Monthly Archives:: December 2014

Dec 31

Looking Back at 2014 – The Stats

Year in Review 2

2015 was a much better year than I anticipated in reading. My new job is not as demanding in its second year which led to more time reading. :)

Best of 2014

This year I made a point to mark my favorites down in GR as the year went on, then I narrowed that list down to 10 (from 18). Here is the best of the best of what I read in 2014.

It should come as no surprise that there are 7 contemporaries in my top ten. :)

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 2.39.08 PM

The Program by Suzanne Young

Split Second by Kasie West

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

One in a Million by Jill Shalvis

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Book Stats

I didn’t keep track of what I read this year for any fancy pie charts or anything and I couldn’t get the UBB Plugin to do some of the stats correctly so I don’t have much for 2014, but that’s ok!

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5 Stars 32

4 Stars 63

3 Stars 45

2 Stars 10

1 Stars 1

DNF 9

No surprise to me that most of my ratings are 4 star with a fair amount of 3 and 5 star ratings. I am pretty good about staying away from books that are not my style which is why I don’t have a lot of 1 and 2 star ratings. To be honest, that 1 star book should have been a DNF. I don’t have time to read books that aren’t working for me!

Reviews

I reviewed 72 books in 2014. Not too bad, but less than half of what I read (152).

Out of the 72 books I reviewed:

Purchased – 34

NetGalley – 19 (more than I thought!)

BEA – 8 (definitely need to get on this!)

Borrowed – 6

Library – 2

Gifted, Publisher and SYNC Audio – 1 each

How was your 2014?

Kimberly


Dec 30

Top Ten Tuesday * 2015 Goals

Top Ten Tuesday 2

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Goals for 2015!

Book & Blogging Goals

1. Comment more. I was a terrible commenter in 2014. Terrible.

2. Blog more. I could make excuses for this with finishing up my first year of teaching this spring and starting my second year this fall, but that would just be an excuse. I had all summer to blog and I didn’t do much and this fall I’ve had time, I’ve just been lazy.

3. Change review format. I want to do something different for my reviews, but I don’t know what. Definitely looking to make them short and sweet though! I’m not a fan of long reviews.

4. Buy less books. I say this every year, but thanks to Delicious Library I finally cataloged all my books. It was so scary. I have so many and quite a few unread so I really need to cut back.

5. Write reviews after I finish the book. For awhile I was doing this and it was great. Then I would decide to start a new book and write the review later and then I end up not writing the review.

6. Clean out my bookshelves. I got a new bookshelf this year (thanks Kate!) and moved my dvd’s so that I could use my dvd shelf to hold books (which was actually pretty genius)and that’s about all the room I have left. I cannot fit any more bookshelves in this room so cleaning out some books is the answer.

7. Read my TBR books. If I don’t read them it’s like I threw money away and I don’t like to do that so I need to make a better effort to read them.

Personal Goals

8. Make a bigger dent in my student loans (this goes along with #4). Poor choices in education led to a crap ton of debt in the form of student loans. I have a much better job now and I technically don’t need my part time job, but it’s an easy part time job so I’m keeping it until I pay off my student loans.

9. Make a healthier choices. Rather than say “I’m going to lose weight” or “Eat only healthy food” I’m setting my goal this year to making healthier choices. This sounds way more doable than the other two.

10. Get my yard under control. I am not an outdoor person. Nor do I care to do yard work. When I purchased my house I purchased it from someone who had someone come out and take care of the yard/garden/etc every week. I cannot afford to do that. Nor do I want to. But I do plan on hiring someone this summer to come in and trim some bushes so that I can maintain them (they are too much for me now) and get rid of the now atrocious plant area that is in the middle of my freaking yard!

What’s on your to do list for 2015?

Kimberly


Dec 29

Reading Challenges are BACK!

Reading Challenges 0

This past year I didn’t do any reading challenges other than the GoodReads challenge, and while it was nice to take a break, I also missed doing them so I’m bringing them back for 2015! Clicking on the picture will take you to the challenge host.

GoodReads Challenge

This year my goal will be 150 books, though as always I am completely flexible and may change my goal at my discretion. And no, I don’t feel bad about that!

Mount TBR Challenge

Mount TBR 2015

Yeah, this needs to happen! I’m going for 24 books! My Challenge.

Alphabet Soup Challenge

alphabet-2015

I always want to do this and I never do so here is yet another attempt! My Challenge.

Monthly Motif Challenge

Motif Challenge

Something a little fun! My Challenge.

Kimberly


Dec 23

Top Ten Tuesday * Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing

Top Ten Tuesday 1

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing

It’s my list and I’ll make it how I want to. I pretty much buy the releases I want when I want so I can’t really think of any books I wouldn’t mind Santa bringing at the moment, so I’m picking 2015 releases. Santa is magical and therefore he can deliver these kinds of goods!

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Kimberly


Dec 22

2014 End of the Year Book Survey

Year in Review 2

2014-end-of-year-book-survey-1024x984The End of the Year Book Survey is hosted by Jamie and The Perpetual Page Turner. You can read more about the End of the Year Book Survey over at Jamie’s blog, but basically you just answer a bunch of questions about the books you read this year!

2014 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read:148 and counting
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary, of course!

 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

One in a Million Since You've Been Gone Indigo Spell Winner's Crime

Contemporary Adult: One in a Million by Jill Shalvis

Contemporary Young Adult: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Paranormal Young Adult: Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Fantasy/Sci-Fi young Adult: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Wild Cards/Better Than Perfect by Simone Elkeles – Football & Romance should equal a winning combination for me, but this one didn’t work.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. I am not a big fantasy person so I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I’m not too big of a book pusher, but I have definitely talked up the Vampire Academy & Bloodlines series!

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Best Series – Lux series. This one blew me away as well, and I don’t even like aliens.

Best Sequel – The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Best Series Ender – Split Second by Kasie West

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Jennifer L Armentrout by a long shot!

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

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Opposition by Jennifer L Armentrout

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

Winner's Curse

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Sydney Sage, Bloodlines series.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I picked this for book club and it was a great discussion. Really made me think about a lot of things.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“Real friends are the ones you can count on no matter what.
The ones who go into the forest to find you and bring you home.
And real friends never have to tell you that they’re your friends.”

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest – American Gods by Neil Gaiman – 652 pages

Shortest – Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis – 62 pages (totally not 62 pages as at least 20 of these were the excerpts and stuff at the end)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Sydney and Adrian. No question.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Since You've Been Gone

Emily and Sloane from Since Youv’e Been Gone by Morgan Matson

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

It’s In His Kiss by Jill Shalvis

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Damien from the Lux Series

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

All of the Molly Harper books I read, which were many.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

To All the Boys

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Program by Suzanne Young

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Too tough to answer.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Karma by Donna Augustine

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

The Lux Series by Jennifer L Armentrout. There were various points in this series that made me rage. People died and that’s just not cool yo!

My Bookish/Blogging Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

Writing My Own Fairy Tale

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? 

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Why I Returned to the Library

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Hands down BEA was the best (and biggest) event of the year. But I had tons of other favorites as well. I went to a signing in DC for Jessica Spotswood that was tons of fun and a signing or two in NC as well.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

My book clubs Christmas Party. My book club is awesome and we had such a great time (as always)!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Views: The Program by Suzanne Young

Comments: Spring TBR – AKA “Kiss of Death” List

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

All of them!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Book Outlet. So many cheap books!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

The only reading goal or challenge I set for this year was the Goodreads challenge, which I finished and passed by 8 books and counting.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Ruby Circle

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Last Years Mistake by Gina Ciocca

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

Still the One by Jill Shalvis

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Blog more! I did not have a good blogging year and that is on me for being a slacker.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommended To Everyone:

None yet. I’ve only read one and it wasn’t one that I would scream out recommendations for!


Participating in this survey is one of my favorite things! If you participated please let me know so I can check out your answers!

Kimberly


Dec 16

Review * Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry

Reviews 2 ★★★

Review * Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarryBreaking the Rules by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #1.5
Published by Harlequin Teen on December 8th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Time: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Take Me On
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

What I Thought…

• When I found out Echo and Noah were getting another book I was unbelievably excited. Echo and Noah blew me away when I first read Pushing the Limits and I was eager to see what was going on for them now.

• There is always a risk reading a sequel to a favorite but I took the plunge. I certainly do not regret reading Breaking the Rules, but sadly it did not blow me away as much as Pushing the Limits did.

• I liked finding out a bit more about Noah and the family that his mom abandoned. It wasn’t easy by any mean for Noah to find out what happened and I would have liked to have seen a bit more about it, but what we got was good too. My heart broke for Noah all over again.

• Echo was of course dealing with her bitch of a mother, as well as finding herself. I didn’t care much about the story with her mom, but Echo’s realizations about herself and how she’s changed and not changed were well written and real.

• Obviously Noah and Echo go through some relationship issues. On one hand this was hard because they are one of my favorite book couples, but on the other hand since this takes place between Pushing the Limits and Dare You To I knew they were going to be together. I enjoyed how McGarry worked in some Beth and Isaiah moments.

Overall I enjoyed Pushing the Limits but it didn’t blow me away like Pushing the Limits did.

Kimberly


Dec 10

Waiting on Wednesday * All Fall Down

Waiting on Wednesday 0

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases.

Today I’m waiting on All Fall Down by Ally Carter which comes out on January 29, 2015.

 All Fall DownGrace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her–so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace–no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do.

Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Why I’m Waiting…

I’m waiting because it sounds completely awesome!

What are you waiting on?

Kimberly


Dec 08

Review * Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Review * Magnolia by Kristi CookMagnolia by Kristi Cook
Published by Simon & Schuster on August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Natural Disaster, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

What I Thought…

• This book was written for me. I kind of feel that the author was reading my mind a bit when she wrote Magnolia. Cook combined two of my favorite things: romance and natural disasters.

• Jemma and Ryder’s families have been trying to get them together since forever. Their families have been long time (like civil war long) friends and have been waiting for the perfectly timed boy and girl to officially tie them together. Jemma and Ryder want nothing to do with this. I thought their feud would be a bit different, but I have no complaints about what it was about. Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that trip us up.

• While I think it’s a little weird for Jemma’s parents and Ryder’s parents to both be gone when they know that a hurricane is approaching, other than Ryder’s mom their reasons for being gone make sense.

• The hurricane wasn’t a super large part of the book (mostly the middle third or so) but I loved every minute of it. I thought it was well written and intense and I couldn’t put it down.

• Magnolia is so much more than just the romance and the hurricane. Things happen. Jemma has to deal with changes, changes she can’t control. She is also dealing with what is expected of her and what she wants for herself.

• Despite the fact that Jemma and I are nothing alike she was easy to like and relate to. I loved watching her argue with Ryder and also open up to him.

Overall I LOVED Magnolia and would recommend it to just about anyone!

Kimberly


Dec 04

Review * Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review * Biggest Flirts by Jennifer EcholsThe Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Series: Superlatives #1
Published by Simon Pulse on May 20, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Perfect Couple, Most Likely to Succeed
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…

What I Thought…

• Biggest Flirts is my first Jennifer Echols book, but it will most certainly not be my last!

• Biggest Flirts fills all my requirements of a good contemporary romance. It’s cute and fun with a bit of seriousness thrown in.

• Tia and Will coudln’t be more different. Tia is the partyer who wants zero responsibility for anything. She’s pretty smart but hides it. She throws her drum solo on the first day of band camp just so she isn’t section leader. Tia is a really good friend though and wants what’s good for other people, more than she wants for her self.

• Will is totally different. Having just moved from Minnesota he’s the new guy, but he wants to be successful and to do things. He’s having a hard time adjusting to having to spend his senior year at a new school. He has a few issues too, but mostly the issues in Biggest Flirts are Tia’s.

• I loved all the secondary characters in Biggest Flirts and I’m excited to see them get their own story in future books. Sawyer was probably the most interesting, you can tell that he is hiding a lot behind his I don’t care attitude. Kaye and Harper were fun and really good with Tia. I can’t see what is in store for the three of them!

Overall Biggest Flirts is a cute contemporary romance and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series!

Kimberly


Dec 02

Top Ten Tuesday * 2015 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday 5

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Books I’m looking forward to in 2015.

Ruby Circle Still the One Dangers Unleashed The Fill In Boyfriend The Start of Me and You Lair of Dreams All Fall Down Winners Crime

1. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

2. Still the One by Jill Shalvis

3. Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire

4. Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

5. The Fill in Boyfriend by Kasie West

6. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

7. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

8. All Fall Down by Ally Carter

9. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

10. Jesse’s Girl (not pictured) by Miranda Kenneally

Kimberly