BookBlogWriMo: #TBT — Best Books of 2014

BookblogwrimoWelcome to day twenty, everyone!  I can’t believe we’re nearly done!  Today’s prompt is about the best books of 2014, and despite the disappointments I’ve had this year, I’ve started/finished a lot of great series, but I’ll try to keep this down to my top ten reads this year.  This list is in no particular order, and if you click the book titles, you’ll be taken to the book’s Goodreads page where you’ll find its summary :D

  1. Origin (Lux, #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  2. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (I originally rated this book 3/5 stars, but I’ve been thinking about this book a lot recently and am strongly considering rereading it.)
  3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  5. The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
  6. Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1) by Rachel Hawkins
  7. yolo (Internet Girls, #4) by Lauren Myracle
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (I read this book a few years ago but reread it this year.)

I couldn’t even reach ten books!  That’s not to say I’ve only read eight good books this year, I just didn’t want to put more than one book from a series on this list.  Nevertheless, I haven’t read as many books this year as I did last year.  I think I’ve read 44 books this year…?  *cough, cough*

But, those are a few of the best books I’ve read this year.  What are the best books you’ve read?  Do we have any books in common?

-littleonion

BookBlogWriMo: #WaitingOnWednesday — TBR Books

BookblogwrimoHello, everyone, and welcome to #BookBlogWriMo day nineteen!  This is the second time I’ve tried to write this post, because my page was mysteriously restarted and WordPress didn’t automatically save the last draft :(

Anyway, today’s prompt is about the books on our “to be read” lists.  Now, to keep this simple, I’m going to use only the books I own, because if I use the books on my Goodreads TBR… well… that list would be extremely long. *cough, cough*

So without further ado, here are some of the books I need to read.

islaFirst on my list, we have Isla and the Happily Ever After, which is book three in the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy, by Stephanie Perkins.  I love these books so much, and Isla came out ages ago!  I still haven’t read it, and I’m ashamed Dx But I know I’m going to love this book, because the other two were awesome.  I wasn’t into Lola’s story as much as Anna’s, but they’re still both awesome characters, and I’m excited for what’s in store for Isla.

silvershadowscoverFirst Isla, and now this?!  What is the world coming to?  This book is Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead, which is the fifth book in the Bloodlines series.  Guys, this came out in July.  What was I doing in July that was so important that I couldn’t take some time out of that month to read this?  Ugh.  But seriously, I think the last time I waited a million years to read a Richelle Mead book, I literally put in my review “what was I thinking waiting so long?” XD

I actually started Silver Shadows, but I must not have been in a reading mood.  I remember bits and pieces, but I think it’ll be enough to pick up where I last left off.  I definitely have to start it before the last book comes out.

Spellbound Rachel HawkinsNext on my list is Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins, the third book in her Hex Hall trilogy.  I love these books.  So, so much.  The main character, Sophie, is so hilarious, and Archer <3 *fangirly squeals* I definitely have to finish up this series, and then I have to start the spin off…

Throne of Glass UKNext up is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.  Yes.  I know.  I know.  I should have already read this book, and I started it, but… then I stopped it.  I’ve heard a million awesome things about this series, and I’m really hesitant to read this.  You know all about my hype issues xD But there it is, sitting on my bookshelf, right on top of…

The unbecoming of mara dyer…The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.  I just realized that this list is pretty much a list of books I should have read a long time ago that I never got around to xD  Everyone raves about this book, and I’m so curious to know what it’s about!  Usually with hyped up books, I go in knowing almost nothing and having huge expectations.  When I read this, that’s probably what my mindset will be xD

the divinerssThe Diviners by Libba Bray has been on my TBR for about a year now.  I think it’ll be a year in the beginning of December xD This book is so big and intimidating and it just makes me want to run.  In the opposite direction.  But one day I’ll tackle it.  It sounds really interesting, and I haven’t heard many reviews, so bonus XD


Those are some of the books on my TBR list!  What books are on yours?  Do we share any books?  Let me know!

-littleonion

 

 

BookBlogWriMo: Your Favorite Subgenres

BookblogwrimoHello, people of the blogosphere and beyond!  Welcome to #BookBlogWriMo day eighteen!  Today’s prompt is about our favorite subgenres.  Now, I actually had to look this one up to see if I would be listing the correct categories that are actually listed under “subgenre.”  And I learned quite a bit (thank you, Wikipedia!  What a trustworthy source.)

