Wrap Up|| January.

wrapup

Hey!

First month of the year done! This month actually felt like it went by really slow, to be honest. It was a pretty crazy month for me with so many things going on, but I still managed to read quite a few books! I’ll have a picture post up for the month of January at some point of the random pictures that I took throughout the month, aside from my photo a day pictures that I’ve been posting all month. For now I’m just going to jump right into my January wrap up though. You can find a full list of these books and the other books I read this year over here. All will be linked to Goodreads below and I will also link to individual blog posts for them if I did a review.

Physically Read Books:
These are the books that I read by myself (not audiobooks) throughout the month of January.

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Long Way Home by Katie McGarry – 4 out of 5 stars.
I love the Thunder Road series so much and I am sad that it’s over. 😦 I finally read Long Way Home and I am so glad that I did. It was so good and a good way to end the series. I did love the first two books a little more though.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – 5 out of 5 stars. – Review.
It’s rare that I love a really hyped book, but I really loved The Cruel Prince. There were quite a few twists and it was so much fun to read. Feel free to check out my review for more.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – 5 out of 5 stars.
I really loved Tell Me Three Things. It was a quick read, pretty fun, and cute. I am excited to read Julie Buxbaum’s book What to Say Next.

A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen – 4 out of 5 stars. – Review.
I really enjoyed A Taxonomy of Love. It was pretty interesting and weird, but it was still a good story. It was also interesting to learn a little about Tourette Syndrome. Feel free to check out my review for more.

The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye – 4 out of 5 stars.
The Crown’s Fate was really good! I enjoyed it and read through it pretty quickly. Lots of different things happening and the ending was really great. I gave it one less star than the first book, because while I did really like The Crown’s Fate, it wasn’t as good as the first book.

Textrovert by Lindsey Summers – 3 out of 5 stars.
I flew through Textrovert, but it was a short book (230 pages) and it had text message bubbles that took up page space, lol. BUT it was a really cute book and fun to read. I easily guessed a lot of what was happening, but it was still pretty enjoyable and a quick read. I read half on Sunday (1/29) night and the other half on Monday (1/30). I probably could have read it in an entire day if I didn’t continue my rewatching of all the 7th Heaven episodes on Hulu LOL.


Audiobooks:
These are the books that I listened to the audio versions throughout the month of January.

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – 3 out of 5 stars.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater – 3 out of 5 stars.
I like this series, but I don’t love it. I think I’ve rated every single book so far three stars besides the first book. I think I gave that one 4 stars. It holds my attention, but I’m not jumping up and down with excitement for it. Kind of sad, because I know so many people love this series. I am hoping to read The Raven King in February.


Currently Reading Books:
These are the books that I started to read in the month of January, but didn’t get a chance to finish them yet.

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What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

I mentioned this one earlier in my post. I had What to Say Next on hold at my library for awhile and it finally got checked out to me, so I am reading that. I only have about two weeks before it gets turned back into the library, so I better get a move on. I actually had a ton of e-books on hold at the library and my library thought it would be cool to check almost every single book out to me at the exact same time. Last week I literally got six books checked out to me. SIX! I had to return two of the six, because I just can’t with all those books LOL.

What did you read in January? Have you read any of the books that in January? Feel free to link me to your wrap up posts, so I can check them out!

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway! Enter here: Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| January.
5 star reads of 2017.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyorange

Book Haul|| January.

bookhaulyellow

Hey!

I’m not sure how it happened, but I was not very good about not buying books and it’s only the first month of the year. I ended up getting several books. It could have been worse, to be honest though. 😛 Once again, no personal pictures of my books because we’re currently going through a lot of our stuff, moving things around, and I just haven’t been able to take any pictures of them. But the Goodreads cover will be okay, right? Onto the books that I got this month!

Physical Books:

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Barnes & Noble)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (Amazon)
Busted by Gina Ciocca (Amazon)

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Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (Amazon)
Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry (Amazon)
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight (Amazon)
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia (Maren)

So these are the physical books that I bought (or received). For Christmas my sister got me a Dobby bookend, but I was still missing one Harry Potter book. I’ve been collecting the hardcovers when I find them in Goodwill or other used bookstores. I finally broke down and bought a used copy on Amazon of Prisoner of Azkaban since it was the one I was missing. I heard I think Whitney Novels from Booktube talking about Disgrace and I really wanted to get it, so I bought a used copy on Amazon of that one too. I had to get Katie McGarry’s new book, because I love the Thunder Road series so much! I still need to buy those books to own! Maren from The Worn Bookmark sent me her extra copy of The Lovely Reckless. 🙂 And the other few books I didn’t mention are books that I really want to read and I read The Cruel Prince, which was amazing!


