Book Tag|| Mid-Year Freak Out.

booktag

Hey!

I seen this tag over on Kelly’s (Another Book in the Wall) blog and decided to give it a go today. I usually do the mid-year freak out tag every year, so I am excited to do it once again!

1. Best Book You’ve Read This Year?

Definitely a tie between Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes and Inferno by Julie Kagawa. They are both series enders and OMG, they were amazing. The Falling Kingdoms and the Talon Saga forever hold pieces of my heart. They are my two favorite series of all-time now. I am so sad they are over, but holy crap were they everything I could ever hope for!

immortalreigninferno


2. Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2018?

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors and he has not disappointed with the Magnus Chase series. The sequel was perfect and I can’t wait to read the next book.

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3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?

SO. MANY. OMG. I’ll stick with books that I own and choose Puddin’ and Leah on the Offbeat. I bought those on their release dates and still haven’t had the chance to get to them yet. I am super stoked for them both.

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4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

I am so stoked for Patrick Ness’ new book And the Ocean Was Our Sky. I need to own and read everything Ness writes, because he is amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on his new book in September.

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5. Biggest Disappointment?

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp. I loved her first book so much and her new book sounded like it was going to be really good. It was a pretty big disappointment for me, because it was just way too weird for me and there were a lot of times where I was just beyond annoyed with everything happening. It also didn’t really make sense to me at times and left me more frustrated than anything. It wasn’t for me.

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6. Biggest Surprise?

I’m going to choose Turtles All the Way Down by John Green for this one. It was a big surprise, because I honestly went into this book thinking that I wasn’t going to like it. John Green’s books are usually a hit or miss and mostly a miss for me. I absolutely loved Turtles All the Way Down though and I was completely shocked that I did! It was so amazing and I already want to reread it again.

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7. Favorite New To You Or Debut Author?

Holly Black! I read The Cruel Prince and OMG it was amazing! I loved everything about it and I can’t wait to read her other books. I feel like I have been missing out!

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8. Newest Fictional Crush?

Prince Cardan from The Cruel Prince. I loved his character. He’s wicked, he’s cruel, but there is more to him than meets the eye.

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9. Newest Favorite Character?

Penny and Sam from Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. They were such great characters and I love how they balanced each other out in the book. By the way, Emergency Contact was AMAZING. It was one of my highly anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint. Loved it.

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10. Book That Made You Cry?

your name. by Makoto Shinkai. HOLY CRAP, AMAZING. Also, the feels. So many feels. I was crying throughout, lol. So damn good though and the movie was even better.

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11. Book That Made You Happy?

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. This book was so damn cute and had me smiling like crazy. Also, Rishi…ahhh, he is also a new fictional crush. LOL 😛

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12. Favorite Book-To-Film Adaptation?

I just watched Every Day this week and the movie was so good. I loved the book by David Levithan so much when I read it back in 2015, so I was stoked when the movie came out. I can’t wait for third book in October.

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13. Favorite Post You Have Done This Year?

Honestly, I’m not really sure about this one. I guess one of my picture posts. I posted a few travel ones that were fun to write and share pictures. Linked below:

Travel|| Biscayne National Park.
Travel|| Butterfly World.


14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

I am going to go with beautiful covers for this one. I am a sucker for beautiful book covers. Isn’t everyone? 😛 My top three that I bought this year so far is Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. I love these covers so much! I still need to read these books too, haha.

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15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of the Year?

Again, SO MANY! I want to try to read more of my older books that have been on my shelves the longest. I actually made a list at the beginning of the year of all the older books on my shelves that I want to read this year. A couple being Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

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I have a picture post in the works, but currently I am a bit overwhelmed with it because the last one I did was two months ago. So I have a TON of pictures I want to post on my blog and I also have a ton of pictures I still need to go through. It might just have to be multiple posts, because two months of pictures is A LOT! I also have to catch up with your posts and comments. I’ve been MIA this week, because I haven’t really been in the mood to blog and I have some other things going on, so I’ve been busy. I also feel a cold coming on. Thanks to my sister for getting me sick, ugh. I  needed a little break. I’ll catch up soon! 🙂

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| Be Prepared.
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| Be Prepared.

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Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there’s one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she’s found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the “cool girl” drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!


I was sent a copy of Be Prepared from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was April of this year (2018).

Be Prepared is a middle grade graphic novel. For it being middle grade, I really enjoyed it a lot. I’ve always wanted to go to summer camp as a kid, but never had the chance to experience it. Vera gets the chance to finally go to a summer camp like all her friends get to do every year. She’s already having a hard time fitting in at home, so when she gets the chance to go to a Russian summer camp she is really stoked about it, but it ends up not being like she expected it to be.

