Friday Finds #86.

fridayfinds

These are books that I have added to my Goodreads TBR shelves recently. I don’t own them (YET), but they are books that I really want to read one day!


Hey!

I have five books that I recently added to my Goodreads shelf to share with you today. I’ve included the book descriptions below and linked them to Goodreads as well, in case you want to add them to your TBR. You can see more of my TBR shelves over on my Goodreads account over here and feel free to add me as a friend!

wheredreamsdescend

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Goodreads Description: In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes. As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next. The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost. The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told. The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide.


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The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons

Goodreads Description: For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There’s just one tiny problem: He’s dead. Stuck in a surreal limbo governed by bureaucracy, Thomas is unable to “cross over” to the afterlife until he completes a 90-day stint on earth, during which time he is forbidden to get involved with a member of the living — lest he incur “regrets.” When Thomas and Rachel break this rule, they unleash a cascade of bizarre, troubling consequences.


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This Is My Brain in Love by I. W. Gregorio

Goodreads Description: Jocelyn Wu has just three wishes for her junior year: To make it through without dying of boredom, to direct a short film with her BFF Priya Venkatram, and to get at least two months into the year without being compared to or confused with Peggy Chang, the only other Chinese girl in her grade. Will Domenici has two goals: to find a paying summer internship, and to prove he has what it takes to become an editor on his school paper. Then Jocelyn’s father tells her their family restaurant may be going under, and all wishes are off. Because her dad has the marketing skills of a dumpling, it’s up to Jocelyn and her unlikely new employee, Will, to bring A-Plus Chinese Garden into the 21st century (or, at least, to Facebook). What starts off as a rocky partnership soon grows into something more. But family prejudices and the uncertain future of A-Plus threaten to keep Will and Jocelyn apart. It will take everything they have and more, to save the family restaurant and their budding romance.


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The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Goodreads Description: Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences. Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest. But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.


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Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett

Goodreads Description: Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know—like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. 

All of these books sound so amazing and I am dying to get my hands on them. Have you added any new books to your TBR? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one or leave a comment letting me know what new books you added to your TBR recently. 

In case you missed it;
2 Star Reads of 2019.
3 Star Reads of 2019.
Happy Valentine’s Day|| 10 of my favorite romance books.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2 Star Reads of 2019.

booksiread

Hey!

I thought it would be fun to do blog posts showing the books that I read throughout the year and what I rated them. This list is my two star reads. This is the last post of this little mini series, because I didn’t have any one star books in 2019. They are in the order that I read them. You can check out a list of all the books that I read in 2019 over here.

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There There by Tommy Orange (audiobook)
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (audiobook)
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim (audiobook)

I had so much high expectations for these books and I wanted to love them so much, but they ended up being just okay to me. I had way too many issues with them or I found them to be mostly boring. What books did you give two stars to in 2019? You can check out my other star rating posts linked below.

3 Star Reads of 2019.
4 Star Reads of 2019.
5 Star Reads of 2019.

It was a lot of fun looking back on all the books that I read last year. Looking forward to seeing what my lists will look like this year! I’ll be catching up with your posts and comments today. 🙂

In case you  missed it;
Happy Valentine’s Day|| 10 of my favorite romance books.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

3 Star Reads of 2019.

booksiread

Hey!

I thought it would be fun to do blog posts showing the books that I read throughout the year and what I rated them. I meant to have this posted the first week of January, but just never got around to it. This list is my three star reads of 2019. They are mostly in the order that I read them, I did group book series together. You can check out a list of all the books that I read in 2019 over here.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
Circe by Madeline Miller

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Release by Patrick Ness
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Verity by Colleen Hoover

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You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (audiobook)
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (audiobook)

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The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (audiobook)
The Vegetarian by Han Kang (audiobook)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (audiobook)

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (audiobook)
Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan (audiobook)
Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

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Wilder Girls by Rory Powers
love, and you by Gretchen Gomez
welcome to ghost town by Gretchen Gomez

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How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman
A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson (audiobook)

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Inspection by Josh Malerman
Dr. Mutter’s Marvels by Cristin O’keefe Aptowicz (audiobook)
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen (audiobook)
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds

These are all books that I liked, but wasn’t blown away. A lot of these I had really high expectations for, but was let down in some way. What books did you give three stars to in 2019? You can check out my four star and five star posts linked below.

4 Star Reads of 2019.
5 Star Reads of 2019.

I wanted to post this last week but I ended up posting other things instead. My two star rating post coming up this week; probably tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m still battling this reading slump and I think it actually got worse since last month, sigh. Hopefully more reading and more blogging soon.

In case you missed it;
Happy Valentine’s Day|| 10 of my favorite romance books.
WWW Wednesday #68.
Review|| Darling Rose Gold.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Happy Valentine’s Day|| 10 of my favorite romance books.

booksiread

Happy Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of the holiday I thought it would be fun to make a list of my favorite romance books. I thought making this post would be a lot easier than it actually was. I guess I don’t read a ton of romance and when I do, I don’t usually give them five stars (LOL). Here are ten “romance” books that I absolutely loved so much and they received five stars from me. I say romance in quotation marks because I don’t know if they all fall into that category or not, lol.

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

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Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Bright Side by Kim Holden
F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

What are some of your favorite romance books? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day? We don’t always celebrate Valentine’s Day (we’re not those kind of people, I guess), but this year we decided to get each other a small gift and card. We’ll probably stay at home tonight. I’m sure so many people will be out tonight and I don’t like crowded places and I don’t know…going out on Valentine’s Day seems strange to me, especially because we never do it. It’s like everyone is sharing their love together in the same place and I don’t know, it’s weird (and awkward) when I think about it and I also don’t really like PDA. Maybe I’m just weird and unromantic, haha. That all probably sounds so confusing but I don’t know how to put my exact thought into words about it. It’s great and amazing if you celebrate and love that kind of thing though! I’m just strange, lol.

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #68.
Review|| Darling Rose Gold.
4 Star Reads of 2019.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyred

WWW Wednesday #68.

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?

*All books linked to Goodreads below.


Hey!

So far in February I haven’t really been reading as much as I would have liked to, which is sad and annoying. I don’t know what is up with  me lately, but I just haven’t really felt like reading and that sucks! I’ve also been pretty busy the past two weeks with dogsitting so many dogs. I had a plan to read all day yesterday, but that ended up not happening because I watched the entire season (12 episodes) of The Circle on Netflix. I got so into it and couldn’t stop! If you don’t know, The Circle is this social media competition show. Hopefully today will be different? Fingers crossed. Anyway, here is what I read recently and may (or may not) read next.

Currently Reading:

girlswithrazorhearts

Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young

I am currently reading Girls with Razor Hearts. It’s the sequel to Girls with Sharp Sticks. I really loved Girls with Sharp Sticks, so I am excited to be reading the sequel. I’m only about 50-60 pages into it, but so far I like it. If you’re interested and have Kindle Unlimited, Girls with Sharp Sticks is free on Kindle Unlimited. Girls with Razor Hearts will be released next month (March).


Recently Finished:

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Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

I recently finished Darling Rose Gold. It reminded me a lot of the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case, but it also was like a different twist on that real life story. I really liked this one and at times it was hard to put down. Most of it was really great, but I wasn’t too happy with the way it ended. You can check out my review linked at the end of this post.


Reading Next:

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Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
Heartstopper: Volume Three by  Alice Oseman

I am not really sure what I am going to read next. I have a few more ARCs that I have planned to read and then my copy of Heartstopper Volume 3 was just delivered to me the other day, so I may end up reading that as soon as possible. Dragon Hoops is one of the ARCs that I plan to read this month, so maybe my next reads will be some graphic novels, so I don’t feel so bad about not reading a ton this month. I usually fly through graphic novels in a day. Maybe they’ll also get me excited about reading again and get me out of this slump or whatever it is I’m in.

What are you currently reading? Recently finished? Reading next? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to link me to your posts, so I can check them out!

In case you missed it;
Review|| Darling Rose Gold.
4 Star Reads of 2019.
Introducing: Andy Reads.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| Darling Rose Gold.

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Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold. Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar. After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes. Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score. Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.


I received an ARC of Darling Rose Gold from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be published on March 17.

I was drawn to the book because the description sounded like it had some similarities to the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case. If you don’t know about that case, it was pretty famous and they even made a TV show on Hulu called “The Act” about it. It was about the mother of Gypsy Rose pretending that her daughter had all of these illnesses when she really didn’t. In the real life story, Gypsy realizes what’s going on and her and her boyfriend murdered the mom and ran away together until they were caught. Now what about Darling Rose Gold?

This story had a lot of similarities to the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case as I mentioned, but it was also so different. I was really excited about reading this book, because while it was similar in a lot of ways it was also in my opinion kind of like a retelling. Like what if the mom wasn’t murdered and was sent to prison instead. In Darling Rose Gold, the mom is sent to prison and then gets out five years later and wants to reconnect with her daughter Rose Gold. It was kind of an interesting twist to the real story. I know this book has nothing to do with the real Gypsy Rose case, but it just really reminded me of it and a lot of the time that’s all I could think about as I read this story.

Darling Rose Gold was really great and I enjoyed reading it. It’s crazy and so heartbreaking that a parent could ever do that to their child. There’s lots of deception and twisted things in this story, but that’s what made it so hard to put down. There were lots of back story as well, which was nice. I liked the flashbacks, because I felt like they needed to be there to really understand everything going on. I don’t want to say a whole lot because I don’t want to risk spoilers, but I really enjoyed this story. I loved all the dark twisted things that were happening, but I wasn’t very satisfied with the way that the story ended. I’m not sure what I was expecting for the outcome at the end, but I was a bit disappointed with it. It was a little predictable, but I didn’t think it took too much away from the story. Overall, great thriller novel and I would definitely recommend.

In other news, I am hoping to do some blog hopping today to catch up with your posts and to reply to comments. I am currently dogsitting THREE dogs, so it’s been a little hard to find some time to do a whole lot since they got here on Friday. It’s also been a little chaotic because I have them and then I also have my four furbabies! I’m bummed that it’s February 10th and I’ve only finished one book. I really had high hopes for this month. I’m not counting myself out just yet though! There’s still plenty of time. Hopefully I’ll still be able to read and review a few more before the month ends.

In case you missed it;
4 Star Reads of 2019.
Introducing: Andy Reads.
February TBR (Maybe).

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

4 Star Reads of 2019.

booksiread

Hey!

I thought it would be fun to do blog posts showing the books that I read throughout the year and what I rated them. I meant to have this posted the first week of January, but just never got around to it. This list is my four star reads. They are in the order that I read them, but I did group book series together. You can check out a list of all the books that I read in 2019 over here. All titles linked to Goodreads.

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George by Alex Gino
Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

comicswillbreakyourheartbloomjackaby

Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Bloom by Kevin Panetta
Jackaby by William Ritter

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Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

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The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine (audiobook)
Going Off Script by Jen Wilde
Naturally Tan by Tan France

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Gmorning, Gnight by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Frankly in Love by David Yoon
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

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Puddin’ by Julie Murphy (audiobook)
Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (audiobook)

These are the books that I really liked, but there was a little something missing to put it over the edge to a five star read. You can check out my five star reads of 2019 over here. I’ll finally have my three star and two star posts next week. What books did you give four stars to in 2019?

In case you missed it;
Introducing: Andy Reads.
February TBR (Maybe).
Wrap Up|| January.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

 

Introducing: Andy Reads.

andyreads

Hey!

I thought it would be fun to let my husband guest post on my blog once a month. So I am introducing a new monthly segment on my blog called “Andy Reads”. It will be my husband reviewing a book that he has read throughout the month. Something to know about Andy, he’s not really a reader. From what I can remember, the entire time him and I have been together (November 2020 will make 13 years!) he’s only ever read five books. Those books were the Hunger Games series and the first two books in the Divergent series.

I thought it would fun to get him to read more books and I also wanted to introduce new content to my blog this year. I created a page (over here) to document all the reviews that he does throughout the year and if all goes well, I will continue to add books/reviews from him for years to come! All reviews he writes will be linked over on that page to keep better organization of it and to not mix it up with my own yearly books/reviews.

I’m not sure which book he is going to read this month, but he has mentioned maybe The Man in the High Castle or The Sword of Shannara. I looked up the Sword of Shannara on Goodreads and it mentioned being 700+ pages though, so I don’t think he’ll be able to do it. I’ll mostly let him choose the books that he wants to read, but I will also try to include some of my favorites that I think he should read as well. His reviews will be coming toward the end of each month. I really hope this turns out to be amazing. I’m actually super stoked about it and he says it’ll be fun. So we’ll see how it goes! 😛

Off topic, I went to a painting class with my friend yesterday and the picture they had us paint was Baby Yoda (The Child), which is why we really wanted to go to it. It was so much fun. I wish I would have taken a picture of hers as well as mine, because hers turned out so different since she chose to go darker on the colors. Here is mine and then a group photo of everyone that was in the class and their paintings. It’s cool how everyone’s turned out so different.

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In case you missed it;
February TBR (Maybe).
Wrap Up|| January.
Book Haul|| January.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

February TBR (Maybe).

sociallyawkwardbookwormorange

Hey!

Is it really February 1st already? I actually don’t mind it though, because I was getting tired of January. It’s also one month closer to my birthday (March 3) and stores are starting to put out Easter candy, which is exciting because I love Cadbury Mini Eggs haha. So I made a TBR for this month. I don’t normally make TBRs, because I have a bad track record with actually sticking to them. I thought I would this month, because I actually have a lot of books that I really want to read as soon as possible. Here is what my February TBR looks like. It’s quite ambitious, but I am hoping to at least read all the books on my priority list and then hopefully have time for the others. All titles linked to Goodreads.