E-Books:

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The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
Warcross by Marie Lu
Nemesis by Anna Banks
Lucky in Love by Kasie West

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Because You Love to Hate Me by Various Authors/Booktubers
The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher
Thief by Tarryn Fisher

There were some pretty good e-book deals this month that I had to get. I’ve been really wanting to read the top row of books and Because You Love to Hate Me, so I was stoked when I seen them all on sale this month for $2.99-1.99. I read a few Tarryn Fisher books and I’ve enjoyed them. Maren from The Worn Bookmark was talking about them and how fast she read through them. I seen that each book was on sale for 99 cents each, so I got them. I am really looking forward to them, because Maren and I usually like the same books.

That’s all for my January book haul! What books did you get in January? Have you read any of the ones that I got?

I’ll have my wrap up post in a day or two. I am hoping to finish at least one more book before I post my wrap up. I was able to finish The Crown’s Fate over the weekend and I read half of another book in one day (which is rare for me), so I think I can read the other half tonight or at least most and be done by tomorrow. 😀

In case you missed it, I have a giveaway on my blog for a book of your choice and it’s international. I am picking a winner and announcing the winner on February 1st, so you still have a couple days to enter. Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!

Other posts you can check out in case you missed them;
5 star reads of 2017.
Photo A Day|| January 17-21.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I liked, but can’t remember.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

5 star reads of 2017.

2017books.jpgHey!

I thought it would be fun to do a blog post with the books that I rated five stars. I’ll also have one for four stars and three stars as well. In 2016 I read 105 books and only rated 15 of them with five stars. In 2017 I read a lot less (67 books) and managed to rate so many (27) of them five stars! I was either less pickier with five stars this year or I read some pretty amazing books. 😛

These are in no particular order. I just sorted my Goodreads 2017 list by “rating” and these are listed from top to bottom. I did try to group same author/series together though.

 

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Renegade Red (sequel) by Lauren Bird Horowitz
Being Fishkill by Ruth Lehrer
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Mime Order (sequel) by Samantha Shannon

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Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
The End of Oz (4th book) by Danielle Paige
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Catacomb (3rd book) by Madeleine Roux

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Horde (3rd book, reread) by Ann Aguirre
Outpost (2nd book, reread) by Ann Aguirre
Enclave (reread) by Ann Aguirre
Vanguard (4th book) by Ann Aguirre

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The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan
The Outside (sequel) by Laura Bickle
When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Crystal Storm (5th book) by Morgan Rhodes

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

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One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
Walk the Edge (sequel) by Katie McGarry
Legion (4th book) by Julie Kagawa

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The Border by Steve Schafer
F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

What are some books that you rated five stars in 2017? Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

In case you missed it;
Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!
Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I liked, but can’t remember.
Photo A Day|| January 17-21.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Photo A Day|| January 17-21.

photoaday1

Hi!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-4 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken  with my iPhone X.

Days 17-21 of January.

I accidentally skipped day 20 (which would have been “reflection”).

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Day 17: Thoughtful.
Instagram Caption: i love this guy and all the things he does for me. i can be a pain in the butt a lot of the time, but he loves me anyway. 🖤🌊
Camera: iPhone.

Went out to eat one night on a taco place at the beach with the hubby. The tacos were amazing (pictures in a later post) and the beach is always nice.


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Day 18: Cool.
Instagram Caption: “Even paradise could become a prison if one had enough time to take notice of the walls.” 📖
Camera: Nikon.

Quote used is from Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I can’t wait for the final book to come out in February. I am dying to get my hands on it, so I can read it. Hands down one of my favorite series ever.


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Day 19: Paper.
Instagram Caption: i made a new TBR jar of some of my unread books that i really want to try to read this year. my final list ended up being 124 books (i actually own about 500 unread books 😳). i would love to read all 124, but realistically i probably won’t. it’ll be fun randomly choosing which ones to read next though.
Camera: iPhone.

So like my Instagram caption says. I made a new TBR jar (that I probably won’t use, lol) of the 124 unread books out of 500 unread that I own that I want to try to read this year. I’m most likely not going to read all 124 books, but I mean I want to choose books from just that 124 on the list. Plus whatever books I check out from the library and new releases. I just added older books to that list and a few from 2017 that I really want to make a priority this year and probably next year.


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Day 21: Day off.
Instagram Caption: i should probably clean up the house, but will most likely lay in bed with leafy all day. 😴🐱
Camera: iPhone.

Leaf forever cuddles with me and I freaking love it! My other cats don’t give me enough attention, lol.

I am having a giveaway for my three year blogiversary on my blog that goes until the end of January! I linked the blog post below, so you can check it out!

In case you missed it;
Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!
Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I liked, but can’t remember.
Photo A Day|| January 13-16.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I liked, but can’t remember.

TTT-Big2

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

Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About.


Hey!

This is something that I am so bad with! Even some of my favorite books, I can’t seem to remember them clearly anymore. SO SAD, especially when I know I’ve loved them so much at the time that I read them. It’s so much worse when it’s a book that is a part of a series. Here are some of the books that I’ve read over the years that I REALLY loved, but can’t really remember much about them (other than the feeling of knowing I loved them).

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
The Giver (all 4 boooks) by Lois Lowry
Angelfall (all 3 books) by Susan Ee

These are some of my favorite books and it’s so sad that I can’t remember them completely. I know I loved them SO MUCH! I rated all of them five stars too. I think it’s time for a reread of these books. Luckily the Simon vs. movie is coming out this year though. It’ll give me a little bit of a refresher even if movies aren’t exactly the same as their books.

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Legion by Julie Kagawa
Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

These are some of my all-time favorite series and series that I need to finish, but I just can’t remember most of what happened! The Talon series (Legion) and the Falling Kingdoms series (Crystal Storm) are both finishing this year though, so that’s pretty exciting. I just have to reread or find recaps, sigh. Part of the reason why I haven’t read Library of Souls yet is because I don’t remember much of what happened in Miss Peregrine’s and Hollow City, so I keep putting it on hold.

What are some books you really liked, but can’t remember much or anything about them? Let me know in the comments and feel free to link me to your posts!

In case you missed it, I have a giveaway going on until the 31st of this month (January). It’s linked down below if you want to enter and win a book of your choice! It’s international as long as book depository ships to you.

Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Photo A Day|| January 13-16.

photoaday1

Hi!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-4 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken  with my iPhone X.

Days 13-16 of January.

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Day 13: Floral.
Instagram Caption: g o o d • v i b e s ✌🏼
Camera: iPhone.

I seen this shirt at Five Below and had to have it! It went perfect for my “floral” photo a day topic too. 😀


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Day 14: Faceless Portrait.
Instagram Caption: “my life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” 📷✌🏼
Camera: Nikon.


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Day 15: New.
Instagram Caption: i am living for the january @puravidabracelets pack.
Camera: iPhone.

I am seriously ADDICTED to Pura Vida Bracelets. I’m scared to even count how many I have. The last count was around 30 and that was months ago. I even have a bunch of their ankle bracelets too. I subscribe to their monthly subscription where you get three bracelets (sometimes four) every single month and they are usually part of theme, which you don’t know until you get the bracelets. I am usually in love with every single one. The theme for January looks like it is an ocean/ship theme and it’s probably one of my favorites! And there were four bracelets this month! What I love about the subscription is that it’s only $15 and you get some of there pricier bracelets every single month! I tend to not buy their really expensive bracelets (like the seed bead and most charm bracelets), because I don’t want to spend $15-25 on just one bracelet. With the monthly club though, you get those as part of the package and you still only pay $15 a month. And they are exclusive to the monthly club first. Anyway, I’m rambling, LOL! I just love their bracelets.


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Day 16: Wall.
Instagram Caption: throwback to NYC in june 2017.
Camera: Nikon.

I took this picture back in June when I went to NYC as part of my honeymoon and never posted it, so I decided to use it for my photo a day topic for this day. I also didn’t go anywhere cool this day and my walls are plain at home LOL.

I am having a giveaway for my three year blogiversary on my blog that goes until the end of January! I linked the blog post below, so you can check it out! 

In case you missed it;
Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!
Thoughts|| A Taxonomy of Love.
Photo A Day|| January 9-12.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Three Year Blogiversary & Giveaway!

threeyearblogiversary

Hey!

Yesterday was my three year blogiversary and I completely forgot about it! 😳 Shame on me, lol. I’m so stoked that I’ve been able to blog for three years! I’ve made so many amazing friends through blogging and I’ve even met a few of you guys, which was exciting! I know over the last year and a half my blogging has been up and down (mostly down), but I still love it here. I still love blogging. I still love you guys! I even changed my blog around a bit, so I could try to update more and not only about books. Like include more posts about photography or just random things happening in my life. I mentioned all about this over here (in case you missed it).

I am super stoked for this new year of blogging ahead! Other pretty exciting news is I upgraded my blog to a personal account. I was actually at 98% of my photo usage, so I kind of HAD to upgrade (hahah) or no more pictures and that’s not cool with me. I love posting pictures! Also with my new personal upgrade, I can now be “sociallyawkwardbookworm.com” instead of “.wordpress.com” and that is pretty freaking cool! New domain name change in a few days though. I want to give it time to work reliably. It does work, but WordPress says it might be “unreliable” the first 72 hours, so just to be safe I’ll keep it the old way for now. With the new upgraded personal blog change, you’re all stuck with me for at least another year now! 😜

Now onto the giveaway! It’s been three years, it’s time I did a giveaway! If it goes well, then there will be more in the future! It’ll be international as long as Book Depository ships to you. If you’re in the US, I’ll do a book from Amazon if you prefer that way.

You will win:
+ A book of your choice up to $25, so basically any book as long as it’s $25 or less.

How to enter:
+ Follow my blog (if you’re not already).
+ Comment down below what your favorite book of 2017 was!

