Sunday, December 16, 2018

Weekly Recap: 12/9 - 12/15


Hi everyone! You may have noticed that I've been missing from the blog this week, or at least not as active as normal. That's because I've been on a cruise in the middle of the Caribbean! I'm actually writing this before I leave, so hopefully it's accurate. This week in The Chronicles of Puppy Who Tries To Die Regularly, he has stayed with our dog sitter, who always takes the best care of him. We left her with a detailed plan, outlined by our vet, which we hope has gotten him through the week okay. In bookish news, I took Slayer with me on the ship! Hurray! This week I also announced that I'm hosting the Fairy Tale Retellings Challenge for 2019 and I'm SO excited for it! Please sign up if you're a retellings lover like I am or you want to challenge yourself to get to more of them!


Nothing new this week!


I'll be doing two weeks' worth of updates next Sunday!


On Monday I shared sign ups for the 2019 Fairy Tale Retellings Reading Challenge
The topic was books I didn't love by favorite authors for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday book review of The Compound
On Friday I filled out my 2018 Year End Survey



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, December 14, 2018

2018 End Of Year Survey


Number Of Books You Read: 81 (so far)
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Fantasy

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?
Legendary by Stephanie Garber

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I did NOT expect to love a Holly Black book and yet here we are.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I tried really hard to make everyone I know read Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, but I'm not sure I convinced anyone. XD

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?
Series started: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Sequel: Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Series ender: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?
Tricia Levenseller, author of Warrior Of the Wild

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

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Legendary by Stephanie Garber

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Legendary again, whoops!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

11. Most memorable character of 2018?
Lada Dracul

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?
Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke. It wasn't as flowery as her normal writing, but I loved the tone.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2018 to finally read?
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?
"What happened to your dog, Mister? He’s quite ugly." From The Glass Butterfly by A.G. Howard

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?
Shortest: Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, 34 pages
Longest: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, 615 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
I think Legendary had the biggest twist

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Monty and Percy, The Gentleman's Guide and the Lady's Guide by Mackenzi Lee

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Snow & Rose from Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Legendary by Stephanie Garber

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?
Mephistopheles, Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

23. Best 2018 debut you read?
Everless by Sara Holland

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Legendary by Stephanie Garber (I'M SORRY)

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?
Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina PĂ©rez

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?
Nyxia by Reintgen

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

1. Favorite review that you wrote in 2018?
My DNF review of King's Cage. I love the ones where I get to rant about things I hate :)

2. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
This one discussing how YA trends have changed over the years, complete with charts!

3. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
ALA in New Orleans (although I had to leave a day early).

4. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?
Making it to 4 years and getting my mojo back.

5. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
The still-going slump at the beginning of the year, as well as finding time to blog hop while constantly trying to keep my dog from ending up in the ER.

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
I have no idea why, but this ARC review of To Kill a Kingdom.

7. Best bookish discovery?
Book Box Sherlocks on Facebook!

8.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes, finally! I have a post to come about my challenges!

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?
The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?
Stain by A.G. Howard

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?
Finale by Stephanie Garber

5. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Warrior Of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

The annual end of year survey was created by The Perpetual Page-Turner! I'll be linking up here!
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Review: The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Title: The Compound (The Compound #1)
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 256
Add to Goodreads

Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they've become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.

As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can't help but wonder if he'd rather take his chances outside.

Eli's father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—or sorry?

Before The Compound, I had read two S.A. Bodeen books: The Raft and The Detour. One I absolutely loved and the other I really, really did not. The Compound, though, is right up my alley. Not only do I know I'll get a good twist out of Bodeen, but I've been on a dystopian kick lately and this definitely fit the bill.

Eli is an unlikable character. He goes into the compound, an underground luxury bunker designed by his millionaire father, as a young child feeling responsible for the loss of his twin and grandmother. He hates being touched and makes no effort to be kind to his sisters or parents. I didn't like him at all from the beginning, but then he slowly began to grow on me. Eli lived with a lot of (deserved) guilt, but he started to do the right thing by the end.

Eli's family were all a bit underdeveloped in my opinion and everyone seemed a bit too detached. Eli's father was obviously a bit off throughout the story and it was obvious that he was controlling the show, forcing the members of his family to behave in a certain way. As much as I hated Eli, I at least understood why he behaved the way he did. Eli's dad was a mystery.

My favorite thing about Bodeen books is that I know that I'm looking out for something that isn't immediately apparent. Fairly early on, a yellow door was mentioned. I didn't know what was behind the yellow door, but as soon as it was mentioned I was hooked! The mystery in this story is top notch. I'm not sure I loved it as much as I loved the twist in The Raft, but there was definitely enough here to keep me hanging on until the very last page.

The world of The Compound is obviously confined to a bunker. I love these kinds of claustrophobic stories where you have no idea what is going on outside! Once Eli begins questioning everything, the story gets even more uncomfortable. Like in The Raft, Bodeen does a fantastic job of creating a world confined to a small space and full of uncertainty.

If you're a fan of dystopian books, or really just of really good mysteries, this is one you should definitely pick up. I was on the edge of my seat from the first page and blew through this quickly. Although there is a second installment, I've read that it was really unnecessary and I can see how that's true from the ending of The Compound. It wraps up nicely and leaves you with just enough unease to make it great. I'm going to be on the lookout for the next book from S.A. Bodeen!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday #217: Books I didn't love from favorite authors

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books I Didn't Love
From Authors I Love

This week I wanted to talk about something that always bums me out - when I don't love books by authors I have LOVED in the past. Some of these are continuations of series that I loved previously, and others are new standalones or series by authors whose other books I adored. Either way, ti's always sad!

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
The Detour by S.A. Bodeen

The Heir by Kiera Cass
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones
Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Monday, December 10, 2018

2019 Retellings Reading Challenge

Hi everyone! I'm back to challenge hosting for 2019 after a year off. This year I'm so excited to be hosting a challenge based on my absolute favorite genre, retellings. Although my favorite retellings are based on fairy tales, there are amazing retellings from all kinds of classic stories and this challenge celebrates all of them! This challenge will include monthly group reads and retelling bingo!

  • This challenge will run from January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019.
  • Books must be read and reviewed in 2019. (You don't have to review books to count towards your goal, but you do have to review them if you want them to count as giveaway entries.)
  • Audiobooks, e-books, re-reads, short stories, novellas, and graphic novels all count, and you can read adult, YA, and middle grade books for this challenge.
  • It's also totally fine to use books from this challenge to fulfill other reading challenges and vice versa. 
  • ALL retellings count! 
  • You don't have to be a book blogger to participate! You can link up and track your progress on Goodreads, Instagram, Youtube, or wherever you share books!
  • Sign up below with your post, shelf, etc. and leave a comment letting me know what your personal goal is. 
  • Link up your reviews each quarter on the post provided! (Bookmark this page to make sure you don't miss a link-up!) 

  • Silent Assassin: 1-5 Retellings
  • Warrior Princess: 6-10 Retellings
  • Elemental Witch: 11-15 Retellings
  • High Fae: 16-20 Retellings
  • Fairest of them All: 21-25+ Retellings

  • Each block describes a book or type of retelling. For example, "Bronte or Austen" means that you can read a retelling of a book by one of the Bronte sisters or Jane Austen to complete that category. "Debut author" means that you can read any author's debut book. 
  • Getting BINGO (making a line vertically, horizontally, or diagonally on the card) will get you an additional 5 entries in the end of year giveaway!
  • If you get a Bingo blackout (filling the entire card), you get an additional 10 entries in the giveaway! 
  • Right click to save the card to your computer!

  • The Goodreads group can be located HERE!
  • We will have monthly group reads (as long as they go well) and suggestion threads to help complete bingo categories. 

  • Link-ups will be posted here each quarter for you to share your reviews!
  • Each linked review will count as an extra extra entry in the end of year giveaway.
  • Giveaway will be included in the fourth quarter update. 


  • Enter your information in the link-up below (Your name @ Your blog name).
  • Make a post with your goals and be sure to link back to this post!
  • If you're a blogger, add the challenge button to your sidebar. 
  • Tweet about the reading challenge using #2019RetellingChallenge.



Sunday, December 9, 2018

Weekly Recap: 12/2 - 12/8


Hi everyone! I have good news and bad news. The good news is my puppy is still alive. The bad news is I guess he just gets random, unexplained fevers now. He made it over a week without having another fever, then on Friday one spiked out of nowhere! We covered him in wet towels and put him in front of a fan, then ended up having to give him a fever reducer, and we were able to get it down at home. Please send good thoughts and pixie dust for him!

Outside of dog news, I have an exciting announcement coming up next week that may or may not be reading challenge related! I also have lots of updates coming over the next few weeks from my year end survey to next year's goals. It's hard to believe that 2018 is almost at an end! I may also be a little scarce around the blog over the next week, but I'll still be posting and I promise I'll be commenting back and blog hopping as soon as I'm able!


Nothing new this week!




The topic was my winter & holiday TBR for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday book review of Sanity and Tallulah
On Thursday I went back down the TBR hole
Friday audiobook review of Snow & Rose


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!