Priority:

luckycallerintheshadowgirlswithrazorheartsdragonhoopsdarlingrosegold2

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills (released in January)
In the Shadow of the Sun by EM Castellan (releasing Feb 11)
Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young (releasing March 17)
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (releasing March 17)
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel (releasing March 17)

My priority is of course the ARCs. I didn’t get the chance to read Lucky Caller last month, so I am hoping to read it this month. I am also trying to stay on top of my ARCs, so I want to try to read my March releases this month as well. I am really excited about them all. I started the month off with Darling Rose Gold and so far it’s pretty interesting. I’m not that far into it though. It reminds me of the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case (a TV show was created on Hulu called The Act based off that case as well), which I am sure that’s what it’s based off of. But this seems to be a different story in that the mother was sent to prison instead of being murdered (like the real life story of Gypsy). But who knows what will happen in this book! If all goes well with this TBR, then you should see reviews for all of these books throughout the month.

Not A Priority:

aliceheartstopper3thetollOne of Us is Next FINAL cover.indd

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Heartstopper: Volume Three by  Alice Oseman
The Toll by Neal Shusterman
One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

These books are not super priority, but I hope to read them too. I’ll probably go for these if I need a break from ARCs or if I finish all of my ARCs. I am super excited to read them. I got a really cool edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland last month, so I want to reread the story with the edition I got so I can look at all the illustrations as I read it. My library hold for Once of Us Is Next says “available soon” so I am sure that will come in at some point this month. Realistically, I will probably drop everything I have to read Heartstopper once it gets delivered to me haha.

What is on your February TBR? Let me know and feel free to link me to your posts if you have one!

I have a few things planned for the weekend. Today I may go Pokemon hunting with my sister and her boyfriend. It’s raining right now though, so it might not happen. Tomorrow I am hanging out with my friend and then we are going to one of those painting classes. They are doing a Baby Yoda (The Child) painting class and we love him, so we’ll be going to that and hopefully painting a decent picture of him HAHA. I am not good at painting at all, but it’ll be fun. Another thing that I hope to do this weekend is finally take down our Christmas tree. We’ve just been busy in January and never got around to it.  I think it’s finally time, haha. I’ll catch up with your posts and reply to comments at some point over the weekend too.

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| January.
Book Haul|| January.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Giveaway Winners!

sociallyawkwardbookwormorange

Hey!

Thank you to everyone that entered my giveaway and for supporting me and my blog! It means a lot to me that I’ve met so many awesome people on here and that so many of you love my blog. 🙂 I so badly wish I could buy everyone a book, but sadly I can’t. If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry though! I’ll have another giveaway again later this year. My birthday is next month, so maybe even a birthday giveaway? I used a website that randomly chooses a name for you called “comment picker” and the winners are:

giveawaywinners1

Captain’s Quarters
Running on Words and Wine

Congrats! 🙂

Thank you all again for entering my giveaway and following my blog. It means a lot to me! ❤

In case you missed it:
Wrap Up|| January.
Book Haul|| January.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Wrap Up|| January.

wrapup

Hey!

While it looks like I read a decent amount of books this month, I felt like I could have read so many more books than I actually did had I not been hit with a reading slump. I remember January 2019 reading ten books, so I was bummed that I didn’t this year. I read a couple graphic novels this month just so I could have more books to include for January. I also don’t include audiobooks in my Goodreads challenge, so I knew the graphic novels would be quick reads that I could include. Anyway, onto my wrap up for January. 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 myself (not audiobooks) throughout the month of January.

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Husband Material by Emily Belden – 3 out of 5 stars –  Review
The Flintstones Vol 1 by Mark Russell – 4 out of 5 stars
The Flintstones Vol 2 by Mark Russell – 3 out of 5 stars

I liked Husband Material, but it took me awhile to get into it. I struggled with it a little while and it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It still had it’s good moments though and I would still recommend it. I discovered these Flintstones graphic novels, so I decided to read them. I had so much fun reading them. There were so many hilarious moments. I love that they cover topics happening in our world today, but add in some humor. I liked the first volume more than second, but it was still so fun to read and see characters I used to love when I was a kid in a different light.

thunderheadfindingmrbetterthesimplewild

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman – 4 out of 5 stars
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You by Shani Petroff – 3 out of 5 stars
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker – 4 out of 5 stars

Thunderhead was SO good. I had a lot of fun reading it, but it did take awhile to get into it. I felt like Scythe was a little better. I loved the ending though and I can’t wait to read the third book soon. I flew through Finding Mr. Better-Than-You in just a day. I liked it a lot, but it didn’t blow me away. If you’re looking for a quick and easy read that’s still pretty good, I would definitely check it out. I’ve seen The Simple Wild everywhere, so when my library had it I decided to give it a chance. I liked it so much! It was such a great story. I love reading books about Alaska after reading The Great Alone. I loved all the people in the story and it had me crying so many times! I can’t wait for the sequel.


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

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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – 2 out of 5 stars.

My older sister and I listened to Allegedly together, because we had a four hour car ride and multiple hour long car rides back and forth one weekend in January. I was really hoping to love Allegedly, but sadly it just wasn’t for me. I thought it was okay, but it didn’t blow me away at all. It was actually kind of frustrating to listen to. My older sister felt the same way as I did. We also didn’t like the way that it ended. We were just like “that’s it? That’s the ending?”


DNF (Did Not Finish):
These are the books that I tried to read in the month of January, but ended up not being for me so I stopped.

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Followers by Megan Angelo

I got a little over 20% into Followers, but I was having a difficult time getting into it. I didn’t like the way that it was written and it seemed more confusing to me than anything else. I would still recommend giving it a chance, because so many other people are raving about this book and it just wasn’t for me.

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

I really hope that this reading slump goes away, because there are so many books that I want to read in February. Most of them being ARCs, because I am trying to really stay on top of them this year. Crossing my fingers! 🙂 Today (and possibly tomorrow) I am going to take a little break from reading and just watch some Netflix. I seen that Tan France’s fashion competition show is on Netflix, so I will probably lay in bed all day watching that. Maybe having a couple days where I don’t even think about reading a book will also help with the reading slump. Worth a shot!

Reminder: Tomorrow (Friday 1/31) is the last day to enter my giveaway! It’s International too as long as Book Depository delivers to you. You can check out the post here (Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!) to enter! I am picking two winners on Saturday (February 1st).**

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| January.
Friday Finds #85.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Book Haul|| January.

bookhaulyellow

Hey!

I had quite the haul in January, but a lot of the books that I got this month were on sale, so that was nice. I am going to just jump right into my January book haul. You can check out a full list of the books that I own over here. There’s links to different pages on my blog that show my e-books and my physical books.

Books I Bought:

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Infinity Son by Adam Silvera
The Toll by Neal Shusterman

I had to get Infinity Son, because I really love Adam Silvera’s books and stoked to see what he does with a fantasy novel. I read Thunderhead this month, so I had to buy the third book after reading it. I can’t wait to read The Toll. I am hoping to read it in February.

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Black Elfstone
by Terry Brooks

My sister, her boyfriend, my husband, and I went to Books-A-Million and I found a really cool version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the bargain section, so I decided to get it. I love collecting different copies of Alice. The Black Elfstone is a book that my husband picked out for himself. I highly doubt he ever reads it (he’s not a reader), but he wanted to get it. It was also in the bargain section. If he does read it, maybe I’ll have him write a review on it for my blog LOL. 😛  I told him if he get into reading, I’ll make some space on my shelves for his books, haha.

