what I needed after that 2 star read. Fun and sexy. Look for a full review closer to the release date in April!

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

27th Jan 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: January 5th 2016
Pages: 292
Format: ARC | Source: Author
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This is not an easy book to read, but it is also a very moving and powerful story. This is Where it Ends is a story about a school shooting, it takes place in the span of 54 minutes and it is nerve wracking. The students and teachers are trapped inside with the shooter and the reader gets to go on this terrifying journey with them. There are four different POV and while some people may not like this I think it added to the story. It allows the reader to see different sides of what’s going on during the shooting. Some of the characters are stuck inside with the shooter and others are on the outside worried for their friends and family. It lets you in on both sides of the story, the people who are experiencing the shooting first hand, and those on the outside scared for their friends and loved ones.

The writing in this book is really beautiful and heartbreaking. There were times when I just couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened next and if the characters were safe. I really cared for the characters and felt their fear and pain while I was reading. This story just seemed very real to me, there are moment of bravery and utter terror from the characters and it easy to understand their actions and reasoning. All the the POV characters are connected to the shooter in some way and their reactions and interpretations to why he does this adds so much to the story. This isn’t a random person doing this horrible thing, it’s somebody they know, someone they dated, even someone one of them is related to. Going through the emotions with these characters is intense.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book were the tweets and blog posts shown in between chapters from the students and others about the shooting. I just didn’t think they were necessary. I understand that they were there to show the good that social media can do and how it can help to connect people, but the book would have been just fine without them.

This is Where it Ends may not be for everyone. It is violent and the different POV may not work for some readers, but I think everyone should give it a chance. It’s an important topic and a really gripping story.

 

About Marieke Nijkamp

Marieke Nijkamp

Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. Her debut young adult novel This Is Where It Ends, a contemporary story that follows four teens over the course of the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting, is published by Sourcebooks Fire.

She is the founder of DiversifYA as well as founding member and advisor of We Need Diverse Books.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Gone with the Reading Challenges: 2016

13th Jan 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reading Challenges

Gone with the Reading Challenges: 2016

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So this year I’ve decided to only participate in one challenge: Contemporary Romance 2016 Reading Challenge, hosted by myself and Danielle @ Love at First Page. Last year I did a bunch and didn’t really keep up with updating and such, so this year we’re going simple. The level I’m picking is: Grand Slam: read 21+ books, which I crushed last year so I’m hoping for a repeat.
Hashtag: #ContRom2016

 

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This is my first year to actually sign up for reading challenges! I signed up for two. Yay for firsts!

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This year Jess (our blog president and founder) of Gone With The Words and Danielle of Love at First Page are hosting this challenge, so of course I had to partake. I typically read some contemporary romances every year, it’s not my most read genre but I do enjoy them a great deal! I also found I own lots of great ones that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I am excited!

I’m picking level 3rd Base: read 11 – 15 books. I am hoping I can read a bit more than my goal but I don’t want to overwhelm myself. Below are the ones I have chosen!
Hashtag: #ContRom2016

Alexa Loves Books and Rachel of Hello, Chelly are hosting the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2016! I am so stoked for this challenge since this is always my most-read genre! I can’t wait to connect with other fellow fantasy-lovers and read all their great recommendations and reviews.

I am challenging myself to read at least 20 fantasy books this year. I have chosen the below books to read for this challenge. I am almost certain this list will grow, but I think this is a good start!
Hashtag #flightsoffantasy

 

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This will be my first year participating in reading challenges and I think I’ve really picked some winners! I will be doing a total of 4 challenges and I’m excited to have each one of them really push me in 2016.

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The Contemporary Romance reading challenge is hosted by our very own Jess @ Gone with the Words and Danielle @ Love at First Page. I reads tons of contemporary so I have chosen the Grand Slam level which means I will be reading 21+ books from this genre!
Challenge Hashtag: #ContRom2016

 

The Rock My TBR reading challenge is hosted by Sarah K @ The YA Book Traveler and the goal is to read at least 1 book per month that you already own. My wallet and I are beyond excited about this challenge because it will really help me remember to show love to my shelves. I’m actually setting a personal goal of 3+ books a month for this challenge!
Challenge Hashtag: #RockMyTBR

 

Danielle @ Love at First Page is also hosting the A Series a Month reading challenge! The goal is to read a series a month with at least 2 full length books. I really pushed myself to read series last year and read a total of 16. Getting another 12+ knocked out in 2016 will be awesome!
Challenge Hashtag: #ASeriesAMonth

 