SUPER EASY! It will run from now until January 31st. I will randomly pick and announce a winner on February 1st. 📖

GOOD LUCK!! & thanks for reading my blog over the last three years! I am super excited to continue blogging about books (and other things)!

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| A Taxonomy of Love.
Photo A Day|| January 9-12.
Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| A Taxonomy of Love.

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A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen
4 out of 5 stars.

“Sometimes you have a day that is so epic that you know, even before it’s over, that it’s going to be one of the dozens that you remember forever.”

Goodreads Description: The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too. Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.


I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release date was January 9th, 2018.

A Taxonomy of Love had ALL the feels. It was cute, it was happy, it was sad (omg, was it sad!), it had me tearing up, it had me laughing, there were times I was annoyed, and times I was angry. Like I said, it had all the feels. I think all that makes for a good book, especially if you’re able to connect with the characters and experience all of the feelings and emotions they are going through. I felt that when I was reading this book and Rachael did a good job with writing it.

The book stars off with Spencer and Hope being in just seventh grade and it following them all through high school. It was really cool getting to see all the characters in this story grow and navigate life and high school. It wasn’t always easy for Spencer (especially in his younger years) since he has Tourette Syndrome. I felt so bad for him a lot of the time and I was rooting for him every page. It felt like he had to try 100 times harder than everyone. Hope had her own struggles through the years as well. It wasn’t always easy for her, but I think in ways both Spencer and Hope got through things because they had their friendship.

There were also times where Hope made me pretty angry as well. I felt so protective of Spencer, so anything that was against it made me mad or annoyed me though. So many other great characters in this story as well as the MC; like their families, although Dean (Spencer’s brother) was questionable at times. There were also times I did think things were a little weird or didn’t make sense to the story. It also jumped around quite a bit without warning. Like first they were in seventh grade and then all of a sudden it would be months or a year later without warning. So had to figure that out. I’m also not sure if that’s just the way that the e-ARC was setup, because there weren’t always breaks or headers other than “chapter numbers” or when Spencer created a taxonomy list.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I am really happy that I was given the opportunity to read it. There were a lot of things to take away from this and it was interesting to learn a little about Tourette Syndrome. I haven’t read any books that had a character with TS, so that was also cool about reading this one. New experiences and learning things I don’t know a whole lot about. It was just released earlier this month, so definitely go check it out!

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #45.
Photo A Day|| January 9-12.
Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleypink

WWW Wednesday #45.

wwwwednesdayflower

WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions. 🙂

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

*Goodreads linked below.


Hi!

I’ve actually been flying through books this week, which is pretty exciting. I am just going to jump right into this WWW post. Here is what I’ve been reading over the last week or so.

Currently Reading:

 

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

This year I am trying to focus on finishing some of the series that I’ve started and never finished. So I got back into the Raven Cycle series and currently listening to The Dream Thieves audiobook.  I’m on the fence about it. It’s interesting, but I’m hoping it gets better. I’m a little over 30% into it right now. The first month or two of the year I want to also try to catch up with those ARCs that I haven’t been able to get to before the end of 2017, so I am also reading A Taxonomy of Love. This one was just released earlier this month. I’m almost finished with it (should be today). I have mixed feelings about it. I’m not sure if I love it or not, it’s weird. I’ll have a review at the end of the week.


Recently Finished:

 

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

I was able to finish two books on Sunday, TWO! I was pretty stoked that I was able to finish both in one day. I had about 40 pages left of The Cruel Prince and then 40% of Tell Me Three Things once Sunday came around. I LOVED both books so much. The Cruel Prince was everything I hoped it would be and more. I’ll have my review linked at the end of this post if you want to check it out. Tell Me Three Things was a quick read, pretty fun, and cute. Both books got five stars from me!



Reading Next:

 

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

I mentioned earlier in this post that I wanted to focus more on finishing series that I started, so I am also hoping to read The Crown’s Fate as well. Another one of my goal’s was to also binge read entire series instead of reading the first book or two and forgetting about them, so that’s why I am jumping right into Blue Lily, Lily Blue after The Dream Thieves. I also mentioned earlier in the post that I wanted to catch up on some leftover ARCs from 2017, so I am hoping to get to Before I Let Go too. It was released earlier this month. These are the books that I am hoping to read next. I do also have a couple more ARCs/review requests to get to in February and I should be clear of all ARCs from 2017!

What are you currently reading? Recently finished? Reading next? Have you read any of these books? Let me know and link me to your posts if you have one!

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.
Photo A Day|| January 9-12.

I hope you have a great day.

ashleybluegray

Twitter: whoa_itsashley
Instagram: heyyitsashley
Bookstagram: foreverbookish_

Photo A Day|| January 9-12.

photoaday1

Hi!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-4 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken  with my iPhone X.

Days 9-12 of January.

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Day 9: Everyday Moments.
Instagram Caption: leaf; she’s forever pretty. ♡
Camera: iPhone.