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Reverie by Ryan La Sala
The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
The Speed of Falling Objects by Nancy Richardson Fischer

We also decided to check out this used bookstore (pictures below) here in Lakeland, which was really cool. They had thousands and thousands of books in multiple rooms! I ended up finding Reverie, The Merciful Crow, and The Speed of Falling Objects there! I was so stoked when I seen them. There were so many others I wanted to get, but had to limit myself haha.

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Netgalley:

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Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

I got approved for Darling Rose Gold on Netgalley and I was so stoked when I got the email. This book sounds so good and I can’t wait to read it.


Giveaway Reminder.

Hey!

I just wanted to give a quick reminder about my giveaway. The last day to enter is Friday (1/31). Saturday (2/1) I will be announcing the two winners! 😀 You will have the chance to win a book of your choice up to $20. This giveaway will also be International as long as Book Depository ships to you. Check out my giveaway post (Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!) for all the details and how to enter!

Unrelated to my giveaway: I’ll have my book haul and wrap up posts coming soon. I am hoping to finish one more book before the end of the month. I still need to write a review for Finding Mr. Better-Than-You , so hopefully that’ll be coming soon. & of course I still need to finish my 2019 book rating posts, I have so much to do. A reading slump and blogging slump hit me this month and it’s only the first month of the new year, sigh. I’ll catch up with you guys soon and reply to comments!

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Friday Finds #85.

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These are books that I have added to my Goodreads TBR shelves recently. I don’t own them (YET), but they are books that I really want to read one day!


Hey!

I have six books that I recently added to my Goodreads shelf to share with you today. I’ve included the book descriptions below and linked them to Goodreads as well, in case you want to add them to your TBR. You can see more of my TBR shelves over on my Goodreads account over here and feel free to add me as a friend!

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Just Breathe by Cammie McGovern

Goodreads Description: David Sheinman is the popular president of his senior class, battling cystic fibrosis. Jamie Turner is a quiet sophomore, struggling with depression. The pair soon realizes that they can be their true selves with each other, and their unlikely friendship develops into something so much more. But neither Jamie nor David can bring themselves to reveal the secrets that weigh most heavily on their hearts—and their time for honesty may be running out.

 


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Malice by John Gwynne

Goodreads Description: A black sun is rising … Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage. The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars. High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.


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Camp by L.C. Rosen

Goodreads Description: Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists. This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him. But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?


kingdomofthewicked

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Goodreads Description: Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are strega – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden. Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…


everyotherweekend

Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson

Goodreads Description: Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most. Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for. Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.


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Furious Thing by Jenny Downham

Goodreads Description: Bad things happen when you’re around, Lex… That’s what her stepfather tells her. That’s what she believes about herself. But how can she convince herself and everyone around her that her anger doesn’t make her a monster? If only she could stop losing her temper and behave herself, her stepfather would accept her, her mom would love her like she used to, and her stepbrother would declare his crushing desire to spend the rest of his life with her. She wants these things so badly, she’s determined to swallow her anger and make her family proud. But pushing fury down doesn’t make it disappear. Instead, it simmers below the surface, waiting to erupt. There’ll be fireworks when it does…

All of these books sound so amazing and I am dying to get my hands on them. Have you added any new books to your TBR? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one or leave a comment letting me know what new books you added to your TBR recently.

I am in a pretty bad reading slump right now and it totally sucks. I mentioned it in my previous post. I am also in the  middle of three different books and just can’t seem to get into them, so I am pretty sure it’s more me than the actual books. UGH. This hasn’t been fun, especially since last year January I managed to read TEN Books…wtf. Hopefully I can finish one of these three before the month ends. I have a few blog posts I’ve been working on that I need to eventually post too, but I just haven’t been up to it. I guess because of the computer issues I’ve been having and it’s harder to do anything on my laptop with the size of the screen being so small. My desktop I have two monitors, so it made things so much easier haha. Anyway, sorry for rambling!

In case you  missed it, my five year blogiversary happened on the 17th of this month and I am hosting a giveaway and it’s International! It’s running until January 31st and I will be picking two winners on February 1st. I’ll leave a link to the giveaway below, so you can enter if you haven’t already.

In case you missed it;
Untitled Post
Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!
Release Day [January 14].

I hope you have a great day and weekend.

ashleyblack

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Photo I took over the weekend of some new flowers at Hollis Garden.

I am currently in a bit of a reading slump, which really sucks. I can’t seem to get into my current read (Followers by Megan Angelo). So many people are saying such great things about it, but I’m about 22% into it and honestly more confused than anything else. I’m going to keep giving it a chance and hopefully my mind will change. It could also be this reading slump that is ruining my enjoyment of it. Who knows.

In case you  missed it, my five year blogiversary happened on the 17th of this month and I am hosting a giveaway and it’s International! It’s running until January 31st and I will be picking two winners on February 1st. I’ll leave a link to the giveaway at the end of this post, so you can enter if you haven’t already.

I just wanted to post  random little update on here since it’s been a few days since I’ve last posted. I need to finish up my 2019 book rating posts, write a review for Finding Mr. Better-Than-You and then catch up with your posts and comments. Hoping to do that all this week! I am just not really feeling very motivated lately. I just wanted to let you know that I am here though and even if I’m not 100% right now.

I guess that’s all I really have to say right now. Fingers crossed I kick this reading slump soon and start feeling better again too. Mentally I just don’t feel like I’m in a good place. I thought I was feeling better, but then it hit me all over again…sigh. I hope you had a great weekend.

In case you missed it;
Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!
Release Day [January 14].
5 Star Reads of 2019.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

Five Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

sociallyawkwardbookwormorange

Hey!

As of today, I have been blogging for five years! I know I say this all the time, but it’s still pretty mind-blowing! A big achievement that I made was reaching 1700+ followers. I never thought that was a possibility when I started this blog. I’ve gone through so much over the last five years with blogging. Sometimes I am really surprised I’m even still here. But I am so happy that I stuck with it, because I’ve met so many great friends and discovered so many new books through the blogging community. I am really excited to see what this next year has in store for me. I am really hoping to post more things, continue the friendships I made  over the years, and meet some new friends!

In the past I’ve done giveaways for my blogiversary and they’ve been successful, so I am going to do another giveaway this year! It will run from today (January 17) until January 31st. I will randomly pick and announce TWO winners on February 1st. 📖

You will win:
+ A book of your choice up to $20, so basically any book as long as it’s not more than $20.

How to enter:
+ Follow my blog (if you’re not already).
+ Comment your favorite book you read in 2019.

Do both of those things and you’re entered, pretty easy! This giveaway will be International as long as Book Depository ships to you. If you are in the USA, I can send from Amazon if you prefer that way.

GOOD LUCK!! & thanks for reading my blog over the last five years!

In case you missed it;
Release Day [January 14].
5 Star Reads of 2019.
Book Tag|| New Year’s Resolution.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Release Day [January 14].

releaseday

Hey!

