Sunday Post #39

Sunday Post #39

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I had a good week! My friend from home is still visiting his boyfriend who is in Austria with me, so I’ve been hanging out with them, which is what I needed honestly.

I’ve also been feeling really good about my blog lately. I’ve been motivated to get my posts done and I’ve been coming up with ideas for next month.

In terms of reading, I’ve been feeling so inspired to read more non-fiction and fiction outside of YA. Not because I don’t love YA–I’ve just really felt the need to expand my reading tastes because I’ve kind of been in an “I only like YA” mood for so long, and I don’t think that’s the attitude I need going into grad school and pursuing a career in the publishing industry. Like, my focus is still YA, but it never hurts to gain knowledge of work outside that sphere.


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BOOKS FINISHED THIS WEEK:
Letting Go of Gravity.jpg

Reviews:
Movie Review: Home

Features:
Summer Blogger Promo Tour #2: Books that Capture the Magic of Summer
Top Ten Authors I’m Dying to Meet

Other posts:
Mid-Year Reading Stats
Series I’ve Completed & Still Need to Complete
Tips & Tricks for the Unmotivated Blogger
All About Reading Tag

Study Breaks:
5 Works of Historical Fiction for People Who Don’t Like History


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CURRENTLY READING:
On WritingRuin and Rising 2

Reviews:
Book Review: Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder
Movie Review: Rings

Features:
New to My Wishlist

Other Posts:
Pros and Cons of Creative Writing Classes
Non-YA Books I Want to Read by the End of the Year


new book haul.png

I got 2 eARCs this week that I am super excited about, so I thought I’d share!

FROM NETGALLEY:

The Similars

The Similars by Rebecca Hanover
Published: January 1, 2019 by Sourcebooks Fire
Quick summary: When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

FROM EDELWEISS: 
For a blog tour

Heart of Thorns

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton
Published: July 31, 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
Quick summary: In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: demons who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.


writing

I have been in such a writing slump. I’ve sat down and tried writing once this week and I couldn’t even get 200 words out. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself. I don’t know. My creativity well is just, like, very dry right now.


currently watching

I’m still re-watching The Vampire Diaries. I’m not zooming through it as fast as I was at first, but I’m at the beginning of season 6 now!

SET IT UP

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I finally caved and watched it! I popped open a bottle of wine watched it while getting wine drunk. I thought it was really cute! I don’t know that I understand alllll the hype surrounding this movie, though, because it’s a pretty basic rom-com, but it was a lot of fun either way!

“PLAN WITH ME” VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE

I don’t know why these have been my obsession, but I’ve really been hooked on watching people set up their beautiful bullet journals.


tunes

TWENTY ONE PILOTS FINALLY RELEASED TWO NEW SINGLES!!! Jumpsuit & Nico and the Niners. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this, but no matter what, I am so so so excited and happy and I support this band through everything!!

Image result for nico and the niners


bookstagram

Here’s my favorite post from this week. Make sure you follow my Instagram account to stay updated on when and what I post.

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All About Reading Tag

All About Reading Tag

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Major thanks to Anna @ Adventures With a Book Nerd for tagging me in her post! 

1) What do you look for the most when you pick up a book?
a.) a beautiful writing style; b.) a character driven story; c.) a plot driven story 

Ideally, all of the above. However, I am definitely a character-driven reader. If I connect to a character, I turn into absolute trash for a book. A beautiful writing style would be a close second, though. As a writer myself, I always appreciate when someone clearly has excellent control of the craft. 

2) What are your pet peeves in books?

Is it weird that I can’t think of anything off the top of my head? One thing I’ve complained about a lot in reviews is when entire conflicts and plot points are based off of miscommunication/the protagonist’s inability to be honest about something. It’s really hard for me to explain this one without concrete examples, because obviously secrets and hiding things can be SO MUCH FUN IN NOVELS.

So I’ll throw out an example. Though I still really enjoyed this novel, MORE THAN WE CAN TELL by Brigid Kemmerer has a case of this. Rev’s life is literally imploding because he can’t bring himself to talk about something in his life and it just DROVE ME CRAZY. I am an honest-to-a-fault person, so I really hate when people’s lives keep falling apart because they refuse to tell the truth. 

3) If you could print one quote on your wall, which one would it be? 

Oh, this one is IMPOSSIBLE. Like I really and truly cannot answer this one, but I will say Lauren Oliver and Tahereh Mafi have some really beautiful quotes out there. 

I think that song lyrics tend to be more memorable to me. I could pretty much choose anything from Twenty One Pilots or Hippo Campus.  

4) Which genre would you like to explore more? 

This is actually something I’m working on right now. I’d love to become better acquainted with non-fiction and graphic novels! 

5) Was there ever a movie adaptation you liked better than the book? 

Yes, actually! Does that make me a bad book lover? I liked the WARM BODIES movie better than the book. I also think THE VAMPIRE DIARIES TV show is FAR superior to the book. I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind. 

6) If one of your favorite books would be adapted or get a new adaptation, which book would it be and what role would you like to play?

THIS IS THE HILL I WILL DIE ON, OKAY? The VAMPIRE ACADEMY series deserves a TV series!!!!! My dream is to be the one who writes the script haha! But also, I’ve wanted to play Rose Hathaway since I was in middle school. I definitely do not fit the physical description in any way, shape, or form, but DON’T KILL MY MIDDLE SCHOOL DREAMS. 

7) A hyped book you wouldn’t recommend at all? 

Oh boy. Get your pitch forks ready because this answer will ENRAGE so many of you. But, here it is: Harry Potter. I’ve only read the first 2 books in the series, so maybe I’m not qualified enough to say this, but I think there are so many magical books out there with better writing and, honestly, a better plot. I think the people who love HP are the ones who grew up with it, and I wasn’t one of those people, so I’m not afraid to point out that it actually is pretty basic in terms of plot and whatnot. I get that it’s for kids, but I still think there’s better work out there. 

8) A book that highly influenced your life and way of thinking? 

My go-to for questions like this is ALWAYS VAMPIRE ACADEMY. That series helped me through SO MUCH in my life. THE HUNGER GAMES led me to book blogging, so that’s a good answer too. 

9) Are you a fan of rereading books? Do you do it often? 

I am SUCH a fan of re-reading books! There are some books I cannot imagine only experiencing once in my life. I do it kind of often, but not as often as I wish I could. I always have a list of books in my mind that I want to re-read, but it’s hard to justify it sometimes when there are so many other books I have to read for the first time. Still, sometime you just have to return to an old favorite! 

10) Which book title could easily be the title of your life? 

Ooooh, this is a good one! I went to Goodreads and found a few! 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli 
I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

This list could go on forever. 

11) Which book should be required reading for everyone?

I always have trouble with questions like this because I firmly believe that there is not a single book in this world that EVERYONE should read and I know that’s such a literal interpretation of this question, but I can’t help it. 

I think WHAT TO SAY NEXT by Julie Buxbaum is a good one. I think a lot of people could take something different away from it, so let’s go with that. 

12) Who do you tag? 

Anyone who wants to do this tag!! Make sure to leave a link in the comments if you do this so I can check it out! 

Movie Review: Home

Movie Review: Home

Please note: This review was written several months ago and originally published in my university’s newspaper.

Home.jpg

Nowadays, animated movies are not just for kids. Many directors have managed to find a perfect harmony of children’s content and adults’ content by combining goofy antics and social commentary that will resonate with older generations. However, some animated movies miss that mark, like Tim Johnson’s “Home.” Now, that’s not to say the film wasn’t enjoyable as a grown person, but it simply doesn’t have the depth I’ve come to expect from today’s children’s films.  

“Home” introduces us to the Boov, an alien species that likes to run from their problems and reject any hint of personality. Among the Boov is Oh, an optimistic creature with a penchant for screwing things up. When the Boov invade Earth to hide from their enemies, they seclude the humans to one small corner of the planet. Only one human (and her cat) manages to avoid their sweep. When Oh accidentally gives the enemy aliens the Boov’s new location, he is condemned and named a fugitive. On the run from his people, he meets Tip, the lone human, and the two team up to help Tip find her mom and to help Oh escape the wrath of his species.  

It’s really a cute film. I enjoyed the genuine friendship that develops between Oh and Tip, and I like the aspects of individuality and family. The movie is just too easy. The plot and the worldbuilding and even the characterization could have been much more clever. The unlikely duo is on a mission and they encounter many obstacles. The aliens change colors and don’t speak correctly. Tip wants to find her mom and Oh doesn’t want to be a screw up. It’s all very surface-level.  

This movie does have its touching moments, though. Oh is the very definition of the underdog, and I always root for the underdog. He is pure and good-intentioned but it is constantly thrown back in his face, so it gave me a sense of triumph to see him discover what friendship really is, and for him to finally quit fleeing from his problems.  

If you’re looking for a film that is brimming with creativity and depth, I would not steer you to “Home,” but it is a sweet, happy-making film that would be good to watch if you need a quick pick-me-up. It didn’t leave much of an impact on me, but it did make me smile, and sometimes that’s all we need from a movie.

Tips & Tricks for the Unmotivated Blogger

Tips & Tricks for the Unmotivated Blogger

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Listen, I am a horrendously lazy human. Sometimes the idea of exerting any sort of mental energy is too much for me so I just bury myself in another episode of whatever I’m binge-watching on Netflix.

That said, I also REFUSE to let my blog be a source of anxiety in my life. I mean, yeah, I get stressed about it occasionally, but I really do not beat myself up about my blogging habits. Blogging is a hobby. It’s something I do for me, so if I’m not enjoying an aspect of it, I adjust what I’m doing.

So here are a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to ensure my blogging does not encroach on my lazy lifestyle. I’ve been implementing them a lot more recently and they have helped me become more consistent in my posting and generate content I’m really proud of. 

1) Mini Reviews

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I’ve already talked about this a little bit on my blog and on Twitter, but I honestly cannot advocate for these enough. Mini reviews take SO MUCH pressure off. For someone who has turned book reviewing into a hobby, I sure do HATE writing book reviews sometimes.

Sometimes you want to let people know what you thought about a book, but you just don’t have the energy to go too in-depth, or you simply don’t have that much to say. Mini reviews are cool because you can just type up a paragraph and call it good. Plus, you can put multiple in one post! So it’s really good if you’re having a particularly good reading month and you’re zooming through books. 

2) Schedule Tweets

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This is something I need to do more! I’m usually way too lazy to tweet out links to my blog posts throughout the day. Luckily, WordPress tweets out a link every time a new post goes live, but if it weren’t for that I’d almost never promote my blog. Going to my blog and copying the link and going back to Twitter just sounds like a lot of work. 

So if you’re the type of person, like me, who just doesn’t feel like tweeting out links throughout the day (or if you’re a busy person), taking 5 minutes at the start of your day to schedule 3 or 4 or however many tweets will ensure you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. Plus, it’s so easy if you just do it all at once. 

If you don’t know how to schedule tweets, Tweetdeck is good! 

3) Listicles

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I used to find it so daunting to write discussion posts. I’d have ideas I liked, but thinking about how to say everything was just Too Much. It doesn’t have to be that way! Once I started using list formatting in some of my posts, discussions became significantly less intimidating. Like this very post, for example. 

Using listicles has helped me organize my thoughts and, honestly, it can be more accessible for readers. Essay-type posts can be exhausting to read, write, and interact with. Sometimes they are really wonderful and the best format for posts, but they are neither superior nor inferior to list posts! 

Lists can also work for reviews! You can do a “5 Reasons to Read/Avoid X Book” or you can even just do like and dislike lists. There’s no correct way to blog, so if doing lists takes pressure off of you, DO LISTS!! 

4) Book Tags

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If you’re at a loss for something fun, creative, and bookish to post, book tags are PERFECT. Plus, they don’t require a ton of work. You can literally just google “book tags” and you’ll find that bloggers have made lists of different book tags. 

There are SO MANY book tags, you can find one for pretty much any of your interests. And if you don’t find one for your interests, you can create one! 

I plan out my entire posting schedule the month before, but there are always a couple days left blank because I’m tapped out of ideas, so I’ll put in a book tag or two. 

Seriously, book tags are perfect if you’re in a slump or just don’t feel like exerting yourself too much, because they’re mostly just picking out books that fit a certain question. And yet they are always interesting! 

Added bonus: they can increase your interaction with the community because you tag people (you don’t HAVE to, though. I was really insecure about tagging people at first.) and when people see you like to do book tags, you’ll get tagged in more. But when I don’t know who to tag, I’ll usually just send out a tweet asking if anyone would WANT to be tagged and I always get responses. 

5) “Like” Posts

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People always recommend commenting on blogs in order to get your name out there and increase traffic. That’s a very good tip! But it’s not always feasible. Sometimes you don’t have time or energy or anything valuable to say. But you can still “like” it.

I know WordPress and Bloglovin have a “like” feature, and the poster gets notifications that tell them who has liked their posts, so people will still see your name and see that you’re giving their blog love! Maybe you’re not interacting as much as if you were commenting, but if you consistently like someone posts, your name will stick in their minds. 


There are some lazy gal tips for ya! I have a few more up my sleeves, so if y’all like this, I can do another post! 

Do you have any special tricks for trudging through the days of no motivation?

Series I’ve Completed & Still Need to Complete

Series I’ve Completed & Still Need to Complete

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I’m pretty useless when it comes to finishing series. I don’t know why. But if I can’t binge the whole thing back-to-back, I’m much less likely to finish it. Plus, starting series intimidates me sometimes. It’s so much less daunting to readTe I still fully intend to finish, so here we go.

P.S. in this list I’m only including series in which all the books have been released. I’m also ignoring novellas because I pretty much never read novellas.

SERIES I HAVE COMPLETED

annaThe Anna and the French Kiss companion trilogy by Stephanie Perkins

caster chronicles.pngThe Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
(I have not read the spin-off series or novellas)

delirium.pngThe Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver
(Even though the first book is the only one that matters)

Hex Hall.pngThe Hex Hall trilogy by Rachel Hawkins
(Plus School Spirits which is technically a spin-off but never got the sequels it deserved)

Hush Hush.pngThe Hush, Hush saga by Becca Fitzpatrick

infernal devices.pngThe Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

If I Stay.pngThe If I Stay duology by Gayle Forman

just one day.pngThe Just One Day duology by Gayle Forman

nightshade.pngThe Nightshade trilogy by Andrea Cremer
(I have not read the various spin-off series, though I own them lol)

the chemical garden.pngThe Chemical Garden trilogy by Lauren DeStefano

the selection.pngThe Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass
(I have not read the spin-off series)

the sumemer i turned prettyThe Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han

thg.pngThe Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

to all the boys.pngThe To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han

twilight.pngThe Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer

Uglies.pngThe Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
(I know he’s releasing new books, but I’m gonna say that’s a companion series, okay?)

va.pngThe Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

Three Sisters.pngThe Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts


TO SUMMARIZE

Total series read: 18

That’s 18 series over the course of my life. That is just not impressive. I’m sure there are a few I’ve forgotten. But wow. I told you I’m shit at completing series lol.

And very few of these series contained more than 3 books. So apparently I can handle trilogies but not much more than that. Well all right, then.

Side note: I read most of these series YEARS AGO and now I want to re-read almost all of them!


SERIES I NEED TO COMPLETE

These are all series that I have started, have all their books released, and that I currently have an active interest in finishing. If I included all the series I’ve started and haven’t finished, the list would never end.

The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White

And I Darken.jpgI’ve only read the first book in this trilogy, which is devastating. I loved And I Darken so incredibly much. The final installment, Bright We Burn, released yesterday and I desperately need to get with the program and get caught up.

 

The Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn.jpgI have read the first two books and I just need to read the conclusion! I literally didn’t read it because I didn’t own it at the time I read the first 2 and I couldn’t find a cheap copy of the version I wanted lolol I hate myself. It’s been so long since I read the first 2 books, I’m going to have to re-read them before I finally do read the finale.

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone.jpgTo be fair, I’m currently in the middle of the final book in this trilogy. I started reading this series in like March, so I’m actually impressed with myself for seeing it through, okay? But once I finish this one, I gotta read the Six of Crows duology and then pick up King of Scars when it’s released. So, yeah, I’m finishing one series just so I can read more.

The Infinity Division series by Jus Accardo

Infinity.jpgI have read the first novel in this 3-book series, and I have the final two for review from the publisher and I really need to get to it. It’s not the best series I’ve ever started, but the first one was entertaining and sast-paced enough that I’m eager to see where it goes.

 

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae.jpgI adored the first two books in this trilogy and I’m so mad at myself for not reading Obsidio yet. I have started reading it on Scribd but it’s not the same as reading the physical book so I’m kinda sorta holding out until I buy the hardcover.

 

The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead

BloodlinesThis is only the spin-off series to my favorite books of all time and I haven’t finished it yet IT’S FINE. But really, I was trying to keep up with this series as it released a new book every year and that method just doesn’t work for me, so now that they are all out I need to re-read the first few so I can continue on and see what happens to my precious Adrian Ivashkov.

The Blackhearts duology by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts.jpgI fell head over heels for the first book and I was so pumped when I figured out there was going to be a sequel. And when the sequel released, I bought it. BUT I HAVEN’T READ IT. Why are bookworms like this? I’ll have to do a little binge read where I re-read Blackhearts and continue on to Blacksouls.

The Pushing the Limits companion series by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits.jpgI am obsessed with Katie McGarry and her intense contemporary novels. I’ve read the first few in this companion series, but I lost track and now she has several series out that I really need to read.

 

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones.jpgI NEVER READ THE LAST BOOK DON’T COME FOR ME. At some point I am going to do a full-series re-read so I can finish it. And then I’m going to re-read The Infernal Devices. Then I’ll read the novellas and whatnot. And then I’ll finally be able to read The Dark Artifices. It’s gonna be a process, but it will happen eventually.

Top Ten Authors I’m Dying to Meet

Top Ten Authors I’m Dying to Meet

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This week it’s time for a throwback topic! I decided to talk about authors I’m dying to meet because I feel like I haven’t really talked about this that much? Idk.

Though I have been immersed in the book community for a VERY long time, I have never been to a book or author event. It breaks my heart but I guess that’s what happens when you live in Arkansas and can’t drive to events out of state. However, I am moving to New York soon, so I assume this will change.

1) Richelle Mead

Image result for richelle meadIs anyone surprised by this answer because I’m not. Richelle Mead wrote Vampire Academy, which is my favorite book series of all time. If I met her, I’d want to show her my molnija mark tattoo and tell her about how her words and her world got me through some really tough times.

 

2) Tahereh Mafi

Image result for tahereh mafiI just think Tahereh Mafi is so COOL. Sorry, but not actually sorry at all. Sometimes I scroll through her twitter and wish I was as incredible as her. She is so talented and creative and funny and gorgeous and badass.

 

 

 

3) Jenny Han

Image result for jenny hanNot only do I love Jenny Han’s books, but she has always seemed like a fun, lovely person. I really appreciate her social media and I always love seeing the snippets of her life she shares. She’s classy and stylish and definitely sassy and I just think it would be a delight to meet her.

 

4) Lauren Oliver

Image result for lauren oliverI’ve always admired Lauren Oliver’s writing. In fact, her writing had a big influence on my own. And again, she seems so cool and badass. 

 

5) Morgan Matson

Image result for morgan matsonMatson’s books always speak to me. Like, I’m so shook by how she seems able to see into my soul and then write books with pieces of it inside. Much like Jenny Han, Matson is stylish and funny and I think she’d be such an interesting person to meet. 

 

6) Sarah Dessen

Image result for sarah dessenI mean, of course I have to include my queen on this list. Sarah Dessen’s books mean so much to me, and they have meant so much to me for YEARS. If I met her, I’d probably completely embarrass myself by fangirling all over the place, but it’d be worth it to be in the presence of royalty. 

 

 

 

7) Jenn Bennett

Image result for jenn bennettJenn is a newer fave of mine, but I think meeting her would be incredible. If her social media is any indication, I feel like Jenn is such a genuine and kind person. I also have a feeling she has a goofy side. 

 

 

8) Victoria Schwab

Image result for victoria schwabI’ve actually only read one novel by Victoria Schwab, so the reason I would love to meet her is more personality than anything. I love reading everything she tweets because she is so real and transparent about her writing and her mental health issues and the mistakes she has made. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Schwab and I have a feeling she’d be really interesting to have a conversation with. 

9) Becky Albertalli

Image result for becky albertalliI enjoy Becky’s work, but once again this is more personality than anything. Becky has proven time and time again how intelligent, well-spoken, and compassionate she is. If I met her, I just know I’d be walking away from the conversation with an enormous grin on my face. 

 

10) John Green

Image result for john greenI really debated whether or not I was going to include John Green on my list because, while I’ve read several of his books, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a John Green fangirl. Still, I think he’s a great person. He’s also incredibly intelligent and interesting, so I’m sure any conversation with him would be absolutely fascinating. 

 

 


What authors would you love to meet? Which authors have you met and had a wonderful experience with? 

Mid-Year Reading Stats

Mid-Year Reading Stats

reading stats

This is an idea I stole from BooksandLala on Youtube!

Goodreads goal: 45
Books completed: 41 

CATEGORIES
Young adult: 36
Adult: 1
Non-fiction: 1
Graphic novels: 3


YEARS
2018 Releases: 9
2017 Releases: 14
Other: 18


AUTHORS
Written by women: 35
Written by men: 6
I did not read anything by anyone who identifies as any other gender


FORMS
ARCs (even if I didn’t read them before they were released): 14
Finished: 27

Physical books: 6
Netgalley: 13
Ebooks from Scribd: 13
Audiobooks from Scribd: 7
Other: 2


GENRES
Contemporary: 26
Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian: 12
Other: 3


RATINGS
1-star: 0
2-star: 3
3-star: 14
4-star: 14
5-star: 10
Average rating: 3.75
(These are according to Goodreads, so no half stars are shown in my stats)


OTHER RANDOM STATS
Books I’ve reviewed: 19
New-to-me authors: 17
Series I read at least one book in: 8
Standalones: 26
Re-reads: 4


TAKEAWAY

Going forward, I’d like to read a wider variety of genres and categories. That’s been my goal for some time now, but it’s clearly not working. I’d also like to work on reading/completing more series. Though this one is not as much in my control, I definitely need to read more recent releases (BUT I AM HAPPY I’VE READ SO MANY BACKLIST TITLES–I AM A BIG ADVOCATE FOR READING BACKLIST TITLES).

Sometimes I really hate rating novels and I think I am going to be more critical in my ratings. 

I’ve decided to start doing more mini reviews for books. They serve as a good way to let everyone know my opinion of books when I don’t have a whole lot to say. Also, sometimes reviewing books really stresses me out, so those are more of a low-pressure way to review the titles I’ve read.