If little Leaf could stop growing, that would be great! I am obsessed with her and she has this completely opposite personality than my other two cats. She loves water (playing in it, taking showers with us (LOL)), she loves attention and cuddling, she loves people and always wants to be in your face, she’s crazy fun, and she loves to play with toys.


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Day 10: I like this!
Instagram Caption: october is forever in her own world. everyone thinks she’s not friendly or the “evil one”, but she’s just hella shy, likes to do her own thing, and likes attention only when she wants it. she doesn’t tolerate it otherwise. shes the loner of the pack, but she’s actually really sweet if you’re alone with her. i love her to death and wouldn’t have her any other way. 🎃
Camera: iPhone.

My other girl, October and exactly what my caption says. Although this past week, she has been a little more opened to hanging out with the rest of us. As you can see, she’s completely opposite of Leaf. And then there’s my boy ColbyJack (picture below). He thinks he’s king of the house and the other furbabies, but really he’s just a huge drama queen. LOL. I also have my pup Dax, he’s super chill, almost always happy, and loves people and all animals (big or small).

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Day 11: Me.
Instagram Caption: “i’m starting to be where i need to be.” ♫
Camera: iPhone.


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Day 12: Sweet.
Instagram Caption: much needed after this week. 🍺
Camera: iPhone.

Last week was kind of a crazy week, so Friday the hubby and I went out to get food and drinks. Much needed grapefruit beer.

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.
Photo A Day|| January 5-8.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| The Cruel Prince.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
5 out of 5 stars.

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

Goodreads Description: Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


I was sent an ARC of The Cruel Prince from The Novl. (Check out their monthly newsletters for chances to win books from them!) It was just released earlier this month.

I was BEYOND stoked when I got an ARC of The Cruel Prince in my mailbox. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it and I was dying to check it out myself. Most of the time, hyped books aren’t usually my cup of tea. For some reason I never love hyped books as much as everyone else. I was definitely nervous going into The Cruel Prince because of that reason. It’s totally a curse and I don’t know why!

BUT! If you can’t tell by my star rating, I freaking loved The Cruel Prince! This may end up being more a post of me fangirling than a review, just a warning! I got about 30% into the ARC and then I rushed to Barnes & Noble the next day and bought myself my own finished copy. It was so freaking good, you guys! Personally, I thought it was flawless. So many feels! So much excitement on every page. The twists! Holy crap! There were so many of them and quite a few I didn’t see coming at all!

I love the world that Holly Black painted with her words. I loved the characters and I had a love/hate for a couple of them too. You want to hate them, but you secretly love them more. Jude was pretty much kick-ass! I loved her personality, I loved how much a fighter she was. She was hands down one of my favorite characters. Honestly, probably one of my favorites in any book in such a long time. I was rooting for her the entire time.

Taryn and Vivi; Jude’s sisters. I really enjoyed them as characters, but at times Taryn  (Judy’s twin) made me a little angry, especially when it came to certain things with Jude; like Jude standing up for herself with the Prince. There was a lot of character developments, like Prince Cardan. He’s wicked, he’s cruel, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Lots of character development with him and I can’t wait to see how he continue to develop as the series goes on. Madoc is one of those characters where you don’t know if you like him or hate him. There are so many characters in this book though! SO MANY!

Overall, I thought a The Cruel Prince was EVERYTHING! There were so many things happening and it kept you on the edge of your seat and flipping through the pages at top speed. There are so many secrets for Jude to uncover and it gets pretty crazy! I loved this one and I highly recommend picking up a copy! It’s out in the world now, so no excuses! If you want the black cover like me, I got it at Barnes & Noble. I plan to buy the original white cover too, because I loved it that much. 😛

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| January 5-8.
Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I meant to read in 2017.
Travel|| Lakeland…again.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Photo A Day|| January 5-8.

photoaday1

Hi!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-4 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken  with my iPhone X.

Days 5-8 of January.

*link to days 1-4 at the end of this post*

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Day 5: Stacked.
Instagram Caption: currently reading (the cruel prince) & book mail (busted). 📖
Camera: iPhone.

I knew I wanted to take a picture of my books for this topic, but I also didn’t want to go home and take books down from my shelf (lazy and just got off work). The hubby brought a package I got with him when he picked me up from work and it happened to be a book, so I actually took this picture in the car of my current read and the book that I got in the mail. LOL. So my stacked picture worked out. 😛


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Day 6: Happy Place.
Instagram Caption: the cruel prince is pretty good so far! now the struggle of deciding if i want the black or white finished copy. to be honest, if i five star this book then i’m buying both lol. 🤔🖤📖
Camera: iPhone.

I am about 200 pages into The Cruel Prince and it’s so freaking good! I didn’t even wait until I finished reading the book (at the time I was probably about 30 something percent into it) before going out and buying a copy. From the pictures below, I chose the black cover Barnes and Noble edition. As my caption says, if I five star this book then I will be ordering the white one too, lol.