I wanted to share three books that were released today (January 14th) that I am excited to read. I was sent ARCs for the following books, but thanks to this dreaded reading slump I haven’t had the chance to read and review them yet. I wanted to talk about them and show them off though! Reviews will be coming for each one as soon as I get the chance to read them. Now onto the three books!

followers Followers by Megan Angelo

Goodreads Description: Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success. Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks. Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.


luckycallerLucky Caller by Emma Mills

Goodreads Description: When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster. The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life. The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval. Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?


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Finding Mr. Better-Than-You by Shani Petroff

Goodreads Description: Camryn has been dating Marc FOREVER—since freshman year! She dropped out of volleyball to go to all his games, switched her schedule around to be in his favorite class, and has been busting her butt to get into Columbia so they can go to the same college. So when Marc suddenly, and very publically, breaks up with her a week into their senior year so that he can date the new transfer student, she’s absolutely devastated. But why be sad, when you can get even? Inspired by her favorite movies, Camryn decides that the best revenge is a Senior Year well lived, starring a boy who is ever so much better than her ex. With a little help from her friends, Cam is going to have the Best. Senior. Year. Ever. Or else!

There are a little over two weeks left in the month of January, so I still have hope that I will read these before the month ends and get my reviews posted ASAP for you guys! Let’s hope this reading slump ends ASAP and hope that I can finish my current read in the next day or two. By the way, I think I may make this a regular thing (type of post) on my blog for the ARCs that I don’t get the chance to read right away before they hit the shelves. I do mention them in haul posts, but it’ll be nice to showcase them in another post of their own as well. Just so that they can be on everyone’s radar and to know that I have not forgotten them!

Any books that were released this week that I should add to my TBR? Are you excited for any of the three that I mention?

I thought I would end this post with an updated picture of my bookshelves. I still want to reorganize them, but from far away it looks perfect. Any new books I buy aren’t in any order and I just add them to empty spaces, so I want to basically take everything off and completely reorganize…eventually. I need to find the motivation first, haha. I also need to find a new place for my unopened Funko Pops and miscellaneous things, because I’m eventually going to need that space for more books haha. 😛

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I’ll catch up with all of your posts and reply to comments later today or tomorrow morning. I am currently doing a ton of laundry and really trying hard to push through the reading slump to finish Thunderhead. I’m about 50% through with it and my Kindle seems to think I can finish it in three hours….I don’t believe that (especially with this reading slump and messing around on my phone too much), but we’ll see what happens.

In case you missed it;
5 Star Reads of 2019.
Book Tag|| New Year’s Resolution.
Mini Review|| Husband Material.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

5 Star Reads of 2019.

booksiread

Hey!

I thought it would be fun to do blog posts showing the books that I read throughout the year and what I rated them. This list is my five star reads and I’ll do posts for my other star rating books as well. They are mostly in the order that I read them, but I did group book series together. You can check out a list of all the books that I read in 2019 over here. Links to any reviews I did for these books are on that page as well. All titles linked to Goodreads.

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The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

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The Little Star by Randy Richburg (couldn’t find on Goodreads)
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

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Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (read twice)
Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Oseman

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Summer of ’69 by Todd Strasser
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

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Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen
We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra
Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo (audiobook)

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Heroine by Mindy McGinnish
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Psycho by Robert Bloch (audiobook)

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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (audiobook)

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Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (audiobook)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York by Kim Smith
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (audiobook)

I was actually really surprised by how many five star books I read last year. For some reason I thought it wasn’t as many. These are books that I absolutely loved and thought were really amazing. I’ll have my four star post coming in the next day or two.

What books did you give five stars to in 2019? See any favorites on my list?

I am pretty sure I’m in a reading slump and it’s only two weeks into the new year, ugh. Last year in January I read 10 books, but so far I am only at two! Another not so good thing, I went to turn on my desktop computer (there’s usually where I blog from) and for some reason it won’t turn on. I’m using my laptop now, but it’s kind of a pain to blog from here because my screen is so small. It’s not like a normal sized laptop, it has a really small screen. Not a good start to the new year, sigh. Hopefully I can figure out what to do about both the reading slump and the computer.

In case you missed it;
Book Tag|| New Year’s Resolution.
Mini Review|| Husband Material.
2020 Personal Goals.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Book Tag|| New Year’s Resolution.

booktag

Hi!

I seen the New Year’s Resolution book tag over on Kristin’s blog Kristin Kraves Books and thought it would be fun to do since it’s the start of  a new year!

An author you’d like to read that you’ve never read:

thesmallestpart

The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

I really want to check out Amy Harmon’s books. They always sound so interesting and I always see good reviews about them. I have the e-book of The Smallest Part, so maybe I’ll finally check out something by her this year.


A book you’d like to read:

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Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

Infinity Son is one of my highly anticipated reads of the year and I really hope I read it this year. I am so bad at never reading my highly anticipated books as soon as I get them and a year+ will go by before I finally grab it off my shelf. I need to be better about this, haha. I am really excited to see what Adam does with a fantasy novel.


A classic you’d like to read:

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I’m not really that big a fan of classics, but I think I would like to read Jane Eyre. I also have this really cool edition of it that when you fold the pages it’ll spell out “READ”. I’ve had it for years and wanted it as a decoration for my bookshelves, but I also wanted to do it as I read through the book and never have. Maybe I finally will this year?


A book you’d like to re-read:

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

I don’t really reread books that often, but I would like to reread the Falling Kingdoms series. I read the whole series back in 2018 I believe and I love it so much. I would love to read it again.


A book you’ve had for ages and want to read:

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Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

This is a tough one, because I own so many books that I’ve had for years and have yet to read. I think I will go with Emmy & Oliver, because it’s one I’ve had for a really long time and it was also one that at the time it was released was one of my highly anticipated releases that I never got to.


A big book you’d like to read:

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Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Big books scare me! I always tend to listen to audiobooks for those bigger books. That’s what I will probably end up doing with Queen of Air and Darkness at some point this year. I am actually (surprisingly) enjoying the Dark Artifices series and I am really looking forward to this third book. According to Goodreads this book has 900+ pages.


An author you’ve previously read and would like to read more of:

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

I read Emergency Contact a couple years ago and loved it so much. I would love to read more books from Mary H.K. Choi. I have the book that she published last year called Permanent Record and haven’t had the chance to read it yet. Hoping to finally read it at some point this year. I believe she even has a new one being released this year too.


A book you got for Christmas and would like to read:

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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

One of the books that I got for Christmas this year was Ninth House. I really enjoy Leigh Bardugo’s books, so I definitely want to try to read this one at some point this year.


A series you want to read from start to finish:

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The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

I would love to finally start The Trials of Apollo series. I love Rick Riordan’s books and I have yet to start this series. I believe there is a book five coming out in the Fall of this year, so maybe I will finally start the series once book five is released. I am really stoked for the series.


A series you want to finish that you’ve already started:

jackaby

Jackaby by William Ritter

I read Jackaby last year and I really loved it. I would love to get the other books in the series and finish it. I had so much fun reading it, so I think I would really enjoy the rest of the series as well. I think I actually have the e-book for the sequel, so hopefully soon!


Do you set reading goals? If so, how many books do you want to read in 2020?

