Wrap Up|| February.

wrapup

Hey!

February was not my best reading month. I am lucky to even have four books to share. I had to throw in some graphic novels just so I could get more books read for the month. I just couldn’t really get into the groove of things when it came to sitting down to read. Too many distractions in my head and happening around me, sigh. I did read and review three ARCs though, so at least there’s that. Anyway, here is my February wrap up. 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 February.

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Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel – 4 out of 5 starsReview
Heartstopper: Volume Three by Alice Oseman – 5 out of 5 stars
Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young – 4 out of 5 starsReview
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang – 3 out of 5 starsReview

Darling Rose Gold was kind of like a different twist to the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case. I really liked it and it was pretty hard to put down at times. Most of it was really great, but I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I don’t think I can ever say anything bad about the Heartstopper graphic novels. Heartstopper: Volume 3 was so amazing and cute and I am dying for more. It ended with a little cliffhanger. I love my boys and I am dying for volume 4. Girls with Razor Hearts is the sequel to Girls with Sharp Sticks. I thought the first book was a little better, but I still really enjoyed this one. It’s been such a powerful series so far and it’s really relatable and important to what is happening in the world right now where men seem to have more power, especially over women. It’s so messed up, but in a lot of ways it’s true and what is happening every day in the real world. Dragon Hoops is a graphic novel about basketball. I’m not a basketball fan or really a fan of sports in general. I still liked this book though and it was fun to read. Feel free to check out my reviews linked above for more.


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

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Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

I am finally reading Starry Eyes! I’ve been wanting to read it long before it was ever published in 2018 and just never got around to it. Since I read all my March ARCs February, I am reading Starry Eyes before I start on my April ARCs.

What books did you read in February? 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 made a March TBR (that I probably won’t stick to 😛 ) and may or may not do a post about it. Although, I did pretty much stick to my TBR for February. I am hoping to post Andy’s review of Maybe Someday within the next couple days too. I’ll catch up with your entries and reply to comments at some point today. I may be busy during the morning/afternoon, so might have to be toward the end of the day. To end this post though, remember how I mentioned unhauling 50+ books in my book haul post last week? Well, I decided to reorganize my bookshelves a little bit after unhauling some books. Here’s an updated picture:

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The left two bookcases are paperbacks and ARCs (the big one and skinnier one). The books at the very bottom of the skinnier shelf are some miscellaneous books that I may move to a different shelf. The next two bookcases are hardcovers. The last bookcase the hardcovers continue over there and it also has my Harry Potter books at the top. This one also has a lot of miscellaneous books and unopened Funko Pops. My baby Yoda (the Child) painting is what I did in that art class I mentioned in a previous post. It’s just sitting there for now until I hang it up on my wall. The very top of all my bookcases are my favorite unopened Funko Pops. I currently have my opened ones in a box right now, because I’m not sure where I want to put them yet. I’m pretty happy with the way it is right now. I may change a few books into different spots, but for the most part I like how it is.

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| February.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| Dragon Hoops.

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Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
3 out of 5 stars

“In a well-crafted story, everything makes sense.”

Goodreads Description: Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.


I received an ARC of Dragon Hoops from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It will be published on March 17th.

I know absolutely nothing about basketball or any sport, really. Like Gene, I have no interest in sports. That didn’t stop him from learning more about basketball and following the school’s basketball team throughout their basketball season. Gene works at the school as well as writes and illustrates graphic novels. Dragon Hoops is essentially about his career and about the school (and school’s basketball team) that he works at.

For being someone that isn’t into sports, it was fun learning a little more about basketball along with Gene. He gives backstories about the characters and the history of basketball too. I couldn’t completely connect with Dragon Hoops since it’s not a subject that I am into, but I did like it and thought it was fun to read. I got really excited when the Dragons would score points and got bummed when they would lose. I liked that Gene ended up realizing new things about himself as he tagged along with the basketball team to all their games and connected with the players through conversation and interviews with them.

Overall, Dragon Hoops was a solid graphic novel about basketball, sportsman ship, and growth. I liked the mix between the history of the sport and what was going on in present day with the new Dragons team as they work their way to the state championships. I thought the illustrations were great as well. I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you like basketball. I think I’m going to gift this book to my nephew and see if maybe it’ll interest him as well.

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| February.
Review|| Girls with Razor Hearts.
Friday Finds #86.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Book Haul|| February.

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Hey!

Time for another book haul already? I bought a few books this month and was sent some Spring ARCs from a publisher. I’ve been trying to be super picky with the books that I buy over the last couple years, especially this year. I’m not currently working, so this is one of the big reasons why I have to be so picky when deciding when and what to buy. Let’s face it…I want ALL THE BOOKS. 😛 So this month I did buy a few books, but I unhauled quite a few (like 50+) books too! It’s hard saying goodbye to books, but it had to be done. I got rid of books that I didn’t love and books that I lost interest in and knew I would probably never get around to reading.

There’s a used bookstore in my area that  takes book donations for trade credit (store credit), so that’s what I did. They gave me $94 in trade credit and I was actually shocked! For some reason I thought it was going to be A LOT less. A great thing about the credit is that it is good for two years! So that meant that I didn’t have to spend it the same day. I ended up getting one book and still have $88 to spend whenever I pop over there and check out what new books they get in throughout the year. 🙂 I’m thinking I got so much because I got rid of a ton of pretty popular ones including: the Throne of Glass series, the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Illuminae, The Hate U Give, Children of Blood & Bone, and a bunch of others.

Anyway, enough about unhauling books, below are 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:

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Heartstopper: Volume 3 by Alice Oseman
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

Of course I had to buy Heartstopper: Volume 3, because I love these graphic novels so much. I love my boys. I already read it and loved it. Maybe Someday is one of my favorite Colleen Hoover books and I didn’t actually own it, so I decided now was the chance to buy it since my husband is reviewing it for my blog. Hopefully his review will be coming soon. He actually already finished the book. I found The Bromance Book Club at a used bookstore and I had to get it. I’ve been off and on about wanting to read it and since I had trade credit from the books that I donated I decided to get it.

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Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

I loved Not Even Bones when I read the ARC a couple years ago and I’ve been wanting to get the sequel ever since. I didn’t actually buy the sequel at the time it was released because I didn’t own the first book, so I found Not Even Bones at a discount store and bought it for like $3. As soon as I got to the car I ordered the sequel, Only Ashes Remain. I am so stoked to read it.


Books from Publishers:

I received a box of Spring 2020 ARCs from Fierce Reads, which I was so stoked to receive. It had mostly contemporaries in it and I love that. Below are the books that I received and their release dates.

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I Am Here Now By Barbara Bottner (Release Date 5/19)
Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest (Release Date 6/2)
Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein (Release Date 7/7)

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Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann (Release Date 7/14)
The Con Code by Shana Silver (Release Date 8/25)
Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena (Release Date 6/23)
A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer (Release Date 7/7)

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Netgalley:

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Admission by Julie Buxbaum (Release Date 5/5)

I couldn’t help requesting Julie’s new book Admissions when I seen it on Netgalley. I really enjoy her books, so I can’t wait to read it.


E-Books:

There were so many e-books on sale in February that I wanted, but I ended up telling myself “no”. I can go crazy with e-book buying if I don’t stop myself. Here are the ones that I said “yes” for and ended up buying.

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I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
No Filter by Orlagh Collins

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The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg
Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker
In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

What new books did you get in February? 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!

That’s all for this blog post! I will have my wrap up probably posted on Monday as I am hoping to finish one more book before then. This month has not been my month with reading, but more about that in my wrap up. Catch up with you guys later today or tomorrow. 🙂

In case you missed it;
Review|| Girls with Razor Hearts.
Friday Finds #86.
2 Star Reads of 2019.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| Girls with Razor Hearts.

Heads up that this review is for the sequel to Girls with Sharp Sticks, so if you haven’t read that book yet and you don’t want to be spoiled I would skip reading. I’m trying to leave this as spoil free as I can of the first book but the book description is below and so this review may contain spoilers of the first book in the series. You can check out my review of the first book (Girls with Sharp Sticks) over here if you’re interested!

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Girls with Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young
4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: It’s been weeks since Mena and the other girls of Innovations Academy escaped their elite boarding school. Although traumatized by the violence and experimentations that occurred there, Mena quickly discovers that the outside world can be just as unwelcoming and cruel. With no one else to turn to, the girls only have each other—and the revenge-fueled desire to shut down the corporation that imprisoned them. The girls enroll in Stoneridge Prep, a private school with suspect connections to Innovations, to identify the son of an investor and take down the corporation from the inside. But with pressure from Leandra, who revealed herself to be a double-agent, and Winston Weeks, an academy investor gone rogue, Mena wonders if she and her friends are simply trading one form of control for another. Not to mention the woman who is quite literally invading Mena’s thoughts—a woman with extreme ideas that both frighten and intrigue Mena. And as the girls fight for freedom from their past—and freedom for the girls still at Innovations—they must also face new questions about their existence…and what it means to be girls with razor hearts.


I was sent an ARC copy of Girls with Razor Hearts from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It will be releasing on March 17th.

I was so excited when I received a copy of Girls with Razor Hearts, because I loved the first book so much! Girls with Razor Hearts was a really great sequel and I enjoyed it so much. Just like the first book, Girls with Sharp Sticks, it continued to deal with some really heavy issues and once again they had similarities to things that are happening in the world today. Mainly being how women are treated in the world by men and how it’s hard for women to stand up to these men, because it just causes further damage and hurt toward them.

The girls had to navigate a new life and essentially a new world while also dealing with their traumas that they experienced at Innovations Academy. It didn’t get easier for them when they left the academy. Men dominate the world and walk all over the women. The girls are trying to put an end to this and are faced with a lot of realizations and trouble along the way. They don’t know who to trust and neither did I as I was reading the book. I loved the continued bond between the girls and the love they have for each other. There’s so many untrustworthy people but at least they have each other to try to figure it all out!

I ended up giving Girls with Razor Hearts one star less than I did the first book though. It was a little hard for me to get into it at the start but once I did, I was fully invested in the story and the girls again. I don’t want to go into too many more details because I don’t want to risk any spoilers. I highly recommend checking this series out. It’s so relatable and so far it has been such a powerful story. A lot of what is happening in the story and was talked about needs to be heard. I am eagerly waiting for the third book!

In case you missed it;
Friday Finds #86.
2 Star Reads of 2019.
3 Star Reads of 2019.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

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!

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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:

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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

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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:

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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:

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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.

husbandmaterialtheflintstonesflintstones

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.

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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.

allegedly

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.

followers

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.

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 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!

justbreathe

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.

 


malice

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.


camp

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.


furiousthing

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

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?


findingmrbetter

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.

greatalonecrookedkingdomjustforclicks

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

thelittestarraynethetest

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

summerof69thebookofessiegirlswithsharpsticks

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

happymessyscarylovewecontainmultitudesoliviatwist

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

redwhiteroyalbluesouloftheswordwiththefireonhigh

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

heroinescythepsycho

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

IMAGINARYFRIENDoverthetopthelibrarian

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:

infinityson

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:

janeeyre

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:

FALLINGKINGDOMS

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:

emmy

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:

queenofairanddarkness

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:

ninthhouse

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:

hiddenoracle

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 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