Thursday, December 31, 2020

2021 Challenges and Resolutions

Well, 2020 did NOT turn out how any of us expected. Taking a look back at last year's resolutions and goals, I can see that I literally failed almost all of them. What can you do? Covid and other unfortunate events really derailed any and all plans I had. I did manage to run a 10k just before we found out the true extent of this virus, so yay for that! My goals for 2021 will be less lofty without question. 



Of course I'm not letting a year go by without the audiobook challenge! I've participated in this for years and I love it so much! I didn't quite make my goal for 2020 because podcasts took over my life, but I'm going to scale back to the My Precious (30+) level for 2021. 


Here we go again! Even though I didn't complete every category for the 2020 challenge, the Popsugar challenge remains one of my favorites and I can't wait to try again next year! This is honestly one I don't even mind failing because it's so much fun to try. 


Since I was actually able to meet my goal of 85 books in 2020 despite everything the year threw at me, I'm going to set it to 90 in 2021. I've been reading more adult fantasy, which certainly takes more time to read than my typical YA fantasy does, but I've also recently purchased a few new graphic novels, so hopefully they balance out! 

  • Don't get COVID/get vaccinated - Speaks for itself. 
  • Run at least three virtual 5Ks and one virtual 10K - The races I was signed up for in April have already been canceled, so I think it's safe to say I may not be running any IRL races in 2021. I'll admit 2020 kicked my fitness goals straight into the trash can, so I'm not going to set my sights too high this year. I think four virtual races for the year will keep me sufficiently motivated (I hope). 
  • Read more diversely - This has to do with the blog in a roundabout way, but I definitely would like to read more diverse books for 2021. I made it a personal goal in 2020 as well, and did find some incredible books by BIPOC authors, but I'd love to do even better in the new year!

Those are my very achievable (???) goals for 2021! I don't know about you, but I've never been more ready to say goodbye to a year in my life. Can this year PLEASE give us a break? 

Are you setting any goals for 2021? 
What reading challenges have you signed up for? 
Let me know in the comments! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday #289: Books I hope Santa brings

This post contains affiliate links. Read more about this HERE.

Today's Topic: 
Books I Hopes Santa Brings

Happy Tuesday! This week I'm sharing the books I hope to get from Santa this Christmas! There are so many good ones coming out soon but I'm hoping for a few backlist books too. Fingers crossed I actually get some under the tree!

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner {Amazon |}
Jade City by Fonda Lee {Amazon |}
A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe {Amazon |}
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes {Amazon |}
The Unleashed by Danielle Vega {Amazon |}
Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout {Amazon |}

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

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Weekly Recap: 12/13 - 12/19


Hi, everyone! The last weeks have been BUSY! I had a million orders to make, package, and ship, but I finally got it all done. Now we have to wait and see if the USPS decides to get everything where it's supposed to go. Between everything I had to get done and an apparent book hangover from the Blood and Ash series, I didn't actually get much reading done, although I am in the middle of a few books at the moment. I also kind of fell back into podcasts so I haven't listened to many audiobooks lately. It happens a couple times per year. :/ 


Nothing new this week!




The topic was my winter TBR for Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday book review of In Five Years
On Friday I shared my 2020 end of year survey
I watched some pretty good movies for Saturday Screen Time



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Saturday Screen Time #44: Nothing too bad, actually


Happy Saturday, everyone! If you've seen a few of these posts on my blog you may have noticed my movie moods change a lot. I'm either in a horror mood, a really weird movie mood, or a rip your heart out romance mood. I'll let you decide which one I was in this month. XD  



Before Sunset - I will be honest and say that Before Sunrise bored me almost to tears. I read reviews saying that if you were over 30 and married you would enjoy Before Sunset more, but I was skeptical. Alas, the reviews were correct because I identified so much with the characters in Before Sunset! I think everyone can relate to wondering what if you'd made one different decision or what if you'd given someone a chance when you chose not to. I haven't watched Before Midnight yet, but I'm really hoping it doesn't rip my heart out (but it probably will and that's fine). (4/5 stars)

Freaky - My husband and I went to see this at the drive in (so much fun!) and really had no idea what it was about. We were both so excited when we realized it was a retelling of Freaky Friday but with a teenager and a serial killer! It was about as fun as you'd expect. There was a surprising amount of gore, but it definitely falls into the horror/comedy genre and I loved it! There's a good chance I'll buy this when it comes out. (4.5/5 stars)

Free Fall - Speaking of movies that rip your heart out, this one will definitely do it. Free Fall is a German film about two men who meet in police academy. One has a girlfriend with a child on the way and the other is openly gay. Unexpected romance sparks and they have to deal with the fallout and it's heartbreaking and I loved it. Apparently there has been a sequel in the works for years, but many people have lost hope even though it was crowdfunded. (4/5 stars)


Portrait of a Lady On Fire - I know this is a movie that most people love, but it just didn't work for me. I was hoping for a movie that would be heartbreaking (as was my mood this month), but I ended up just being bored out of my mind. This film follows two girls who meet and fall in love over the course of a few days before having to part ways, but it is two hours long and nothing happens. I enjoy slow burn movies a lot, but this one was painfully slow and I wish the romance had been built up to be more believable. It was really pretty though. (2/5 stars)

Madame Bovary - I didn't hate Madame Bovary by any means, but I really wish there'd been more. More explanation about her motivations, more believability in her various relationships, and more Ezra Miller. I still enjoyed parts of it and I loved that I could feel Madame Bovary's desperation even if I didn't exactly understand where it came from. Reviews make me think I should give the book a try. (3/5 stars)


Supernatural Season 15 - This season took me basically forever to get through. While I was ultimately satisfied with the ending, the season was all over the place. There was a lot of fan service and, while I loved most of it, some was unnecessary. I hate how Covid changed the last few episodes, but I'm so glad that we got them and didn't have to wait. I'll definitely miss this show a lot after watching for 11 years! (4/5 stars)

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia - I started watching this after seeing it on a million lists and being met with shock every time I said I hadn't seen it. It's definitely a fun show to turn on when there's nothing else to watch, but I have to say it isn't one of my favorites. At 5 seasons in, I'd place Parks & Recreation and Schitt's Creek above it. That being said, I'm enjoying the show and will definitely continue watching. (3/5 stars)

Little Fires Everywhere - I finally started this and I can't believe I waited so long! The characters are basically all horrible, but I think not having a clear good or bad guy was what made it so compelling. I did wish there was more wrap up at the end of the series, but I was satisfied with how it ended for the most part. (4/5 stars)



Do your movie moods change?
Any great heartbreaking movie recs?
Let me know in the comments!

Friday, December 18, 2020

2020 End Of Year Survey


Number Of Books You Read: 81 (so far)
Number of Re-Reads: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

1. Best Book You Read In 2020?
It's a tie between The Empire of Gold and The Rage of Dragons. 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. It was fine, but I was really disappointed by it after being obsessed with her debut. 

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Midnight Sun! I fully expected that it would be awful and only bought it out of nostalgia, but ended up loving it. I was so impressed by how much Stephenie Meyer's writing has changed and how mature Edward's voice was. 

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter! I even convinced my husband to get the audiobook and he NEVER reads! 

5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel of 2020? Best Series Ender of 2020?
Series started: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 
Sequel: Crush by Tracy Wolff
Series ender: The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?
Joanna Ruth Meyer is my latest obsession.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter

9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Echo North. What a perfect book. 

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Rosanne A. Brown

11. Most memorable character of 2020?
Tau from The Rage of Dragons! Have I mentioned The Rage of Dragons? 

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?
Everything by Joanna Ruth Meyer. Her prose is incredible. 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?
2020 was too heavy for thought-provoking books.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2020 to finally read?
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I can't believe I missed out on this series!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?
Honestly, I never remember quotes. 

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?
Shortest: The Events at Poroth Farm by T.E.D. Klein, 40 pages
Longest: The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty, 766 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Prince of Thorns. I was NOT expecting how dark it was. 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
YOU CAN'T MAKE ME CHOOSE! My top two are Poppy & Hawke and Emilia & Wrath.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Poppy and Kieran

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I read it totally because of how often it was posted on Instagram and peer pressure from a couple friends. I almost didn't pick it up because I don't care for the Lux series, but I'm so glad I did!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?
I'm so excited to have more than one this year because last year was sad! Wrath from Kingdom of the Wicked, Casteel from A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, Jaxon (and Hudson) from Crush, and Roth from White Hot Kiss.

23. Best 2020 debut you read?
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

24. Best World Building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Again, anything by Joanna Ruth Meyer. Every time I read one of her books I feel sucked right into the setting.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
It has to be Midnight Sun! There's just something about going back to that late 2000s nostalgia through a new lens that was exactly what I needed. 

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?
None of them?? I don't get emotional over books. Please don't judge me. 

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer. READ HER BOOKS.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The. Rage. Of. Dragons. Killed me.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Definitely a unique and mind boggling read!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Bright Raven Skies by Kristina Perez. I wanted SO MUCH MORE from it! I still gave it 3.5 stars, but I was so mad at how much of the book was wasted on things that didn't matter.

1. Favorite review that you wrote in 2020?
Empire of Gold! There's nothing particularly special about it. I'm just so glad I was able to write a 5 star review for the last book in one of my favorite series! 

2. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
This one about reading with aphantasia and not being able to visualize what I read!

3. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Lol what are events? Seriously though, I did enjoy the virtual Leigh Bardugo event I participated in in August.

4. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?
Having amazing blogging friends to help me get through this mess.

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

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My DNF review of Crescent City had the most views, because of course.

7. Best bookish discovery?

8.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
There's still a little time left, but no, I failed miserable this year. I even failed at the challenge I'm hosting! 

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?
The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?
A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

5. A 2021 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
Into the Heartless Woods by (gasp!) Joanna Ruth Meyer

The annual end of year survey was created by The Perpetual Page-Turner!
Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 255
Add to Goodreads
Amazon |

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

In Five Years is another case of “bookstagram made me buy it”. After seeing this book flood instagram this past year, I just knew it had to be one of my last books of 2020. I don’t read book reviews and I also try not to read book summaries. I don’t like to have preconceptions about the book I’m about to dive into, so I went into this book blind.

Dannie is a woman who lives her life by the numbers. You date someone for 24 months before moving in with them. You get engaged at 28. You get married by 30. She is a meticulous, Type-A person who knows what she wants in her life. After acing the job interview at the law firm of her dreams and accepting the marriage proposal from her boyfriend, she goes to sleep knowing she is right on track.

When Dannie wakes up from her sleep, she is somehow exactly five years in the future. She’s in a beautiful apartment with a man she’s never seen before and she gets the briefest glimpse of what her life will be in the future. When she wakes up again, she’s back in her apartment with her fiance and she spends the next few years trying to ignore the hour she spent in 2025, until she meets the man from her vision four-and-a-half years later and he’s dating her best friend, Bella.

It takes a lot for a book to surprise me. I’ve read so many books and watched so much television that I can usually predict how something will turn out at the end, but I still enjoy the journey of getting there. That’s what I thought I had with this book; I thought I had it figured out by the middle of the book, but I’m happy to admit I was wrong.

This isn’t the romance novel I thought it would be. I was expecting love triangles and betrayal and heartbreak but we didn’t really get that, not completely. To me, it’s overall a book about love and self discovery. It’s about the love between two childhood and lifelong best friends. It’s about Dannie’s journey of self discovery. It’s about the little choices we make every single day that make up our life’s story. It’s about the impact that we and our love have on those around us. For me, my favorite part of this book was Dannie and Bella’s friendship. I’m 26-years-old and I still have childhood friends in my life so their friendship and the love they have for each other really hit home for me.

I know that a lot of people don’t believe in soul mates, but I do. And I don’t think they’re necessarily always romantic. To me, Dannie and Bella are soul mates. They have a bond that goes deeper than simply love, friendship, or even sisterhood. They have a soul tie that can never be broken.

It is a heartbreakingly, moving, beautiful tearjerker. It is also a quick read that can be finished in a day. Overall, this was a 3.5 star read for me. The first half of the book was better for me than the second half. I found myself getting lost and confused in some parts and having to re-read them. I also found myself reaching a part of the book where I just wanted to hurry up and get it over with which is extremely rare for me.

Would I read this book again? Absolutely not. Would I recommend this book? I would! We all interpret books differently and after reading a few reviews, it is clear that this was one of those hit-or-miss books for people and for me, I would consider it a hit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday 287: Winter TBR

This post contains affiliate links. Read more about this HERE.

Today's Topic: 
Books On My Winter 
2020-2021 TBR

Happy Tuesday! This week's topic is my favorite: my seasonal TBR! If you've known me awhile, you probably know I won't stick to this and I probably won't end up reading half of them. Regardless, these are the ten I'm most excited for! 

The Project by Courtney Summers {Amazon |}
Covet by Tracy Wolff {Amazon |}
Lore by Alexandra Bracken {Amazon |}
The Bright & the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski {Amazon |}

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

Friday, December 11, 2020

Book Review: Crave by Tracy Wolff

Title: Crave (Crave #1)
Author: Tracy Wolff
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 592
Add to Goodreads
Amazon |

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

I will fully admit that Crave was not a book high on my to-read list. In fact, I had no plans to read this book that has been pitched to me as more Twilight for Twihards who miss Edward and Bella. But then the paranormal binge happened and a friend sent me a copy and now I'm hooked. Oops.

While I wouldn't call Crave another Twilight, it definitely hits the same. This story is about Grace who finds herself attending a remote boarding school in Denali, Alaska, after the death of her parents. The school is full of supernatural creatures, but she doesn't know that at first. She ends up falling for Jaxon, a vampire and the school's resident bad boy. He's a tortured hero with a dark past who goes through the "I'm not good for you" motions, but who I still ended up liking a lot. 

Not much happens in this first installment. Crave is primarily about the school and its day to day (albeit dangerous) activities. Throughout the story Grace learns about vampires, witches, dragons, and werewolves, and takes it like a champ. Honestly, one of the most unrealistic parts of the book is that she doesn't bat an eye when she finds out that one of her friends is a literal dragon. Thankfully, there is a tiny bit of action towards the end, but this is truly more romance novel than anything else. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, because I definitely did! 

As I'm sure you've assumed, Crave definitely has its issues. Since not much happens, some parts of this book do drag. (Thankfully book two, which I've already read, is much more action packed.) The world building is a bit suspect and the depiction of Alaska drove my Alaskan husband nuts! My main problem with Crave is the annoying slang that will age this book in a really disappointing way. Grace uses language like AF and FML constantly. 

Despite its issues, Crave was a fun read and I immediately wanted to pick up Crush upon finishing it. Grace is a better heroine than Bella Swan and this book is thankfully devoid of abstinence only and pro-life propaganda. I'm desperately hoping that the success of Crave, along with From Blood and Ash, mean that publishers will finally get back to blessing us with more vampire romance! 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Book Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Title: The Light We Lost
Author: Jill Santopolo 
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 328
Add to Goodreads
Amazon |

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

The Light We Lost is the second book I’ve read this year that incorporated the events of 9/11 into the plot; and coincidentally, they’re both romance novels. I probably won’t write a review on it, but The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves was a five star read for me this year that I highly recommend!

The Light We Lost is a book about fate, love, and life. I purchased this ebook on sale thanks to BookBub and as soon as I started it, I was hooked. Lucy and Gabe met on 9/11 at Columbia University. On the roof of Columbia University, watching the smoke rise and the destruction that happened on that tragic day, they both made a promise to make their lives mean something; to make sure that what they do helps other people.

“There are moments that shift the trajectory of people’s lives.” We are taken on a journey of Lucy and Gabe’s fated lives through the first person POV. It reads as one big love note from Lucy to Gabe. I will be honest: this isn’t your typical romantic story and there are moments and themes in this book that will make you want to rip your hair out and throw the book across the room, but that’s what I loved about it. It’s easy to go pick up your typical romance novel that has predictable twists and turns and a predictable ending. Those are the easy stories to read because they’re what people want out of life. This is one of the hard ones because it’s full of jealousy, hatred, betrayal, and constant bad decisions, but that’s real life. It’s messy and it’s complicated and we make mistakes that can never be fixed and we find a way to move on.

They say you never forget your first love and that is evidenced in Santopolo’s alluring and affecting book. This was an absolute five star read for me. If I had a machine that allowed me to unread a book just to experience it for the first time all over again, this is one of the books I would choose to unread. Lucy and Gabe, along with the other people in their lives, are anguish personified and I highly recommend this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll internally scream, but if you’re like me, you’ll also smile.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

2020 Retellings Reading Challenge: Final Update & Giveaway

Hi bookworms! The Retellings Reading Challenge is drawing to a close already! I hope you've all met your goals and have read lots of amazing new retellings throughout the year. I wanted to start the final update by letting everyone know that I will not be continuing the Retellings Challenge next year. As much as I enjoy it, I can't commit to it for 2021. That being said, I've loved having the challenge group this year - the group reads have been wonderful! Now let's look at what we've done this year:



This year my reading progress was slow-going and a bit embarrassing, but here's what I completed! I loved almost all of them and am so glad to have stumbled on to Joanna Ruth Meyers because her books are absolutely incredible! ACOTAR and ACOMAF were re-reads that will probably be repeated again next year. 


I definitely did NOT get BINGO this year and honestly I failed pretty miserably. Oh well, it happens. I'm glad I was able to participate at all!



This year the group voted to read some pretty great books! I'd already read a few of these and especially loved Heartless and The Guinevere Deception! A few I did not get to participate in. 


Now it's your turn! Link up to your reviews for the challenge to get an extra entry in the year-end giveaway! As a reminder, you can also get extra entries for getting bingo or filling your bingo card completely. Do NOT share your quarterly updates in this link-up! This is for reviews only. Instead, share links to your updates in the comments!