My final challenge will be Flights of Fantasy which is hosted by Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books and Rachel @ Hello, Chelly. In this challenge, you set yourself a number of fantasy books you’ll read in 2016 and I have set myself the goal of reading 15+. Out of the 4 challenges I signed up for, this will be the one to really push me. Every year I walk away wishing I had read more fantasy and 2016 will be that year!
Challenge Hashtag: #FlightsofFantasy

 

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This year I’m participating in two challenges. I’ve never participated in any challenges before so this is all new to me and I’m just going to jump right in. I wanted to try to read more of a variety of books, and I love a good challenge so this will keep me on my toes. :)

The first challenge is the Six Squared Reading Challenge hosted by Amber at BookstackAmber. There are six categories in this challenge and you have to read six books in each category for a total of 36 books. I’m really excited about this one because this will help me get to all those debuts I’m looking forward to and those I missed from last year.

I’m taking this challenge month by month, I just know there’s no way I will stick to a set list so I’m just going to try to pick a few each month and see how it works for me.
Hashtag#sixsquaredchallenge

 

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My second challenge is the Contemporary Romance 2016 Reading Challenge hosted by our own Jess! I love this challenge! Last year I started to realize that I read a lot of contemporary romances and I didn’t even realize it. This seems like a good way to keep track. I’m going for a Home Run (16-20 books), I think I can do this and maybe even more! I’m taking this challenge month by month too because I know I change my mind too often to plan out the whole year.
Hashtag: #ContRom2016

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases We Meant To Get To But Didn’t

12th Jan 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Releases We Meant To Get To But Didn’t

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The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan: my most egregious book sin. This book was practically written for my and my super sweet first round OTSPSecretSister Ginger sent it to me so I really have no excuse.

Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger: I wanted to read the last book in the Finishing School series the day I got it but then I went into my reading slump and honestly, I’m not ready to say goodbye yet!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: I know I know I know. Egregious sin #2 since I got an arc of this at ALA. This will be remedied shortly and hopefully I will add ships to my fleet.

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkowski: preordered this beauty and promptly placed it on my shelf (why do I do this?!). With the third book around the corner, I need to catch up!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I’ve heard nothing but the most amazing things about this book and Lisa sent me her arc ages ago. Must read soooon.

 

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I was really excited about this and I’ve heard great things about it, but just didn’t get the chance to pick it up last year. A lot of other books came out and I just got distracted and forgot to read this one. It’s still one my TBR and I plan to red it some time soon.

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski: I loved The Winner’s Curse; I read it in one sitting and was dying for the sequel. The thing is, when I really love a book like I did this one I also get very nervous about the sequels. I don’t want the story to be ruined or I get scared to see where things are headed. That’s why I think I kept pushing this back and just ended up not picking it up at all. I will get to it soon though, probably after the final book comes out so I can just read them all together.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: This is another one of those books that makes me nervous. I loved The Diviners so much and I don’t want this to disappoint. Plus, this book is pretty long and I just didn’t have the time to really sit down and read it like I wanted to.

The Cage by Megan Shepherd: I don’t even know why I didn’t read this. I love Megan Shepherd and the premise sounds awesome.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I have no excuse for this one. I love Sarah J. Maas, but I’m so behind on her books. I still haven’t read Heir of Fire and I think I was trying to get caught up on that series before I jump into another one. However, I got a signed copy from my #TBTB Santa, so I will be reading this soon.

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Immaculate by Katelyn Detweiler

6th Jan 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Immaculate by Katelyn DetweilerImmaculate by Katelyn Detweiler
Published by Viking Children's
Pub Date: May 26th 2015
Pages: 464
Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.

Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

When I read the premise of Immaculate I just had to get my hands on the book. An immaculate conception in present day? I was curious to see how this would go. Seventeen year old Mina is a virgin and she’s pregnant. Of course, everyone thinks she’s lying. Her friends and family turn on her, her boyfriend breaks up with her, and her perfect life starts to fall to pieces. I really loved the topic of this book because it made me think. If someone you knew told you this story would you believe them?

Mina is a good girl, she follows the rules, gets good grades, and never does anything reckless. One day an old woman comes into the restaurant where Mina works as a waitress and starts to tell her about her future and the baby she will have. Mina writes the old lady off as crazy and goes on with her life. A few weeks later Mina finds out she’s pregnant and maybe that old lady wasn’t so crazy after all.

Going into this book I thought it would be religious or preachy but it wasn’t at all. Mina is not religious and the book focuses more on having faith in things and believing in miracles. Mina goes through many ups and downs , she has to have faith that all this is happening for a reason and that it all means something.

I felt awful for Mina while I was reading. She goes through so much and so many people she trusts turn on her, even members of her family. The people at school make fun of her, her ex thinks she betrayed him, and even some of her best friends turn their backs on her. It’s hard to read sometimes because people are so awful to Mina. People she doesn’t even know feel the need to have input on her and the baby’s life. On the other hand, I can understand why people are so doubtful and unbelieving. If someone told me the same story I’m not sure I’d believe them. That disbelief and curiosity go to some extremes in this book. People are determined to find out if Mina’s lying and it’s really crazy how perfect strangers get so invested and involved in what’s going on with Mina and the baby.

My biggest problem with this book is the ending. I just wanted more. I felt like there was a lot more we needed to know and so many answers we never got. It was a really emotional book and the ending just felt very flat and vague. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and the characters. Mina was a great protagonist and I was rooting for her the whole time. I really liked this book and the message it sends. It wasn’t too preachy or religious, it focuses more on family, bullying, friendships, and how to stand up for your beliefs.

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions We Have For 2016

4th Jan 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions We Have For 2016

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1. Take acquiring books/ebooks/ARCs down a notch. – I finally reduced the number of books in my house in 2015 (most all unread) and now I just need to stop buying/requesting/receiving them and read what I have. Grant it, I acquired more ebooks/egalleys than physical books last year, which helped, but now I need to do that less too.

2. Get back out into the online bookish community. – I already hadn’t been commenting much on blogs, but twitter was where I kept up with everyone. Then the second half of 2015 I totally fell of the Twitterverse too! I need to get back to youuuuuuu, tweeps and bloggy friends. <3

3. Get on with losing weight. – I know I can do it. I can do it. I WILL DO IT! :)

4. Rid my house of junk, room by room. – I want to live a simple life, that’s all! I don’t want to have boxes of junk anymore.

5. Figure out a review style that works for me. – Believe it or not, I’ve been blogging for five years and I’ve yet to figure this out. Ugh. I hate it! I did some of it in 2015. Got rid of books and clothes, but now i need to delve further into the dark corners of my closets. lol

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1. Read more from my own shelves. – This is always one of my resolutions! I have so many amazing books just waiting for me at home, books that I preordered, or bought on impulse, or got as gifts. It’s my own personal library heaven that I need to take advantage of!

2. Use the library – I love the library! There are a lot of branches around me and they are great at purchasing books I suggest in addition to having a really good selection. I need to save some money and shelf space and utilize the library more often this year.

3. Read more historical fiction. – Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres but I wasn’t always in the mood to sit down and concentrate on details or long books this year. I want to get lost in the past and catch up on a bunch of fantastic historical fiction (mostly adult) books I’ve been dying to read.

4. Write reviews in a timely manner. – I reviewed less in the latter half of the year because I was reading less, and I didn’t want to write a review just for the sake of writing a review. So I want to pick some interesting titles, actually read them, and actually review them on the blog! I’m hoping to write some this month.

5. Keep my house tidier. – This is a personal goal and mostly due to laziness. I would always rather snuggle on the couch with my dog Andy or watch WWE with Chris than fold laundry in the other room (so Andy won’t steal my socks haha). I’m also commuting to work now and have longer days, so I don’t want to do chores when I get home. And the dishes pile up and so does the junk mail, and and and. I want to focus on one main room/chore a day so it’s not so overwhelming to clean on the weekends.

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1. Start reading the Harry Potter Series. – I have put this off for way too long. I always meant to read the series but I just kept procrastinating and now it’s just embarrassing.

2. Stop buying so many books I know I won’t read! – I’m going to try to only buy books if I’m actually going to read them sometime soon or the deal is so amazing and I can’t miss it. Sometimes I buy books I know I won’t read anytime soon and I really need to stop doing that, it’s bad for my bank account.

3. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or thinking of me and just focus on what makes me happy. – I tend to freak out about what everyone else is thinking about me or feeling like others are judging me and I need to stop and just focus on myself and what I’m doing.

4. Be more organized! – I need to be more organized with everything in my life: work, school, and blogging. I plan to be way more organized and on top of things this year, no more procrastinating and forgetting to write things down. This is definitely the resolution that’s most important to me this year.

5. 
 Get to know more people in the book community. – Like I said before I tend to freak out and get anxious about what others are thinking about me and that has stopped me from interacting with people in the book community as much as I want to. This year I’m going to try not to let that hold me back and reach out and interact with more people. Hopefully I’ll make some more awesome friends in this wonderful community :)

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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