 


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Day 7: Light.
Instagram Caption: ☀️🚗✌🏼
Camera: iPhone.

I had this sunset picture saved on my phone from Lakeland a couple weekends ago and never posted it, so I used it for my day 6 picture. I am kind of obsessed with it. We were driving back to Lakeland from Lake Wales and the sun was setting right in front of us. I was in the back seat and got this shot.


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Day 8: Splendid.
Instagram Caption: 🖤✨
Camera: iPhone.

And another sunset, because I am obsessed with them and taking pictures of them. I know I’ve probably said that so many times, lol. This one was taken at the end of my street.

In case you missed it;
Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I meant to read in 2017.
Travel|| Lakeland…again.
Phot A Day|| January 1-4.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Top Ten Tuesday|| Books I meant to read in 2017.

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top ten books I meant to read in 2017, but didn’t get to.


Hey!

FYI, it’s been over seven months since I’ve done a TTT post! I want to try to do more this year. Anyway, onto the topic for today. Ten books that I meant to read in 2017, but didn’t get to. There are SO MANY books that I wanted to read in 2017, but didn’t get a chance to. Narrowing this down to just ten is going to be pretty difficult, but let’s get started!

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The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Some of these I have been wanting to read for so long, like Six of Crows. I’ve had it since it’s release in 2015 and have yet to get to it. UGHH. I’ve also owned almost all of these since their release dates. Hopefully this year! I actually have a buddy read planned in February for When Dimple Met Rishi, so that’s good. I really hope to read all of these this year.

What are some books that you mean to read in 2017, but didn’t get the chance to read? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Feel free to link me to your TTT posts, so I can check them out! 🙂

In case you missed it;
Travel|| Lakeland…again.
Phot A Day|| January 1-4
2018 Reading Goals.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Travel|| Lakeland…again.

lakeland

Hey!

So I did a trip to Lakeland once again (told you that I love this city!), but this time with my younger sister, mom, and aunt. We only went for a couple days, but it was still pretty fun. We went the weekend of New Year’s.

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View from the window in our hotel room. The hotel was pretty nice and we were right in the middle of Lakeside Village, which was nice. Lakeside Village has a lot of shops and restaurants in it. It’s like a little shopping center type place, but outdoors. My younger sister and I spent most of the time there.

The first night we went to dinner at Glory Days. We were meeting up with my mom’s and aunt’s cousin. That was pretty fun. I didn’t take any pictures of that. After we ate dinner, we went to a bar for a little bit. We didn’t stay out long though. We were all pretty tired since we went to Lakeland straight after work. The next day we went to breakfast and then back to the hotel. My mom had to work during the day, but once the shops opened in Lakeside Village, my younger sister (Stephanie) and I went down there to walk around.

 

 

 

Fountain in the middle of Lakeside Village. I really wanted to go to Rocket Fizz, so I could get Andy some soda and to get myself salt water taffy. He loves all the different flavored sodas they sell and we don’t have a Rocket Fizz near us. We always make sure to stop there every time we go to Lakeland. My sister ended up getting some sodas too.

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Does anyone remember Whistle Pops?! Rocket Fizz had Whistle Pops, so my sister got some. We used to get these ALL THE TIME when we were kids. I love that Rocket Fizz has a bunch of older candies from back then. It’s hard not to buy everything, haha.

 

 

 

My sister and I went to Books-A-Million and I managed to leave the store without buying a single book! Left is a picture of us in some masks they had there. She’s the dinosaur and I’m the cat (of course). 😛 There was also a frozen yogurt shop inside Books-A-Million, so we got some. I haven’t had froyo in so long, because the place by my house closed down.

 

 

 

On the way to Lakeland, we drive through this little town called Lake Wales (which I love that town too, haha) and they had this bar we seen called “Y’all Come Back Saloon”, so we decided to check it out after hanging out in Lakeside Village. My mom and aunt went with. It was such a fun bar. It was defintely a dive bar (which we love) and super country (which we love) and cheap beer (which we love), haha. It was perfect for us and it was a lot of fun. My sister and I played pool for a little while. I suck at pool and I also think it’s kind of boring, lol. Back home my mom, aunt, and older sister play. They are all on pool teams too, but I don’t like it. LOL.

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My mom and aunt drank quite a bit, so they went back to the hotel once we got back to Lakeland. My sister and I decided to go back to Lakeside Village and go to Brass Tap. We both got flights and pizza. I loved all the beer that I got. My sister liked three of the four that she picked up out. I love craft beer and of course pizza!

 

 

 

After we drank and ate pizza we walked around and ended up at Smallcakes.  They were on Cupcake Wars on Food Network! I ended up buying cupcakes and we ate them for breakfast on Sunday. THEY WERE SO GOOD!

 

 

 

We were originally supposed to stay in Lakeland until Monday (January 1st), but ended up coming back a day early. These are some pictures I took on the way back home from the car.

Even though we came home a day early, it was still pretty fun. Especially getting to hangout with my younger sister. She’s a truck driver with her boyfriend, so I don’t get to see her that often. I am always down for a trip to Lakeland and Lake Wales. I think there will be another one in the next month or two.

I think I am going to do a few blog posts with the books I read last year with their ratings. Example: a blog post with all of my five star reads in 2017, four star reads, etc. I actually had quite a bit of five star reads, so it’ll be cool showing them all in one post. That may be coming at some point this week or early next week.

In case you missed it;
Phot A Day|| January 1-4
2018 Reading Goals.
New Year, New Blog.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Phot A Day|| January 1-4.

photoaday1

Hi!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-4 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken  with my iPhone X.

Days 1-4 of January.

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Day 1: I am here.
Instagram Caption: playing exploding kittens with the younger sister and mom. 🐱💥
Camera: iPhone.

The hubby and I were gifted Exploding Kittens from his family for Christmas and my mom and sisters have been playing it. It’s pretty fun. My mom probably loves it more than everyone else and gets angry if she loses, haha.


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Day 2: Yellow.
Instagram Caption: 💛💛
Camera: Nikon.

Just a random picture of some little flowers. A lot of people consider these weeds, but I think they are cute.


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Day 3: On the floor.
Instagram Caption: “We all live day to day completely oblivious to the fact that we’re a part of a much larger and stranger reality than we can possibly imagine.” 📖
Camera: iPhone.

Can you guess the book I quoted in my caption? If not, it’s Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I love that book so much and this is hands down one of my favorite quotes. I took the picture of my reflection on a door I walked past outside my work.


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Day 4: Plain.
Instagram Caption: 🐚💙 || i honestly had no idea what to take a picture of today for this topic, so here’s a pretty shell. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Camera: iPhone.

Like my caption said, I had no idea what to take a picture of for that topic. So I posted a picture of this shell that I took a months ago, but never posted.


BONUS PICTURES, because they are too cute not to share.

 

Clearly little Leaf didn’t make it to midnight. 😛

In case you  missed it;
2018 Reading Goals.
New Year, New Blog.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2018 Reading Goals.

readingoals

Hey!

I decided to come up with a list of things I hope to accomplish or do more of in 2018 as far as reading/books go. I will have another list for regular life things later, but this one will be about books!

2018 Goodreads challenge. My Goodreads reading challenge is to read 60 books. In 2017 I read 59 books and listened to 8 audiobooks. Since I was able to read 59 books in 2017, I decided to increase my Goodreads challenge to 60. I think it’s doable, especially since 2017 I didn’t read nearly as much as I have in the past due to being busy and quite a few reading/blogging slumps. I am not going to count audiobooks this year toward my Goodreads challenge, but I will still list all the audiobooks that I listen to in recaps or my 2018 books I read page here. So that means my main goal is to read 60 books myself and audiobooks don’t count toward that total.

Read more adult books. I love YA, I always gravitate more toward YA, but I have so many adult books that I’ve been neglecting. I want to get to more of those books and finally read some of the ones that I’ve had for awhile and just never got to. Don’t get me wrong, I still and forever will love YA, but it’ll be nice to branch out more. I enjoy adult books as well, I just never read as many.

Read my unfinished series. I have started a lot of book series over the last few years and haven’t finished them. I want to finish the completed series and catch up to the newest books in the uncompleted series that I’ve started. In 2017 I gravitated toward more standalone books, because I felt so guilty starting a new series when I have so many that I haven’t finished yet. So I want to get to more of those, so I can finally start some new series that I’ve been dying to read. I used to read an entire series (if it was an older one and had all or most books out) before I even started a new book/series. I need to do that again, which brings me to my next thing.

Binge read any new series I start. If I start a new book series and it has more than one book out, I want to binge all the available books instead of putting them on hold and reading other books. Before I started my blog in 2015, I used to do that like I mentioned above. I never even bought a new book until I finished the one I was currently reading; unless it was a series that I was loving, then I bought all the books and binge read them all. Not going to lie, as much as I love blogging and everyone I met here, it’s kind of changed my reading habits A LOT. Now I’m drowning in unread books and unfinished series.

Continue to buy less books. In 2017 I did a pretty good job with not buying so many books. I used my library a lot more if I was dying to read something that I didn’t have. It helped me with finally reading more of the older books I’ve had on my shelf’s that I hadn’t read yet and kept neglecting due to buying more and more books every month. So I want to continue to not buy so many new books and continue to read my older books.

Get rid of books I don’t like/plan to reread. I’m out of bookshelf space. I continue to run out of bookshelf space. #bookwormproblems. I want to put an empty box next to my bookshelf, so if I don’t like a book or it was just “okay” and I don’t have any real connection to it, I plan to drop it in the empty box instead of putting it back on my shelf. Once the box is filled, I will donate the books or give them away and continue again. I want to try to own books I REALLY love versus having a ton of books taking up space that could be used for new books.

Don’t fall behind on ARCs. I read a lot of ARCs in 2017. Probably more than my previous years of blogging. It was part of my plan for buying less books in 2017. If I got them from publishers, I would be able to read the books I wanted, blog about them, and if I truly loved them I would buy the finished copies for myself when they got released. It worked great, but toward the end of the year with the holidays and blogging slump, I fell a bit behind. I am playing catch up now and although I don’t plan to request as much this year, I don’t want to get behind on any that I do request.

These are pretty much my main focus for 2018 as far as reading and books go. I also want to have fun with this, so I am not putting any pressure whatsoever, because then that just sucks the fun out of it and I’ll not want to try anymore. I don’t really have any set goals for blogging, because I struggled in 2017 with it becoming a chore rather than fun. So I am going to continue to post the content that I want to post (whether books, photography, travel, etc.) and post when I want to. I don’t want to feel like I have to or it’ll again not feel fun to me and I may not be around much again. I also have a ton of things happening in 2018 that I haven’t talked about yet, so that may take up some of my time as well. It’s all about balance and I have to find something that works for me.

What are some goals you have for this year? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one! 

In case you missed it;
New Year, New Blog.
Recap|| December.
Random|| Christmas & Other Things.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyorange

New Year, New Blog.

blogchanges

Happy New Year!

** You may have seen this exact same blog post below back in November, but I am posting it again just in case you missed it and because it’s the new year and I planned to make some new changes to my blog, which I have been trying to incorporate more toward the end of 2017. I will also have another post coming soon of some goals that I hope to accomplish in the new year as far as blogging, reading, and regular life goes. I am going to also post my Goodreads 2017 challenge stats, fave books I read in 2017, and my challenge for 2018. So, be on the look out for those posts coming this week. **

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging, the blogosphere, and especially my blog and I decided to make some changes and I really hope you stick around for them! Continue reading this post to learn more about it.

I had originally created a blog called “still pixels” for my photography (side note; I am not a pro-photographer or anything like that. I just like taking pictures and sometimes they come out pretty awesome.) and I have an Instagram account to go along with it as well. I like everything I did over there for the two weeks I was doing it, but I think juggling two blogs is difficult; especially when I neglect this one A LOT over the last year. With a new year here, I want to make some changes to the content on this blog.

With that being said, I am going to slowly make this blog be about all the things I like and not only books. It’ll also be where I talk about random things happening in my life. A little journal (ish) in a way. Also, kind of like how I was doing with my random picture posts that I’ve done over the last couple years, but there will be more of it; not just once in awhile.

I migrated some of the things that I posted on Still Pixels over to this blog as well, because I liked the content that I made and posted there; like the headers that I made from the pictures that I took. I’m not going to delete Still Pixels, because in the future I may want to try again with that blog. I’ll be leaving it active, but not updating it (for now). I’m leaving my Instagram account for Still Pixels (stillpixels_) active too, but not updating that right now either. I put that account to private for now.

I will still be updating about books here, but books may not necessarily be my main focus. I don’t plan to rename this blog or anything, because “Socially Awkward Bookworm” still portrays who I am as a person. I am still (and forever) socially awkward and I am still (and forever) a bookworm. There’s more to me than just books though, so I want to talk about and share those things too. I love blogging, but sometimes not always about books and I have no idea where else to put the things in my head.

I think that’s another reason why I’ve been pretty MIA in the blogosphere over the last year and a half. I don’t always want to blog about books, but this blog has always been centered around books and I felt like maybe it would have been wrong in some way to post other things besides book related things and the casual picture update. So I’ve slowly stepped away, I guess you can say. I don’t want to do that though, because I love having a place to put my thoughts and my pictures (other than Instagram).

BUT! With a new year (HELLO, 2018!) here I decided I am going to embrace it and post whatever I want to post about; whether that be books, music, tv shows, fandoms, traveling, photography, or anything else happening in my life. This will be a space for all of that and more. In life if things aren’t working out for you anymore, you change it, or leave it behind. I don’t want to do anything in life that isn’t going to make me happy.

“I’m so focused on my own energy right now and people misinterpret that. I’m not being distant. I’m just gravitating to the vibes that suit me.”

I want to live a life where I am happy with all of my choices and what I am doing and I want my blog to reflect that too. I want to live my life as stress free as humanly possible and if that means having to let some things or people go, then so be it. Life is too short to be anything other than happy and who you want to be. Life is too short to not have the things you want and do the things that you want to do. I’m all about good vibes and that’s the way I want to live my life always.

“I’m learning to be more calm and patient these days. Just can’t afford to let anything or anyone steal my happiness.”

“The more in harmony you are with the flow of your own existence, the more magical life becomes.”

There will still be TONS of talk about books too; no one will ever be able to take away my love for books and the need to talk about them. You’ll just get to see more into my life as well and that could be pretty fun. 🙂

ashleyyellow