I do set myself some reading goals, which I will link my blog post of all those goals at the end of this post. I am not always the best at sticking to them, but I still like to make a list. As for how many books I want to read this year, I have my Goodreads challenge goal at 60 books. That doesn’t include audiobooks (I count them separately). Last year I was able to read 63 books, so hopefully I will be able to again and more!

My family is coming to visit again for the weekend and I’m looking forward to that. We were supposed to take my niece to to Busch Gardens last Saturday for her birthday, but it ended up raining so we decided to save it for this weekend. Hopefully it doesn’t rain tomorrow, but the weather has been kind of iffy on my weather app, so I really have no idea. Anyway, I will catch up with you guys later this weekend. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Mini Review|| Husband Material.
2020 Personal Goals.
2020 Reading Goals.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Mini Review|| Husband Material.

husbandmaterial

Husband Material by Emily Belden
3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it. Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not. But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.


I received an ARC of Husband Material from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It was published on December 30th.

I read Eighty-Sixed from Emily Belden years ago and it made me want to read all her books, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read Husband Material.  I ended up giving the book three stars. I liked it and it had some really great moments, but I felt like it took awhile to get into it or for things to happen. I struggled a little bit with it and it wasn’t what I expected it was going to be. That doesn’t mean it was  bad book though, because I did like it and I really liked the characters. Charlotte had to navigate life the best she could after losing her husband. She battled with her own demons and guilt in regards to that and things from her past resurfacing. There were a couple little things that I didn’t see coming, so that was a plus. I’m glad it wasn’t too predictable. While I didn’t love Husband Material, I did enjoy it. I would still recommend checking it out.


I’ll catch up with your posts and reply to comments later today. I need to get out of bed and start my day. If I don’t get up now, I’ll probably end up laying here all day haha.

In case you missed it;
2020 Personal Goals.
2020 Reading Goals.
2019 Year in Books (Reading Stats).

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2020 Personal Goals.

personalgoals

Hey!

I created a goals post for reading/blogging (linked at the end of this post), but figured I would do one for my personal goals as well. I had a list of goals for 2019, but I only accomplished maybe five of them. I want to try again and really hoping that I finally get around to some of these things! So what they?

Master my Nikon D3400 manual mode. I’ve had my Nikon for a couple years now and I have yet to really use it other than always having it on “auto”. I want to learn all the camera settings and really start learning the basics. I take pretty great pictures with it, but it’ll be nice to really learn the ins and outs and take even better ones.

Use Duolingo at least 15 minutes every day. I’ve been off and on with Duolingo for years. I’ve been going through the Spanish language with it. My dad is Guatemalan and it would be nice to learn Spanish. We were never taught growing up. I want to start the program over and do it every single day for at least fifteen minutes (can be more if I feeling up to it), so I can finally learn the language.

Learn to cook/make more meals myself & eat healthier. I have no idea how to cook and I honestly never really try very much. I’ve started to sort of learn and actually try in 2019, but a lot of stuff is just boxed or canned and I would love to learn how to cook with more fresh ingredients and spices. I also want to make healthier meals, because we don’t always eat the best things and we eat out way too much.

Setup a daily exercise routine & lose 25 pounds. Toward the beginning of 2019 I started doing this monthly exercise challenges and I did it for three months straight. I thought I noticed some progress, but for some reason I just stopped doing it. I want to try again and exercise regularly. I would also like to lose 25-30 pounds. I know I’ve gained quite a bit of weight over the last few years, so it would be nice to get healthy and lose some pounds.

Start a bullet journal. I’ve always wanted to start a bullet journal. In 2018 I even got two bullet journals and a bunch of supplies (pens, washi tape, stencils, and stickers), but never got around to setting them up. More because I have no idea where to even start! So I want to possibly finally do this.

Change my last name. I got married in March 2017 and I still have not changed my last name officially. I did on Facebook (LOL), but not legally. Lots of things prevented me from doing it and then everything with buying a house and all of that, I just figured it would be easier to just keep everything to same for now. I want to finally change my last name.

Get my driver’s license. This is LOOOOONG overdue, seriously. I think it’s my anxiety that really prevented me from ever doing this, to be honest. Well, when I was in high school, the fact that I never went to school stopped me at first. But then I developed some major anxiety about the world and driving and that’s the main reason now. I really need to work on my fear of driving and the world, so I can practice and finally do it.

Go through my closet and donate clothes. I own so many clothes (the hubby too) and we don’t even wear half of them. I want to finally go through our dresser and closet to get rid of clothes to donate and finally organize our closet. It’s so hard letting things go sometimes, but like I said, we don’t wear half of the clothes we have.

Complete a few house projects. Our house while it’s really great, it’s also a work in progress, because there’s quite a few things I would love to change/update. I’m hoping to do a few more things this new year. Like finally paint our bedroom and redo the flooring in there. We have all the supplies, just never got around to doing it before the year ended. I would also love to repaint the kitchen cabinets and repaint the entire inside of our house. Also a few little inexpensive things like changing all the doorknobs on the bedrooms/closets/bathroom doors.

Go on a trip somewhere. We didn’t really get to travel last year and we don’t really get to that often. I want to plan a trip somewhere for a long weekend (or even an entire week). Possibly Savannah, GA or Colorado. I would even love to go visit Maren (The Worn Bookmark) in Minnesota. All of these are actually possible if we try for them. But even if we can only make it to one place this year, I would be happy.

Complete Kingdom Hearts 3 & Pokemon Sword. I really need to finish these games, especially Kingdom Hearts 3 as I’ve had it for awhile now and have been slacking with playing! I really enjoy the game, but just haven’t been in the mood to play lately. I’m probably halfway through it now. I started Pokemon Sword and got my third gym badge. I need to get back into it, because I feel guilty that I really wanted it and spent the money for it and then after awhile stopped playing. I enjoy the game as well. I guess I’ve been more focused on reading recently instead.

I really just want to find out who I am this year, because honestly, I don’t even know who I am anymore. 2019 really messed with my self-confidence and shattered who I thought I was.

Do you have any personal goals that you hope to accomplish in 2020? Feel free to link me to your posts if you have one.

In case you missed it;
2020 Reading Goals.
2019 Year in Books (Reading Stats).
Wrap Up|| December.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2020 Reading Goals.

readingoals

Hey!

I hope you’re having a great start to the new year. I thought I would once again post my reading goals for the year. It’s always fun to think about and to make lists. Some of these goals are repeats or similar from last year, because I really want to continue to stick to these goals this year as well or finally accomplish them if I haven’t in past years.

2020 Goodreads Challenge. I am going to keep it at 60 books for this year as I did last year. I’m in a weird place right now, so I want to make sure I have a good balance between focusing on things happening in my life and reading/blogging. I also barely accomplished 60 books last year (not including audiobooks), so I don’t want to increase it this year. *edit* I decided to change my reading goal to 50 books. I was hit with a reading slump in January and I already felt so much pressure that I wasn’t reading enough, so I’m lowering it to 50 so I can breathe easier. *edit*

Read 25 of my own books. What I mean by this is reading older books I own. Books I buy this year don’t count toward this goal. I struggle a lot with this goal every single year, because new books get released and then I read a lot of library books and ARCs. I am drowning in unread books that I bought years ago. In past years I’ve had this count really high and never reached it, so this year I decided to go with a lower number and making it 25 instead of 40 like I had it last year. I think (hope) I can read 25 of my older books. I read 15 last year, so I think if I really try hard at this then I’ll be able to read 25.

Don’t fall behind on ARCs. I usually do really good with my ARCs at the beginning of the year, but toward the end of the year with the holidays always coming up quick, I always seem to fall behind. This year I also dealt with a lot toward the end of the year with things happening in my life and my mental health. I want to try to figure out a good schedule and work around it, so I don’t fall behind this year. I will say though, I did stay on top of my Netgalley ARCs. I love ARCs, I love to review them, but falling behind totally sucks! It takes all the fun out of it, which is never good.

Continue to buy less books. I’ve been pretty proud of myself with not buying so many books the last couple years. Not that I don’t want them, because I do. There’s so many books that I want, BUT sometimes I buy them and they sit on my bookshelf for years never being read. I have so many older books sitting on my shelves right now that I need to finally read. I’ve been using my library a lot for those new books if I am really dying to read them. Plus, things are going to be pretty tight money wise this year because I lost my job. I need to save as many pennies as I can.

Re-organize my bookshelves and my Goodreads shelves. They are both (real & virtual shelves) kind of a mess and cluttered right now. I want to clean up my Goodreads shelves, because there are so many books added to my “to read” shelf that I probably forgot about and might have lost interest in. My real shelves don’t really have much organization minus keeping paperback/hardcovers together and keeping authors together if the format is the same. I want to organize it better and maybe do some kind of theme/look. And this also brings me to my next goal…

Get rid of books I didn’t like or plan to reread. I didn’t do very great with this goal last year, but I am hoping that I will this year. I have so many books on my bookshelves that lets be real, I probably will never get around to reading or books I never want to reread. I want to sit down and really figure out which ones to keep and which ones I can let go. It’s so hard letting books go, but I know that other people will love to have them and they are just collecting dust on my bookshelf. I also really want to own books I love versus just having a ton of books taking up space that could be used for new books/new favorites.

Get back into bookstagram. I’ve been so back and forth with my bookstagram over the last couple of years. I want to put a lot more focus into starting my account up again. I’ve had fun with it in the past, so I really want to get back into it. I also loved following other accounts and checking out all the new books and bookish items. I haven’t really gone through my bookstagram feed in months, so I am probably missing out on so much! Hopefully I can get some new ideas and start it up again.

Focus more on my blog and new content. It’s not a surprise that the last couple of years haven’t been the greatest as far as blogging goes. I didn’t blog nearly as much as I wanted to, especially in 2019. I want to try to get a blogging schedule going and come up with some new content to include as well. I also want to start sharing my pictures again. I was out of space, but I gained a little extra space after upgrading my blog again. I also really want to try to come up with a more permanent solution for the photo storage situation.

I hope to be around more in 2020! I love having this blog and I love connecting with you. I’ve gained so many new followers and friends in 2019 (I have almost 1700 followers which is pretty big to me), so I am hoping 2020 is even better. I can’t wait to continue our friendships, creating new friendships, and reading all of your posts. 🙂

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

I’ll have a 2020 personal goals list coming soon. I don’t think I ever posted one in past years, but I thought it would be fun to do one for this year. Maybe by sharing it, it’ll help me to stay on top of things that I want to accomplish for myself outside of reading/blogging too.

In case you missed it;
2019 Year in Books (Reading Stats).
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

2019 Year in Books (Reading Stats).

2019inbooks

Hey!

Time to look back on my reading throughout 2019! My Goodreads reading goal was to read 60 books and I was able to complete that goal and listened to some audiobooks for a little extra reading.

2019completed

63 books read for challenge.
22 of audiobooks listened to.
total books read: 85

The books I read and the audiobooks I listened to brought my total amount of books read in 2019 to 85. While I didn’t read more books myself (not including audio) than 2018, I did listen to a few more audiobooks than the previous year. 2019 was not my best year as far as my mental health goes, so I think that slowed me down a bit with reading; especially toward the end of the year. I am crossing my fingers that 2020 is an amazing year for me as far as my life, my mental health, and reading & blogging goes. I know I slacked with the blog big time, but life just got in the way of things.

Anyway, I didn’t include my audiobooks in my challenge goal at the start of the year, because I wanted to be able to read 60+ books on my own and any audiobooks I listened to would just be extra. I did add them to my Goodreads at the end of the year though, so that I can have a list of all the books I read overall for the year in books on Goodreads section of Goodreads. Here is what that looks like!

2019inbooks


As I mentioned in my stat post from 2018, I changed up how I rate books and I continued with that. I decided not to do any half star ratings and I also used the rating system that Goodreads has.

How Goodreads has it setup:
5 stars – it was amazing
4 stars – I really liked it
3 stars – liked it
2 stars – it was ok
1 star – did not like it

I feel like I used to give three stars out in previous years if I thought it was okay and 2 stars if I didn’t really like it and forgot about 1 star altogether. So in 2018 I tried to use the way Goodreads has their stars when it came to rating books and continued with that in 2019. Here are the star ratings that I had for 2019:

29 – 5 stars
28 – 4 stars
25 – 3 stars
3 – 2 stars
0 – 1 stars

Looks like there wasn’t very many books that I didn’t like, which is great. I overall think I read some pretty terrific books. You can check out all the books that I read in 2019 over here. But I will be doing a series of blog posts coming soon of all the books that I read in 2019 with their star ratings. My first post will be all the five star reads of the year and so on. I did it in previous years and decided to continue with those posts, because it’s always fun to look back on the books that I read and share what I loved and maybe didn’t love so much.


Now onto my 2019 reading goals and whether I think I accomplished them or not. You can check out the actual post I made in January 2019 of my goals over here, but here is just a small recap of what they were. That post has longer explanations.

2019 Goodreads Challenge.
Yes! I completed my Goodreads challenge. I increased it this year from 50 to 60 and I was able to complete it, but not by much. Still proud of myself though. At one point I really didn’t think I would finish it.

Read 40 of my own books.
What I meant by this was any books that I bought in 2018 or earlier. Nothing I bought in 2019. For this goal, I failed. I read mostly new books, library books, or ARCs.

Reading the Alphabet.
I created a challenge where I read my older books and one book for each letter in the alphabet. I also failed at this one too. I think I only read 3 or 4 of the 26 books I listed. Such a disappointment, because this challenge could have helped with this goal and with the “read 40 of my own books” goal. Oops.

Read more adult books.
I think I did okay with this one. A little less than half of the books that I read were more on the adult side. I just love my YA books, haha.

Read my unfinished series.
I didn’t do that great with this one either. BUT a lot of the books in the series are books that I don’t even own yet or my library didn’t have them available, so I don’t know that this is a fail or not.

Binge read any new series I start.
This was if all the books were released or most of them. I think I will say I failed at this one. I started a few new series and didn’t continue to read all the books before starting anything new. Oops. I kept a list though, so hopefully this year I will do that. I tried not to start new series though, because I always feel guilty of my unfinished series.

Continue to buy less books.
Yes! I did pretty good with this one, I think. I mean, I did get a lot of books in 2019 but I think I bought less and I also tried to get books when they were discounted/on sale.

Get rid of books I didn’t like or plan to reread.
Not really for this one. I did box up some books that I plan to never read, but the box is still sitting in my book room. I did give a few of them to my aunt though. I also kept books on my shelves after reading them. It’s so hard to get rid of books, haha.

Don’t fall behind on ARCs.
I did pretty good for awhile, but then I fell behind. UGH. Life was just crazy for me this year, but I read quite a bit of ARCs that I received and I tried to talk about them all as much as I could if I didn’t read them so that people were aware of them.

How did you do this year with your reading goals? Feel free to link me to your posts!

I think I will end this post here. It’s long enough. 😛 My next post (probably tomorrow or Monday) will be my reading goals for 2020. You may see a repeat of some of these, but also a few new ones. I’ll also be catching up with your posts and comments on Monday as well.

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| December.
Book Haul|| December.
Random|| Picture Update.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Wrap Up|| December.

wrapup

Hey!

I can’t believe 2019 is over! Honestly though, I am kind of excited that it is. While I had a pretty good year for the most part, toward the end of the year it was hard for me. I got really depressed and I’ve been feeling so unhappy with myself. I am ready for a new year. Anyway, here is my last wrap up of 2019! 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 myself (not audiobooks) throughout the month of December.

anyboybutyouforeveronehomealone2

Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle – 4 out of 5 stars
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds – 3 out of 5 stars
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York by Kim Smith – 5 out of 5 stars

myboyfriendisabeartheafterlifequeenofnothing

My Boyfriend is a Bear by Pamela Ribon, Cat Farris – 4 out of 5 stars
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand – 5 out of 5 stars
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – 4 out of 5 stars

I am so happy that I was able to read six books in December and complete my Goodreads challenge. I really enjoyed all of the books that I read this month as you can see by their star rating. 😛 I was most nervous about reading The Queen of Nothing, because I really didn’t enjoy The Wicked King that much. BUT The Queen of Nothing ended up being so much better than the sequel was. I still didn’t love the ending though. I felt like more could have happened. It felt a little rushed to me. The other books that I read were really great and I was surprised how much I ended up loving The Afterlife of Holly Chase! My Boyfriend is a Bear was cute, but also so weird.


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

puddinladymidnightlordofshadows

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy – 4 out of 5 stars
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – 4 out of 5 stars
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare 5 out of 5 stars

I finally read Puddin’ and I am so happy that I did. I really had fun listening to the audiobook. I was so on the fence about ever reading shadowhunter stuff again, because I had a love/hate for The Mortal Instruments. I loved the first four books of the series, but the others were so boring and hard to get through. BUT I listened to the audiobooks of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows and I actually REALLY enjoyed them. I even loved Lord of Shadows. I am definitely excited to listen to the third audiobook at some point (maybe this month).


Currently Reading:
These are the books that I started in the month of December, but didn’t have the chance to finish before the month ended.

husbandmaterial

Husband Material by Emily Belden

I am about 40% through Husband Material. I am liking it, but it is also kind of hard to get really into it. I ended up putting it to the side for a little bit so I could read The Queen of Nothing. I will continue it in January and have my review up as soon as I am finished with it. It was just released on December 31st.

What books did you read in December? Have you read any of the books that I read? Feel free to link me to you wrap up post, so I can check it out!

I have a lot of posts coming up over the next couple weeks with all the books that I read throughout the year. There will be a post for five star reads, four star reads, etc. I also really hope to get my 2019 reading stats, 2020 reading goals, and 2020 personal goals posted soon too. So many blog posts to come! 🙂 I am currently visiting my family (they live four hours away from me), so I don’t know if I’ll be around the blogoshere very much the rest of this week. My mom let me use her laptop so I could at least get my wrap up posted.

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| December.
Random|| Picture Update.

I hope you have a great first day of the new year!

ashleyblack

Book Haul|| December.

bookhaulyellow

Hey!

Last book haul of the year, what?! I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of the books that I got throughout the year, so I thought it would be cool to also share my book haul stats with you guys. I’m also curious myself, haha. Maybe make a post about how many books I got and how many I actually read from the books that I got this year. I think that will be a REALLY terrifying post though, haha. 😛 But first, the books that I got this month. You can check out a full list of the books that I own over here. There’s links to different pages on my blog that show my e-books and my physical books.

Books I Bought:

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
After You by Jojo Moyes
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi

I had to of course buy CoHo’s new book. I actually read an ARC of Regretting You in November and you can check out my mini review over here. The next three books (After You, The Beauty That Remains, Down and Across) I got from this outlet store near our house called Ollie’s. They always sell their books REALLY cheap. I think the most expensive of the three was around $2.99! I always like to go check out their books. I always end up finding something that I’ve been wanting to get.


Books Gifted:

The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Renee Nault, Margaret Atwood
My Boyfriend Is a Bear by Pamela Ribon, Cat Farris
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennet
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I WAS ACTUALLY GIFTED BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS! I rarely ever get any books for Christmas. My family always say they don’t buy me books because I always buy myself books all year round. I had four books on my Christmas list this year and I actually got them all! Ninth House, The Lady Rogue, The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel, and My Boyfriend is a Bear were all on my Christmas list this year.

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Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal by Potter Gift
Zen as F*ck by Monica Sweeney

I got the Q&A a Day journal from the hubby’s parents for Christmas. I actually really wanted one of these. I seen it a couple years ago and just never got one for some reason, so it was a nice surprise! My cousin/bestie sent me the journal called Zen as F*ck, which I am excited to start using.I linked both of these journals to Amazon, because I think you can probably get a better sense of what they are that way.


Books from Publishers:

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Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young

I was stoked that the publisher reached out to me asking if I wanted the sequel to Girls with Sharp Sticks. I loved that book so much, so I can’t wait to read the sequel Girls with Razor Hearts. It’s releasing in March. I’ll probably read this one some time in early February.


E-Books:

birthdayoppositeofalwayslikealovestoryletmehearyourhyme

Birthday by Meredith Russo
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

crownofcoralandpearlalexinwonderlandmagicforliarsunspeakablethings

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green
Magic for Liars
by Sarah Gailey
Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

There were so many good e-book deals this month. There were even a ton that I wanted that I decided to skip on this time. These are the ones that I did end up getting. I’ve been wanting to read the majority of these for so long now, so I was stoked to see them finally on sale. Unspeakable Things I got free from Amazon Prime First Reads program. You get one free book a month (sometimes two) from a selection of like five books if you have Amazon Prime.

What new books did you get in December? Have you read any of the ones that I got? Feel free to link me to your haul post, so I can check it out!

I should have my December wrap up in the next few days. Probably after New Year’s. I am hoping to finish at least one more book before the end of the month. I am currently in the middle of two, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll also have my goals for 2020 coming soon too. I am off to see my family for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. If I don’t come around before then, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂

In case you missed it;
Random|| Picture Update.
Book Tag|| Christmas Book Blogger.
Friday Finds #84.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleychristmas