Mini Reviews | First Reads of the Year

Title: Drama
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Published: September 1st 2012
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Genre: MG, Graphic Novel, lGbtq
Find on: Goodreads

This was my first read of 2016, and I really enjoyed reading it. It was a pretty quick read, both because it was a graphic novel, but also because its intended audience is middle grade. It is definitely a read that I would recommend for someone who want to read a fun, quick, middle grade graphic novel, or just to younger readers in general.

There is a lot of typical middle school drama going on in this book - which is kind of hinted to in the title - and it was portrayed really well. The story was a little all over the place at times, but isn't that just how middle school is?

The main character is likable, and she is a joy to follow. She acts like someone her age would, and the way she reacts to the different things in the book are all very realistic. I like the fact that she is so passionate about her role in the school play - which is the set designer. She's very responsible, energetic, and kind of all over the place - but in a very likable way.

There's a big focus on friendship in this book, and they were all portrayed really well. There is some love/relationship stuff going on, but it doesn't really take over the main part of the story. There are some lgbtq+ characters in this books, and I very much enjoyed reading about them. I liked the fact, that it wasn't the main plot of the story, but that it just kind of fell into it naturally - if that makes sense.

Title: The Sculptor
Author: Scott McCloud
Published: February 3rd 2015
Pages: 488
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Graphic Novel
Find on: Goodreads

First of all, I really loved the art in this graphic novel. Second of all, this is a brick of a book, like, I felt like I was going to break my back when I had to bring this home from the library. But I also understand why it is as big as it is. There are a lot of panels where it's just the pictures telling the story, and I really enjoyed those parts.

This book has a lot of hype, and it is very well loved. However, for me, this was just an okay book. The plot was interesting, and it raised some pretty difficult and complicated questions, but it wasn't enough for me.

I didn't feel connected with the main character, and to be honest, I didn't actually like him at all. I don't know if you're supposed to like him, but still. Also, I felt like there was a lack of female characters in this book. There's the main love interest, and then there's her roommate. But mostly, that is it. It is very male dominated, and I missed some female representation, and for that sake, some female interaction.

All in all, this wasn't really my cup of tea, but I can see why people would absolutely love this graphic novel, so I would recommend that if you find it intriguing, then give it a go, it might be just your thing.

Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
Published: August 25th 2015
Pages: 195
Format: Hardcover
Genre: MG, lgbTq
Find on: Goodreads

This was such a wonderful read. This book has been on my radar ever since sit was released last year, and I'm so glad that I finally read it. It is an important book, and I would recommend this to pretty much everyone. It is a really heartwarming story, and it will probably make you smile, and give you the warm fuzzies. The ending of this book made me smile so much, and I shed a tear or two while reading it. There were a lot of beautiful moments throughout this book.

The writing in the book was simple, maybe even a little too simple sometimes, but I really didn't mind at all. However, it its primary target is middle grade, so it is understandable that the writing is on the simpler side. That is not to say that the writing was bad, not at all - simple isn't bad.

I thought that the main character, Melissa, was adorable, and I really liked her. She was the absolute sweetest, and I loved getting to hear her story. I liked the fact that she was so sure of herself, and who she was. You were rooting for her throughout the entire book. I also think that her best friend was a great character, their friendship was really well done. I loved the fact that the best friend was supportive of our main character.

I you loved this book, the I would definitely recommend picking up Gracefully Grayson, if you haven't read that one yet. The stories have similar themes, and they both include a school play, but they are still very different books. And both are very worth the read.


Let's Talk About | 16 Books In 2016

In one of my last posts I shared my Bookish resolutions for 2016, and in there, I said that I wanted to read 16 specific books throughout the year. In this post I want to share those 16 books, and maybe give a little explanation as to why they are on the list. Now, these were all released before 2016, because I want to try and read the books that I already have on my shelves. The majority of the books are young adult and contemporary, and a lot of them have LGBTQ+ main characters. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (MG/Childrens, Fantasy)
I need to get on with this series. I read the first two books years ago, and for some reason I have yet to continue with the series. Seriously, I'm bad at series. I’ve heard that this is a lot of people’s favorite of the Harry Potter books, so that makes me excited.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (YA, Fantasy)
So many people have praised this series, and it sounds so interesting. I'm honestly not much of a fantasy reader, but I want to start reading more from that genre, and I think that this will be an good place to start. Or it won't, we'll see. 

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (YA, lgbTq+)
When this book first came out, I didn't really pay it that much attention. Then my cousin read it, and she loves it, and she has told me to read this ever since. So, this year I plan on picking it up, and I hope to love it as much as my cousin did. Also, it deals with an important topic, so that's one more reason to read it.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour (YA, Lgbtq+)
I desperately need to read more f/f books, and this is on the top of my list. I've heard multiple good things about this, and it's been on my shelve for a while, so I think it's time to finally pick it up. 

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (YA, Lgbtq+)
I actually gave a copy of this to my cousin for Christmas, even though I haven’t read myself. Yet. I've heard people raving about this book, and I really like the premise of the story. I hope to pick this one up, sooner rather than later.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (YA, lGbtq+)
This book is not on the top of my imaginary tar pile, but that is not to say I'm not excited to read it. I am, but I just have some books other books I want to get to before this. But it is on this list for a reason, and I will read it this year.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (YA, Contemporary)
I talked about this one in my last Top Ten Tuesday post. It’s a book that was very talked about last year. It has gotten a lot of great reviews, and the premise of this story sounds really intriguing. 

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas (YA, Contemporary)
I don't know much about this one other than what the goodreads summary has told me. However, just from that, I'm pretty excited for this one. From what I can tell, it focuses a lot on the friendship between the two male characters, which is kind of a rare thing to see in YA, and that makes me even more excited to read it.

Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier (YA, Contemporary)
From what I can tell, this book deals with love, and with mental illness. I haven't read that many books that has a protagonist with a mental illness, and that has to change. It's important to get those voices out, and be heard. I'm very excited to start this one - and I plan on doing so within the next couple of months.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (YA, Lgbtq+)
I’ve never read anything by Scott Westerfeld, but I’ve heard good things about his writing. Of the books he has written, I think Afterworlds would be something right up my alley. Also, as far as I know there is a some f/f romance in this. 

Something Like Spring by Jay Bell (lGbtq+)
This is one of my favorite series of all time, and I’m very eager to continue it. I adore Jay Bell’s writing, and it’s always a joy to read his books - even though they will make me weep. This book features some new characters, which is always a delight when it comes to this author.

All Lined Up by Cora Cormack (NA, Contemporary)
I’ve read Losing It by the same author before, and it was and okay book, but nothing to write home about. Even though I didn’t enjoy the story that much, I did like the writing a lot, so I want to see if this book is more my cup of tea. It sounds pretty interesting, and I’ve heard some really great things about it.

Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins (NA, lGbtq+)
This series keeps popping up on my goodreads. I’ve read a short story by this author before, and I enjoyed it, so I want to try and read something more of her work. It seems like it's going to be my cup of tea, and if I like this first book, there are luckily a lot more in the series.

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (YA, Lgbtq+)
I was so excited when I bought this book, and I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet. I haven’t read anything else by the author, but I’ve heard some amazing things about her writing. Again, I need more f/f stories, so I'm pretty sure this is a must read.

Only EverYours by Louise O’Neill (YA, Science Fiction/Dystopian)
So many people have sung this book’s praises, and it’s made me want to read it so much. I bought it last year, with every intention of reading it, but I never made it that far. It’s very high on my want to read list – as well as Louise O’Neill's other book, Asking For It.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (YA, Lgbtq+)
I’ve been told so many times that I need to read this book – but it's long. I know it’s “only” about 470 pages, but for a contemporary novel, that seems like a lot. It’s kind of intimidating, and I’m glad that I have it in ebook format, because I’ve seen a physical copy of it, and it’s a brick. But I’m excited to finally get to it this year – which I very much aim to do.

These are the 16 books I really want to read in 2016. Do you have any books, you feel like you just need read this year?


Top Ten Tuesday | 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To, But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week I'm letting you all know about the 2015 releases, that I wanted to read, but never got around to. 

Now, there are a lot more than these, but we could be here all day, if I were to talk about all of them. Some of these I own already, which is a step in the right direction, and some I have yet to get. But all of these are books that I hope to get to sometime in 2016.

1. Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler
I've heard nothing but amazing things about this one, and I really want to read it. It sounds very interesting, and it's definitely on the top of my to-buy list, and of course my want to read list.

2. Steam by Stacey Rourke
It's crazy that I haven't actually read this one yet. It's the last in The Legends Saga (that I know of), and the first two books in that series were amazing. I think the only reason I haven't actually read this one yet, is that it's a kindle book, and I hate reading on my phone. But I will get to it this year! I have to!

3. The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg
I read Openly Straight by the same author last year, and I really enjoyed it, so I wanted to check out some of his other work. Sadly I didn't get around to reading it, but hopefully 2016 will be the year for that.

4. Read Me Like A Book by Liz Kessler
I kind of bought this on a whim last year, and I haven't actually heard that much about it. But it does have an interesting premise, and I do want to read it sometime this year. I mean, it's about a girl figuring out her feelings for others of the same gender, so I'm very interested in this.

5. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This is a book I've heard a lot of great things about. I know that my cousin loved this book, and she has been telling me to read it ever since she finished it. I have it on my shelves, so it's just a matter of picking it up.

6. Black Iris by Leah Raeder
Actually all of Raeder's book are on my want to read list, and I kinda want to add Cam Girl to this point as well. I've heard amazing things about the book, and I need to get my hands on this somehow. Soon, I hope.

7. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
So many people have raved about this book, and I've seen it on a lot of people's favorites lists last year. It's a book that's sitting on my shelf for a while now, and I just have to pick it up. In a couple of months maybe.

8. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
This, I've heard some mixed things about, but I still very much want to read it. I think it's going to be an interesting read, and I'm curious to see how it will all unfold.

9. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra
This is said to be a mix between Pretty Little Liars, and Black Swan. Now honestly, I'm not that big of a fan of PLL, and I have never actually seen Black Swan - however, it still sounds very interesting to me, and I'm excited to get to this sometime in the near future. Also, the sequel comes out this year (hopefully), so I kinda want to get in on this before that.

10. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
There has been so much hype about this book, and it's was also on my most anticipated releases of 2015. So why haven't I read it yet? Well, a reading-slump starting around August put a stopper on that. But I'm out of that slump, and I want to read this one very soon.

These are some of the books I didn't get to in 2015. Are there any of these you can recommend? Which 2015 releases did you want to get to, but haven't yet?


Let's Talk About | My 2016 Blogging and Bookish Resolutions

It’s a new year, and that means I have a couple of bookish, and blogging resolutions & goals, and I want to share them with you. Mostly for myself honestly, because then it’s out there, and I think I’ll feel more compelled to actually try and meet those goals then. Or at least, let’s hope so. I didn't want to pressure myself too much, so there aren't all that many goals for me to meet. But the few there are, I feel like I can accomplish in one way or another.

Blogging goals & resolutions

Post at least three times a week
I didn’t really blog anything for most of last year, and I want to change that. I’m not sure it’s going to happen right away, but I’m hopeful that it will change, and I will start posting more sometime this year. It may be a little overly ambitious for me, but you’re allowed to be that from time to time, right?

Post more reviews
I have a hard time writing reviews. I always feel like I somehow need to write an entire essay on my thoughts on the books I read, which isn’t necessary at all. I need to get used to the thought of writing reviews, even though they may not be that long, because I love sharing my opinions on the books I read.

Write the reviews after I’ve read the books
This is a goal that sort of goes with the one before. When I finally decide to actually write a review, I end up putting it off, multiple times, and all of a sudden, it’s been a month, and I remember nothing about the book. This year, I want to be better at writing my thoughts down as quickly as I can, after I finish a book.

Use twitter more
It's not directly blogging related, but it's near enough. I really like twitter, and I want to use it more. I think it's such a great way to connect to other bloggers, and even authors, which is why I want to start using my twitter account more. 

Bookish goals & resolutions

I’ve decided to not actually participate in any reading challenges this year. Well not officially at least. I do have the ‘Popsugar’ reading challenge printed out, but completing it is not really a priority of mine. Not at all really, but it's a fun little thing to look at from time to time. Also, it can be helpful when I don't know what to read. The only challenge I have really set myself this year is my goodreads goal. My goal this year is to read 75 books, and I think that I can manage that. Last year I read 61 books, but I was practically in a reading slump from August to December, so I think I can make it to 75 this year. 

I have a couple of other goals besides my goodreads one, and I think it's actually something I can manage. I didn't want to set too many, and too big goals, because I know that would just frustrate me more than it would help me. But I think I've come up with some good ones, and ones that I can actually keep this year.. (because last year they went to hell after the first month.. oops)

Read the books on my 16 in 2016 list
I didn't read all of the books I wanted to read in 2015. Therefore I have made a list of 16 books that are very high on my want to read list, and I feel like I need to get to this year. I'll do another post where I talk about those 16 books, and it'll probably be up in a day or two.

Read the books I get from the library
I use the library a lot, and I check out a lot of books at a time. That's a problem, because I can't read that many of them in a month. So, along with reading all the books I get from the library, I want to check out less books at a time.

Slow my roll on the book buying
Honestly, I don't buy books all that often, but then when I do buy them, I buy in bulk. Usually, they are ebooks, and as they are cheaper, I get a lot for not that much money. I mean, I love having so many books to choose from - but I can't keep track of all of them, and it's getting a little out of hand. So this year I want to try and slow down on my book buying a little. Just a little, because a complete 'book buying ban' would not work for me at all.

Try to step out of my comfort zone
Seriously though, I read a lot of contemporary - probably 90% of everything I read can be categorized as that. This year I really want to try and get out of that comfort zone a little bit, and perhaps delve into some fantasy, or even some science fiction.

So these are my blog & bookish resolutions for 2016. Do you have any reading resolutions/goals for the year?


2015 Favorites | Books & More

2015 is over, and 2016 is here. To be honest, most of 2015 was kind of a shit year for me, and I'm for the most part relieved that it's over. Hopefully 2016 will be much much better. I have neglected this blog a lot in 2015, and I'm sad that I did. I want to continue blogging, but I just haven't been able to get myself to write anything even remotely coherent. This is also why, most of my latest posts have been 'Top Ten Tuesday' posts. I do plan, and hope, to blog a lot more, and more consistently in 2016. Well, here's to hoping!

Anyway, this post is all about those things in 2015 that were amazing and all kinds of awesome. I really wanted to share all the things I've loved this past year, and that's how this post came to be. Not that it's revolutionary or anything. Most people have posts like this around this time. There isn't really any rhyme or reason to these lists other than their overall category. 

Favorite Books of 2015
2015 was not the best reading year for me. I read a lot in the first quarter of the year, but then it all went down hill for me. I read a lot of 'meh' books in 2015, and I wasn't really invested in what I was reading, no matter what it was. However, I did manage to read some really fantastic books, and some of them I'm definitely thinking of re-reading in 2016. These books aren't in any order what so ever.

Something Like Autumn by Jay Bell
This is the third book in the Something Like series by Jay Bell, and I think that this may be my favorite book of the series so far. I knew, going into this book, that it would break my heart, and oh boy, did it do that. I loved getting backstory on Jace, and it made me love the character even more. I'm so in love with this series, and I can't wait to continue it in 2016.

Carry The Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
Honestly, I think that this was probably my favorite book of the year. This book deals with a lot of different topics including depression, sexuality, and autism spectrum disorder. It's such a beautiful book, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to re-read it in 2016.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
This is one of the last books I read in 2015, and it was amazing. I don't venture out of my contemporary comfort zone a lot, but with this book, I'm glad I did. I loved the main characters, adored the world, and I was intrigued by the plot. I'm so excited to read the next book when it comes out.

Fawn by Nash Summers
This short story, I decided to read on a whim. Actually I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted to read it when I first saw it, but I'm happy that I did. The writing was beautiful, and it made me cry in several places. It's a beautiful story, and I might re-read it this year.

Take Them By Storm by Marie Landry
This book made me smile. There were so many things I loved about this book, and I actually have a review up of this, so if you want to know more about my thoughts, you can check that out here.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I have a review up of this one too – I’m on a roll here. I went into this book with very high expectations, and this book completely exceeded those expectations. I read this one in a day – which I’m still surprised that I actually managed, but I just couldn’t put the book down. This was a beautiful story, and even though it could be a little slow at time, I still loved it.

Love Lessons series by Heidi Cullinan
Okay, so this is not one book, but a whole series. Again we have something written by Heidi Cullinan on the list. I wasn’t really sure how I felt about this series when I started it. However, it grew on me, and just got better and better. The characters were fantastic, and the writing really drew me in. This series has a diverse cast, including a trans character, very briefly a bisexual character, and an array of representation from the G side of LGBTQ. I would highly recommend this series. My review of the first book in the series can be found here.

Honorable mentions: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz, Anything Could Happen by Will Walton, Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

Favorite Movies of 2015
I feel like I didn't watched a lot of movies in 2015. Most of my time has been spend on catching up with various TV series, so I’ve kind of neglegted watching movies. And when I finally sat down to watch a movie, I reached out for an old favorite, instead of watching something new. However, I did manage to watch some new releases. My favorite one has to be Star Wars The Force Awakens. Actually I’ve watched it twice, at this point. This year was also the year where I went to the movies with my younger brother a lot. Three of those movies has made it to my favorite list - Fast and Furious 7, Big Hero 6, and Straight Outta Compton, and there were all pretty darn awesome in their own ways. I would highly recommend all four of them.

Favorite TV Shows of 2015
Now, I watch a lot of TV. Probably a little too much, but it takes my mind of off things. I have three series that are pretty much my all time favorites, and two new shows that I absolutely adore. But let's start with the three oldies. Criminal Minds, Castle, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit are some of my all time favorite shows, and this year I watched maybe a little too much of them. I usually have one of these three shows running in the background when I’m writing, or really, doing anything. As of new shows, this year I’ve absolutely loved Jessica Jones, and Daredevil. Both shows are incredible, and I can’t wait for the second season of Daredevil.

Favorite Music of 2015
I have listened to a lot of music this year, and I have definitely expanded my horizon. According to Spotify my two most listened to artists in 2015 were Beyonce, and Nicki Minaj, and if you know me, that is not really a surprise. I absolutely adore both of these ladies, and I'm sure I'm going to keep listening to then far into 2016. Next are two artists that I haven't listened to much before, but I'm very happy that I've started to listen to them. Those two artists are Angel Haze, and Drake. Drake is all my brothers fault. Seriously, he listens to a lot of Drake, like a lot, and now I do too. As for Angel Haze, I've known about them for a while, but have just never listened to any of their music, but holy hell, I'm glad I did, because it's pretty darn amazing.

Favorite Moments of 2015
Even though there were a lot of bummer moments in 2015, there were some really amazing moments that I fondly look back on. One of those is when I went to London back in July. I went with my mother, younger brother, and cousin. It was such a lovely trip, and it made me want to travel so much more. Another moment was when I, in June, passed my Danish Exam, and I can now technically call myself a Danish teacher. I'm still not done with my teacher's education, but it's two years, out of four down, and it removed a big weight off of my shoulders. The last is not really one moment, but a series of moments with my two favorite people in the world. I spend a lot of time with my cousin Charlie, and my best friend Marie, and I'm so grateful for all that time. Basically those times are some of my very favorite moments from 2015. 

So these were my favorite things of 2015. Sometime in the next couple of days I will post a '2016 reading and blogging resolutions' post. Hopefully. Anyway, I hope you had a great 2015, and that you entered 2016 in an awesome way.