Be Prepared is sort of like a true story, because it’s about the author’s time at summer camp from the bits and pieces that she can remember and piece together. I thought that was really cool. She even included real letters from her and her brother’s time at camp. The story itself was great. I really enjoyed the characters and there were a lot of funny moments. In a way it was also a bit sad, because Vera is trying to find her place at camp and it’s not that easy at the beginning. She doesn’t have the easiest time as her brother did.

Overall, I really liked this story and the characters. I loved the illustrations. It was fun and even some life lessons mixed into it. It’s a great summer read, especially for the younger crowd. I’m way past middle grade years, but it was still enjoyable as an adult as well. I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you have little ones. I think they would enjoy it. My nephew is perfect age for this one, so I will be passing this one along to him.

In case you missed it;
Thoughts|| All Summer Long.
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Thoughts|| All Summer Long.

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All Summer Long by Hope Larson
4 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Description: Thirteen-year-old Bina has a long summer ahead of her. She and her best friend, Austin, usually do everything together, but he’s off to soccer camp for a month, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately anyway. So it’s up to Bina to see how much fun she can have on her own. At first it’s a lot of guitar playing, boredom, and bad TV, but things look up when she finds an unlikely companion in Austin’s older sister, who enjoys music just as much as Bina. But then Austin comes home from camp, and he’s acting even weirder than when he left. How Bina and Austin rise above their growing pains and reestablish their friendship and respect for their differences makes for a touching and funny coming-of-age story.


I was sent a copy of All Summer Long from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Release date was May 1st of this year (2018)

I first want to point out that All Summer Long is a middle grade graphic novel. I don’t read a ton of middle grade books, but I do like reading them from time to time. I’ve been wanting to branch out to more graphic novels as well, so it was exciting that All Summer Long was a graphic novel. I really enjoyed this book and the illustrations were great. Bina’s best friend Austin went away to soccer camp so she has to figure out how she was going to spend her summer and how to have a fun summer without him. It’s a really quick read, but still such a fun book.

All Summer Long had me missing when I was a kid and had summer vacation from school. I really liked Bina and totally awesome that she plays guitar! I’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar. I love that she is so into music too, because I LOVE music. I could relate to her on that level and obsessing over my favorite bands. I was happy to see Bina bond with Austin’s sister, although at times I wasn’t his sister’s fan. There were a ton of fun (and funny) moments that happen throughout the story. Overall, I thought it was a quick, cute, and fun story. It’s perfect for summer. Even though it’s targeted for middle grade, I personally still thought it was a good book.

In case you  missed it;
Photo A Day|| June 1-5.
June TBR {Maybe}.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Photo A Day|| June 1-5.

photoaday1

Hey!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-6 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken with my iPhone.

June 1st-5th.

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Instagram Caption: the target balls are mickey mouse today! 🎯 || photo a day • circle.
Camera: iPhone X.

I went to Target on Friday and noticed that the balls they have outside of the store were dressed like Mickey Mouse. I was pretty stoked about it, so I had to get a picture. I remember when Pokemon Go first came out, Target painted them to look like Pokeballs. I was curious why about the Mickey Mouse ears, but when I went inside I noticed they had a new section of the store dedicated to all things Mickey Mouse.


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Instagram Caption: found a bunch of these guys munching on leaves at the beach today. 🐛🌿 || photo a day • snack.
Camera: Nikon D3400.

I went walking around the beach with my mom and aunt for a little bit and snapped some pictures. It finally stopped raining, so I was able to take my camera out. I seen a bunch of these caterpillars eating leaves. They look so fuzzy and a little creepy. 😛


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Instagram Caption: beach day with @lingytm 🌊☀️✌🏼 || photo a day • i sat here.
Camera: iPhone X.

On Sunday, my cousin Michelle came to hangout and we went to the beach and then wen to grab some tacos from a taco place on the beach. It was just her and I, so that was cool. The sun wasn’t too bad when we first got there (we went really early around 9am). We ate lunch around 11am and then went back to my house. I got in the pool to get a lot of the sand off me and because the sun really came out while we ate lunch and it was pretty brutal having to walk so much back to the car in the sun and heat. Our beach has a lot of restaurants and bars on a little strip, so we walked a pretty far amount to the taco place. It was a lot farther than we both actually thought it was. Still a fun time!


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Instagram Caption: “that dope ass beat in your heart, vibe to it.” || photo a day • this is so me! • i don’t know why, but i’m forever taking pictures of my shoes.
Camera: Nikon D3400.

Just a random picture. I don’t really have any explanation for it, lol. I tend to take a lot of pictures of my shoes for some reason. I’m not entirely sure why, but I guess it’s my thing. It was also perfect for the topic of “this is so me”, since it’s just something I always do.


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Instagram Caption: forever heart eyes for this apartment building every time i see it at the beach. it’s so huge and so pretty. || photo a day • favourite.
Camera: Nikon D3400.

This is a huge apartment building on the beach. This picture isn’t even half of it. It’s also so pretty. It’s probably one of my favorite buildings along the beach, lol. I actually really love how this picture turned out too.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a regular picture/life update, so I may do that soon or at least at some point this month. I’ve taken a lot more pictures over the last couple months that are not a part of the photo a day challenge, so I want to post those on my blog as well. I have a few reviews that I need to do, so those may be coming next week.

In case you missed it;
June TBR {Maybe}.
Photo A Day|| May 25-31.
Wrap Up|| May.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

June TBR {Maybe}.

junetbr

Hey!

I am so bad with sticking to TBR lists, but I decided to make one for this month because I have a pretty good idea about what I want to read this month. I’m dedicating this month to a lot of graphic novels and hopefully will also have time for some other books as well. I have quite a few graphic novels that I own that I finally want to read.

Graphic Novels:

allsummerlongbepreparedtheprinceandthedressmakerwiresandnervemausesagavol1

All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
Maus Vol 1 & 2 by Art Spiegelman (2 to read)
Saga Vol 2, 3, 4, 5 by Brian K. Vaughan (4 to read)

I already read Saga Vol 2 & 3 yesterday and I am currently reading All Summer Long right now. I was able to get volumes 4 & 5 of Saga from the library, but I will eventually be buying my own copies. I love the series so far. I’m nervous about Wires and Nerve, because I didn’t really like the Lunar Chronicles all that much.

Other books if I have time:

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Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Library)
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Library)
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Library)
Circe by Madeline Miller

If I have some time this month, then I hope to read these four books and I also want to finish Circe as well. I still have the second half the book to read, but I ended up putting it on hold for now. I’m just not as into it as I thought I would be. I was able to get the e-books from my library, so hopefully I’ll get around to reading some of them before they get returned. The books on this list are books that I have been DYING to read, so I am hoping to get to at least a couple if not all.

This is a pretty big TBR, but I am hoping since I am reading a lot of graphic novels, I’ll be able to fly through them. I read Saga Vol 2 & 3 in one day and I probably could have read 4 & 5 yesterday as well if I hadn’t started something else. 😛 So we’ll see what happens!

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What’s on your June TBR? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Any that you think I should read ASAP?

I hope to catch up with your posts and reply to comments later today or tomorrow if I don’t have time today. 😀

In case you missed it;
Photo A Day|| May 25-31.
Wrap Up|| May.
Book Haul|| May.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Photo A Day|| May 25-31.

photoaday1

Hey!

I’ve been taking part in monthly photo a day challenges on my Instagram account (heyyitsashley) and I’ve been having a lot of fun with them (when I don’t fall behind on pictures). I figured I would also cross post them to my blog as well. I think for the purpose of blogging, I will post 3-6 per blog post that I do throughout the month. That way I am not spamming my blog with a million photo a day posts back to back. You can follow me on Instagram (linked above) if you want to see them daily though! Some of these pictures will be taken with my Nikon. There will also be some taken with my iPhone.

Days 25-31 of May.

I did end up skipping of the days, but not sure which one since I don’t number the days on my IG account.

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Instagram Caption: i am over this rain 😒☔️🌿 || photo a day • macro.
Camera: Nikon D3400.

I really love this picture, but it does look a little fuzzy to me because my camera lens kept fogging up. As soon as I wiped it away, I had only seconds to get a picture before it would fog up again. The humidity, plus taking my camera from a cold house to a really hot humid rainy outside resulted in my fogged up lens UGH. I took multiple shots and then just gave up, lol. This was the best one.


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Instagram Caption: my mom has a little pineapple growing in her garden. 🍍 || photo a day • garden.
Camera: Nikon D3400.

My mom’s pineapple plant is going strong. It actually looked like it was pretty dead only a couple days before this picture. It came back to life though! It’s so pretty. I love when it gets pink and starts to get little purple flowers blooming out of it.


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Instagram Caption: it stopped raining long enough for me to snap a few pictures outside today. || photo a day • make.
Camera: iPhone X.

OMG, it stopped raining for like a couple hours! I was able to take my camera around outside my house to snap a few pictures. I think the rain is finally going to stop for awhile though and I am stoked. I am hoping I can actually go somewhere this weekend. I’m tired of sitting at home every single weekend due to this stupid rain. This is a picture of my new Nikon D3400!


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Instagram Caption: my girls ♡ || photo a day • silhouette.
Camera: iPhone X.

Leaf & October. I love these girls so much. They love to sit and look out of the sliding glass doors. There is also always cats that run around our backyard, so they like to watch them too.


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Instagram Caption: a year ago today i walked around an entire city and then walked up 87 steps to hang with my dude, abraham lincoln. probably one of my all-time favorite moments in DC. 🇺🇸 || i need another vacation, ugh. || photo a day • temptation.
Camera: Nikon Cool Pix.

I ended up reposting two pictures from my honeymoon for this day. These are from when we went to Washington DC. I loved Washington DC so much. It’s probably one of my favorite cities that I’ve been to so far. We literally walked around the entire city and it was ridiculously hot outside too. The Lincoln Memorial was one of our last stops. Saved the best for last! After all the walking, we finally decided to catch a bus, and then a taxi to a pizza place. After we ate, we caught the metro back to Virginia. Such a fun day though! I still need to do my honeymoon post, ahh. It’s been a year since I’ve been wanting to do it.

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In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| May.
Book Haul|| May.
Photo A Day|| 15-24.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Wrap Up|| May.

wrapup

Hey!

This month was actually a fantastic month for me as far as reading goes! I read so many books and listened to a few audiobooks as well. I think this has been my best month so far this year with the amount of books I read and listened to, which is exciting! I’ll get right into my May wrap up.

Here are the books that I read and listened to in May. 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 if I did a review for them.

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

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Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff – 4 OUT OF 5 STARS –  Review.
I thought Airport, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over was really fun. It was also pretty fast paced, so I flew through it in just a few days. Feel free to check out my review for more.

Orphan Number Eight by Kim van Alkemade – 5 OUT OF 5 STARS
WHOA! Orphan Number Eight was such an amazing book and it was so emotional too! I loved everything about it. Before I even got halfway through it, I was telling my older sister that she needed to read it. Such a great (and sad) story.

Selp-Helf by Miranda Sings – 4 OUT OF 5 STARS
I am a big fan of Miranda Sings. I follow her YouTube channel and I really liked the show she had on Netflix. I personally think she’s funny. I know her character isn’t for everyone though. I really enjoyed her book Selp-Helf and thought it was fun to read and had a lot of funny moments.

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp – 2 OUT OF 5 STARS – Review.
Before I Let Go was okay. I think it’s one of those books that you either love it or you don’t and I sadly did not. It was so weird to me and a bit confusing at times, to be honest. I also got some We Were Liars vibes from it and I was one of those people that did not like We Were Liars. Feel free to check out my review for more.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi – 5 OUT OF 5 STARS
I’ve been debating on whether or not to do a review for Emergency Contact. I’m sure I will do one at some point. I loved everything about this book. It had great characters and it was pretty relatable. I had fun reading it and it was a little sad at times too. Lots of feels. It was one of my highly anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint.

Talking Pictures by Ransom Riggs – 4 OUT OF 5 STARS.
Talking Pictures was a really quick read, because it’s pretty much all pictures! I really liked it. It was so interesting seeing all the old photographs and reading about them and also coming up with my own stories in my head about the people in the photographs.


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

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Inferno by Julie Kagawa – 5 OUT OF 5 STARS.
My heart. So many feels. So many tears. This series means everything to me. I’m so sad that it’s over, but I am so happy with the ending. Inferno was perfect and everything I hoped it would be (and more). The Talon Saga forever has a piece of my heart.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green –  5 OUT OF 5 STARS.
I loved everything about this book. The feels are real. I can’t count on one hand how many times I cried or felt so many strong emotions and feelings. I connected to the main character on so many different levels with certain things in my life and about me as a person. It’s been a rocky road with John Green’s books. I usually am not into his books and I went into this one thinking I was not going to like it, but I absolutely loved Turtles All the Way Down.

Umberland by Wendy Spinale – 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS.
Ozland by Wendy Spinale
Umberland is the second book in the Everland series. I loved Everland so much, so I was stoked to finally read the sequel. I enjoyed it so much! It was just as fun as Everland was. No star rating for Ozland yet, since I am still currently listening to it. I should have it done today though, so I am including it in my May wrap up. 😛 I’m a little over halfway through it and I really like it so far. This series as a whole has been great. I love the steampunk retellings.


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

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Circe by Madeline Miller

I was really hoping to have Circe finished before the end of this month, but it’s not happening. 😦 I still have 50% left to read. I really like Circe so far, but I’m not blown away by it like so many others seem to be. I still really like it and have a lot left to read, so who knows what may happen or how I’ll feel when I get to the second half.

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

I should hopefully finally have time to catch up with your posts and reply to comments. It’s been a pretty busy week for me so far, but I should have a few downtime moments later today to play catch up! 😀

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

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack