Weekly Recap {9}

Hi all! It’s Monday, which means that I’m long overdue with my Weekly Recap post, but hopefully I’ll be getting back to my normal blogging schedule soon! These last few weeks have been insanely busy for me, so hopefully things will subside a little bit in order for me to be more active on the blogosphere.

SOME STUFF THAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING IN MY LIFE LATELY:

  • I had a swim meet on Friday and Saturday! I did the 1000 freestyle on Friday for the first time, and it was horrible. Normally I don’t mind long distance races that much, but it was super painful for me at this swim meet for some reason. It finished at around 8pm, so I ended up getting home at 11pm! The next day went a little better, despite the fact that I was exhausted and had to leave my house at 5am in order to get to warmup on time. I did the 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back, and 200 back, and I did pretty good in all of them.
  • On Saturday night after the swim meet, I drove down to Long Beach to watch my little sister’s sailing regatta! She raced on Saturday and Sunday and ended up getting 2nd overall. During her races, I had a fun time reading, swimming in the frigid harbor, and watching her sail.
  • On the way home from Long Beach, I got to stop at Barnes and Noble! I ended up getting 2 books that have been on my TBR forever, and I’m super excited to read them!
  • Thanksgiving is coming up! Aren’t you guys excited?! I have the whole week of school off, and I’m looking forward to having a Thanksgiving dinner with my family!
  • I watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2! AND IT WAS AMAZING. And super (perhaps overly) intense. Review to come!

UNFORTUNATELY, I DIDN’T HAVE THE GREATEST BOOK WEEK. I READ (OR TRIED TO READ) 2 BOOKS:

  • That Summer by Sarah Dessen- I got about halfway through this book, and I still wasn’t really enjoying it. This was really disappointing for me because I loved another one of her books called Just Listen. I liked her writing style, but I wasn’t really connecting to the characters and getting in to the story as much as I wanted to. I’ve heard from a lot of people that this is their least favorite of her books, so I think I will continue reading the rest of her books.
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman- I’ve heard from a ton of people that they absolutely loved this book, but unfortunately, I’m not really feeling it. I really can see why so many people would love it; the plot and characters are super unique and fun, and the writing style is gorgeous. However, so far it hasn’t really been my taste. I’ve been having to go back and reread sentences because of the super wordy and flowery writing style, and reading this book is taking me a lot longer than it should be. However, I’ve also heard from a few people that they disliked the first half of the book but really enjoyed the second half, so I’ll definitely still be finishing it.

CURRENTLY READING:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

READING NEXT:

I have lots of options, but it will probably end up being Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

BOOK HAUL!

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I stopped at B&N on the way back from Long Beach! I managed to limit myself to only buying 2 books, so here they are:

2a721537-e787-4af5-a2af-7f77e19e48dd.jpg

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes- I’ve been wanting to read this book for soooo long, and I finally managed to find a paperback copy! Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein- I decided to go a bit out of my comfort zone and bought a historical fiction novel! Yay for me! I’ve heard so many good things about this book, so I’m super excited!

MY POSTS THIS WEEK:

AROUND THE WEB:

Happy Monday, and I hope you all had a fabulous week! What were your your highlights this past week? Have you read any great books lately that I should know about? What did you think about Mockingjay Part 2? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

Weekly Recap {8}

Hi guys! Sorry for the late post, but I just never got around to doing it yesterday. I hope you all are having a great week! 🙂

Wow….this has been an insanely busy week for me! So much has been going on for me with school and swim practice, so I haven’t been as active on the blogosphere lately. I’m hoping to get back to my regular schedule this week.

It has also been a seriously fantastic bookish week for me! Like, one of the best bookish weeks ever, I kid you not. I finished 3 books:

  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness- Ness’s writing never fails to wow me, and the characters are so realistic and flawed. However, I did feel like the plot was a little lacking. 4 stars.
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz- Oh my goodness gracious, this book was good. The writing was simplistic yet gorgeous, and it reminded me a bit of Stephen Chbosky’s prose. I immediately fell in love with the characters, and the character development was incredible. I couldn’t decide between 4.5 and 5 stars, so I suppose I’d give it 4.75 stars. Review to come.
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater- GUYS, I THINK I FOUND MY NEW FAVORITE BOOK. Even writing the title, “Shiver” makes a huge smile spread across my face and makes me feel like I want to cry again simultaneously. I can’t even express how much I loved this novel. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to read a gorgeously written book with plenty of romance, a unique plot, and amazing, complex characters. Seriously, read this book right now. It will make you laugh, cry, swoon, and stay up way too late — but it’s totally worth it. I’m now officially in a massive book hangover. I’ll plan on writing a review on this if I can ever manage to get my thoughts together. I’d give this book all the stars in the world.

Currently Reading:

Rereading, more like. None other than Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which I finished 48 hours ago and still have not emotionally recovered from. So, yay! Rereads!

Reading Next:

This brings up an important issue. If I ever do end up recovering from my latest read, I suppose I do have to start another book. I was thinking about this earlier today and had a full-on panic attack because I didn’t know what book to read next. Not that I don’t have ideas. I mean, I have a TBR list that is probably about 1,000 books long, though I’ve never bothered to count. In the past few weeks, I’ve bought probably about 10 or 15 books — once again, I’m too lazy to count. I did take pictures, though, so here are my latest book hauls!

image1

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • That Summer by Sarah Dessen
  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessan
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
  • Find a Way by Diana Nyad

The majority of these books I purchased from used bookstores, so I’m pretty proud of myself for that. I got Find a Way by Diana Nyad at a book signing/inspirational speech thingy I went to yesterday, and I got it signed by her! I’ll be doing an event recap on this in the next few days. I also received The Watchmaker of Filigree Street as my first book received from Book of the Month, which I won a three-month membership to via Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon.

I probable won’t be reading Emma, Pride & Prejudice, or The Watchmaker of Filigree Street in the near future because I’m not really in the classics or adult novel mood, but I’m always open to suggestions! If you really enjoyed reading any of these, let me know in the comments and I’ll definitely consider it. I’m leaning towards reading either one of the Sarah Dessen books or My Sister’s Keeper, because I’ve heard a lot of good things about all of them, and I’m kind of in the mood for a contemporary. (But, let’s just be honest: when am I not in the mood for a contemporary?)

If you have any ideas on what I should read next, please let me know in the comments!

My Posts This Week:

Around the Blogosphere:

I hope you all had a fabulous week! What book do you think I should read next? What have you been reading lately? Any suggestions? Regarding Shiver: Is the rest of the series just as good? What is your favorite book by Maggie Stiefvater? OH, and are any of you guys as pumped up (and possibly terrified) for the release of Mockingjay Part 2? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

Weekly Recap {7}

Greetings bookworms! I apologize for not posting in the last couple days, but I’ve been super busy with swim and school and everything. I hope you are all having a fabulous week!

Yesterday was my first travel swim meet! Yay! Well, I’ve technically been to a bunch of meets away from home, but this was my first time actually traveling there with my teammates. I had four events: the 100 fly, which I did okay in; the 100 back, which I got about the same time as my PB; the 500 free, which I was SUPER nervous for but ended up dropping 16 seconds (!!!); and the 400 Medley Relay, which we didn’t do that great in but had a fun time nevertheless. On the way home we stopped at the mall to walk around and get ice cream (!!!), and I had such a fun time hanging out with my teammates!

I also started using my Goodreads account again! I’ve had one for a long time, but I haven’t used it in a while…..anyway, I’d love to be friends on Goodreads with you! Here’s the link to my profile.

Not much else happened this week, but I did manage to finish one book…. 😉

2118745

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- I started this during Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon last weekend and ended up finishing it on Tuesday. And guys? I’m telling you, you need to read this book right now. No matter how strange or different it seems, keep reading. Because what I wasn’t really sure I liked in the beginning (the weird format and spelling, his unique writing style) really came through in the end. Patrick Ness is one of the most remarkable, creative authors I’ve ever read, and he should have a place on everybody’s bookshelves. His writing is amazing, his characters are complex, and his books really make you think, which I absolutely love in a book. Seriously, what’s not to love?!

Currently Reading:

26567165

Outspoken by Lora Richardson- I recently received this book in exchange for an honest review, and I am SO PUMPED UP. It’s my first-ever review request! 🙂 The plot is really interesting and fast-paced, but I’m still not so sure about the writing style and characters. Review to come.

Reading Next:

No idea whatsoever! I still have a ton of choices from my recent-ish library and bookstore hauls.

My Posts This Week:

Around the Blogosphere:

So….what have y’all been up to this week? Did you read any good books lately that I should know about? OH, and I have a question for you: what do you think is the most useful source for finding author events/signings near you? I’ve been struggling a lot lately with finding events that work out with my schedule, so I’m curious to know what website or tool you use to locate book events. Please let me know in the comments; I’m dying to know! 🙂

Weekly Recap {6} and Dewey’s Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up

Hi guys! I hope your weekend is treating you well! 😉

I normally post my Weekly Recaps on Saturdays instead of Sundays, but I was busy with the 24-hour read-a-thon yesterday, so I didn’t get a chance to. I had a wonderful time participating in Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon yesterday, and I hit my goal of reading for eight hours straight! I know this is nothing compared to most people, but it felt like a huge accomplishment to me, probably because I’d never done a read-a-thon before and was practically falling asleep after my swim meet. I read about 1 1/2 books during those eight hours: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour and the first half of The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and I loved both of them.

OH, and the most important news from this event (to me, at least XD): I WON A PRIZE! Every hour, the team at Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon selected a few readers from random to earn a prize! My prize was a free Book of the Month membership for three months, and I’m so excited to get my first book!

Yesterday I also had a swim meet, which went pretty well. I dropped in two of my events, so I was pretty pleased with myself. 😉 Oh, and I also got to participate in two relays! They were both really fun, and the feeling of being part of a team like that was so amazing. ❤

But WAIT, I’ve got more big news! This morning, I went to get glasses! At first, I was really stressed out because I couldn’t find any pairs that looked good on me, but after about an hour, I finally found a pair that suited me pretty well, if I do say so myself. 🙂 They’ll definitely take some getting used to because my prescription is really high, but even my first day wearing them has been absolutely life-changing.

Anyway, on to the books!

18667779

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.
 
A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
 
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

-Goodreads.com description

I read this book yesterday, and is seriously amazing. I LOVED Emi, Charlotte, and Ava, and they were all so adorable and unique. I also loved learning about the world of set designing and film, and it was so interesting and enlightening! Solid 4 stars.

Currently Reading:

6043848

Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

-Goodreads.com description

Reading Next:

It depends on what I think of The Knife of Never Letting Go. If I enjoy it, I will read the next book in the trilogy. Other possibilities include Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and The Martian.

My Posts This Week:

Around the Blogosphere:

Dewey’s Read-a-Thon Wrap-up!

Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 17. It was the last hour for me and it was 10pm and I was EXHAUSTED.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Anything short, sweet, or fact-paced. Some examples might include A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, I don’t think so. It was really fun, and everyone was really supportive. AND I GOT A PRIZE. So yeah, no suggestions.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The cheerleaders were awesome! And I really looked forward to the hourly posts with challenges and prizes. Overall, very encouraging atmosphere!
How many books did you read? Like, 1 1/2? Still, it was only in 8 hours instead of the full 24, so I was still pretty proud of myself.
What were the names of the books you read? Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
Which book did you enjoy most? I loved ELTY soooo much, and TKoNLG is good so far, but kind of slow for my taste. I’m sure I’ll get into it soon though, because I loved his other books.
Which did you enjoy least? I loved both of them, so instead of torturing myself, I’m just not going to answer that question. 😉
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t a cheerleader this year, but I definitely want to next year! You guys were all wonderful. ❤
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? YES, YES, YES. I had so much fun! This has been such an amazing experience as my first read-a-thon. Next year, I’d like to be a reader and a cheerleader.

So…..let’s talk. I hope you are all having a fantastic week! Did you read any great books recently that I should know about? Did you participate in Dewey’s Read-a-Thon yesterday? How did it go for you? I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Weekly Recap {5}

Hi guys! I hope you all had an amazing week! 😀

My life has been pretty uneventful this week, but I did have two tests (ugh), a super-hard swim practice this morning (I’m seriously about ready to fall asleep right now), and a ton of homework. Um, yay?

Oh, and Wednesday was also supposed to be the first day of fall. WHICH I REFUSE TO BELIEVE. Seriously, how could it be fall in Santa Barbara when it’s in the 80s or 90s every day? I can’t remember the last time it was this hot for this long in Santa Barbara.

I also drew (wrote?) a paper that has a bunch of my favorite quotes. How many of these quotes do you recognize? Click on it if you want to enlarge it.

image1

Anyway, I only read one book this week, Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. My reading level has gone down a lot lately, and I fear I’m getting into a reading slump! 😦

23164983

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

-Goodreads.com description

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but not nearly as much as the first one. It was still creepy and suspenseful, and it had me hooked the whole time, but it was lacking the mystery that the first book had. A solid 4 stars from me.

Currently Reading:

17675462

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

-Goodreads.com description

I also started reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater. It sounds exactly like the kind of book that I would like, but even though I absolutely had to buy it about 2 years ago, I still haven’t read it yet. I’m only a few chapters in, and so far, it’s really good but really confusing. This is how I first felt about Throne of Glass too….hopefully I’ll begin to understand it more soon?

Reading Next:

I honestly have no idea. I might get The Dream Thieves from the library if I really like The Raven Boys, which I probably will, but other than that, I’m not sure. There are a few other books that have been sitting on my shelf for a while and I haven’t read them yet, so those are some more possibilities….

My posts this week:

Around the blogosphere:

I hope you had a great week! Did you read any great books recently that I should know about? What were your thoughts on The Raven Boys and Hollow City if you’ve read them? Oh, and tell me: what are most interesting types of posts you like to read? (Top Ten Tuesday, tags, reviews, book hauls, etc.) What would you like to see more of on this blog? Please let me know below because I’m really curious to know how I can try to improve my posts. Thanks so much! 😀

Weekly Recap {4}

Wow….this has been a crazy week of blogging! Two big events have happened this week regarding my blog.

On Sunday, I changed the design of my blog! So far I’m loving the new theme, and I hope you are too! Pretty much everything looks different now: the color scheme, the font, the header….anyway, I hope it’s for the best!

On Wednesday was my 1-month anniversary. I know, this is a tiny amount of time, but I feel like I’ve been blogging for so much longer! So far, I absolutely love it. Blogging has taught me lots of things, like staying on task and organized, and how to create the right balance between blogging, reading, and….life. It does get overwhelming sometimes, with homework, swim, blogging, and school, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Anyway, I’ve only read one book this week: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. I loved it so much! It was definitely my favorite book by Morgan Matson that I’ve read yet.

11071466

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

-Goodreads.com description

Currently Reading:

Nothing! I just finished Second Chance Summer, and I’ll be starting Hollow City soon.

Reading Next:23164983

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs- I know, I know, I STILL haven’t read this one. I’m really excited to though! Is it as good as the first one?

My posts this week:

Around the blogosphere:

I hope you all had a great week! What do you think of my new blog design? Any words of wisdom for a newbie blogger like me? Did you read any great books this week that I should know about?

Happy reading! 😀

Weekly Recap {3}

Hi guys! I hope you all had a great week!

Ugh, it’s so hard to concentrate right now. Probably because it has been 85 degrees the whole week and I’M SWEATING LIKE CRAZY. I know this might not be hot for a lot of people, but for Santa Barbara, we rarely get this weather. Seriously, how do you guys cope?

Anyway, I have news. In no less than four days, my blog will be no less than 1 month old! I know this doesn’t feel like much, but I already feel like I’ve been blogging for so much longer. So, yay me! Do I get free books now? Pretty please?

OH, AND GUESS WHAT?!! I’m going to a book signing event with Patrick Ness next month! I’m sooo excited, because a) I haven’t been to a book signing in foooooorevever, and b) Patrick Ness is just pure awesomeness. I just finished one of his books, More Than This, and it was AMAZING. Review to come.

So, his new book that just came out is called The Rest Of Us Just Live Here. I’m really excited to read it, and it sounds right up my alley!

22910900

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?
The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.

-Goodreads.com description

My life has been crazy busy this week, so I only ended up reading one book, More Than This by Patrick Ness. It has been one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and that’s saying something, because I’ve been reading a lot of good books lately. It was just so unique and relatable and moving for me. Plus I love the cover!

21969786

A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies.

Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive.

How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?

From multi-award-winning Patrick Ness comes one of the most provocative and moving novels of our time.

-Goodreads.com description

Currently Reading:

11071466

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson- I just started this book. So far it’s pretty slow, but I’m sure I’ll be getting into it soon and loving it like Morgan Matson’s other novels.

Reading Next:

23164983

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs- I’m SO excited to read this! I haven’t read any reviews on this book yet, but I loved the first book in the trilogy so I’ll probably like this one too.

My posts this week:

Around the blogosphere:

How did your week go? Did you add any new books to your TBR? Oh, and what do you think is the most interesting post to read? (Reviews/tags/discussions/TTT) I’m curious to know in order to make sure my posts are engaging. Happy reading!