  • Young Adult Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Dystopian
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • Supernatural/Paranormal (listed under “horror” and “speculative fiction)
  • Fantasy (speculative fiction)
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Magic Realism
  • Time Travel

Now, if you want to get really specific, some of these are actually subgenres of subgenres:

Children’s Fiction

  • Young Adult Fiction

Speculative Fiction

  • Science Fiction
    •  Dystopian
    •  Post-Apocalyptic
  • Horror
    •  Supernatural/Paranormal
  • Fantasy
    •  Magic Fantasy
    •  Urban Fantasy

Anyway, sorry to get to specific… I’m just a list person XD What are your favorite subgenres?  Do we have any in common?  I have a sneaking suspicion that we do ;D

-littleonion

BookBlogWriMo: Days 16 & 17

BookblogwrimoHello, everyone, and welcome to #BookBlogWriMo day seventeen!  I apologize for not posting yesterday.  I was really lazy and didn’t feel like typing anything… I definitely regretted not scheduling anything for yesterday! XD I look forward to catching up with your posts and seeing what you have to say about yesterday’s and today’s topics.

Sunday’s prompt was about our least favorite book blogging things, countering Saturday’s prompt.

malfoyYou mean… I’m supposed to have things that I don’t like about book blogging?  Absurd!

Just kidding xD There are a few things that I’m not particularly fond of.  Like when you get that feeling that you need to put up a book review.  I don’t know if you get this feeling, but I’ve been feeling like this a lot, especially since this year hasn’t been my best year in reading.  I know I don’t focus solely on book reviews, but when I go a month or even more without writing a review… it makes me feel guilty.

saddd*Cough, cough* Anyway… moving on…

Another thing I don’t like about book blogging is the fact that I can’t write a short review to save my life!  All of my reviews are dreadfully long (and some are very disorganized XD).  I guess they’re more for me, so I can release all the feels xD But I do want to work on writing shorter reviews, though I have a feeling that won’t be any time soon.

But other than those two things, I can’t think of anything else that bugs me about book blogging.  I’m probably forgetting something that I’ll remember in the future, and then I’ll mentally facepalm, but oh well.


Day seventeen of #BookBlogWriMo is about our favorite book tropes.  I only knew a vague definition of what a “trope” was before looking it up, but I was definitely headed in the right direction.  Here are just a few things I could never get tired of, no matter how cliché they may be:

  • Resurrection: I love books with the whole resurrection romancey story line.  You know the drill.  Boy and girl meet.  Girl dies at a certain age.  Boy spends the rest of his life finding girl.  Boy finds girl in present day.  Girl thinks boy is familiar.  Let the drama commence!  Sometimes it does get on my nerves, but there are quite a few books that I’ve read that feature this storyline.
  • Schools for the Gifted: Like Hogwarts, or Hex Hall, etc.  Even Camp Half-Blood qualifies.  I love this kind of thing.  I would love to go to Hogwarts or any of those places.  I bet Twilight would have been more awesome if she went to a vampire/werewolf boarding school…

shock

  • Boarding Schools: I love boarding schools.  I’ve never been to one, but based on every single book about boarding school I’ve read, I’m down xD More specifically, though, I like boarding schools based in New England, c. 1920.  And it’s not like I’ve even read that many books that fit the criteria, but I love this style.
  • Wizards: I suppose I’m using “wizards” to represent lots of “supernatural” things, like vampires, or werewolves, stuff like that.  I love fantasy.  If I had to choose a genre that I’ve read the most of, it would probably be narrowed down to fantasy or dystopian.
  • Journal Format: I’m not really sure if this counts, but I love books that are written in the journal or diary format, or even letter format, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I have no idea why I like this so much, but if you tell me to read a book and also say that it’s got one of these formats, there’s a pretty good chance that I’d pick it up without even seeing what it’s about.

That’s all I have for you all today!  Let me know your thoughts on what your least favorite book blogging things are, and what literary tropes you like :D Until then,

-littleonion

P.S. Mockingjay, Part I comes out very soon!  Will you be going to the midnight premiere?  I’ll be seeing the movie the day after it comes out, so I’ll definitely be talking about that soon!

BookBlogWriMo: Favorite Book Blogging Things

BookblogwrimoWelcome #BookBlogWriMo day fifteen!  We’re halfway there, everyone!  I wonder how the NaNoWriMo-ers are doing :D Anyway, today’s prompt is about our favorite things about book blogging, one of my favorite topics.

excitementAhem.  Let’s begin xD

One of my favorite things about book blogging is about reading books and being able to share my feels with the world.  I don’t know many people who read, let alone anyone who reads books that are in my favorite genres, so it’s nice to have a community to talk to, and to see if they liked or didn’t like a book.

The next thing I love about book blogging is the community!  I’m not exactly sure what planted the idea in my head that I wanted blog about books, and I’m not sure how other book bloggers found me, or how I found them for that matter!  But the majority of people I’ve interacted with in the book blogging community are really nice and easy to chat with :D

I wish I could say another favorite was about free books, but unfortunately I’m not with Netgalley or anything like that.  It sounds really interesting, but also super stressful from what I’ve heard xD Plus, I already have a ton of books that need reading.


Those are just a couple reasons why I love book blogging, but what are your favorite things about book blogging?  Let me know!

-littleonion

BookBlogWriMo: Your Ratings System

BookblogwrimoHey, guys, and welcome to #BookBlogWriMo day fourteen!  Today’s prompt is about how we rate the books we read, and this kind of overlaps with yesterday’s prompt, which was about how we reviewed books.

fangirlingMy rating system is pretty generic.  I’m not intricate with my ratings at all, but if you are, thumbs up!  Sometimes when I have mixed feelings about a book, it’s hard to rate it with my boring rating system, which is why it’s great to have a more detailed rating system.  In these cases, I kind of break down the book and rate each category, like the plot, the characters, etc.

I have a 1-5 star rating system, and here is how I define my stars:

5 Stars: This book was fan-freaking-tastic!  I thought (nearly) everything was perfect, I loved the plot, and the characters were magnificent.  This was a truly gripping read.

4 Stars: This book was amazing, and though I did find a few flaws, I still think it was great!  The [blank] was really good, but [insert complaint] annoyed me a bit.  I still definitely recommend this book!

3 Stars: This book was good.  No more, no less.  It was an interesting book, but there were quite a few things that annoyed me.  I liked it, but it’s probably something I won’t revisit in the future.

2 Stars: This book was okay.  (When it comes to books for me, there’s a grand difference between “good” and “okay.”)  There were a lot of things that annoyed me, but something about it kept me reading.  If you were looking something intriguing, though, I probably wouldn’t recommend it.

1 Star: Nope.

I want to make clear that my ratings don’t have to mean a thing to you.  They are simply my opinion, and I certainly wouldn’t want you to disregard a book because I said I didn’t like it, or take my word for it when I say something is perfection.  I really believe that you should experience the books for yourselves and form your own opinions :D


As you can see, my rating system is pretty standard.  In the end, though, it all depends on what my gut is telling me to rate a book.  How do you rate books?  Have you crafted a unique rating system for yourself, or do you use the “standard” system?  Let me know!

-littleonion

BookBlogWriMo: Your Review Process

Bookblogwrimo

Welcome to #BookBlogWriMo day thirteen! Today’s prompt is about our review process, or how we review books. I don’t think I’ve ever gone into detail about this before, so this will be new information. I’m actually trying out a new reviewing system, so it’s in the experimental phase at the moment, but I’ll talk about it anyway.

Step 1: Take Notes

notes

The first step of my personal reviewing process is to read a book (obviously). While reading, I almost always take notes about the book for my review. I don’t trust myself to remember everything I’d like to talk about, so taking notes is a bit of a safety blanket xD But, taking notes can also hold me back from reading, because I feel the need to write full on, grammatically correct sentences about the book in my drafting phase (which is the note-taking phase), rather than short phrases. I’m definitely working on breaking this habit.

For example, yesterday I finished reading In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken (which was amazing, by the way, and if you haven’t read this series, I don’t know what you’re doing with your time!), and I pulled out my notebook that I’ll be using for review notes. Then, I sectioned off a few pages for where I’d talk about certain characters. I used another section to talk about general thoughts about happenings in the book, and then I used another section for favorite quotes. This is a more organized way of note-taking, rather than the way I used to take my notes, which was in chronological order.

Now, instead of writing, “I was really impressed with Ruby’s character development throughout the series,” I would write, “impressed w/ character development” under the “Ruby” section. That way, I could cut down the time it took to write basically the same thing, but still feel secure in knowing that I’d know what to translate that to when it came time to start writing the actual review.

Step 2: Step Away From The Book

With my old reviewing process, I would finish a book and then immediately start the review, letting my feels spill out onto the keyboard. While this isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t always a good thing, either. By writing my reviews right after finishing the book, I feel like my opinions were biased. If I loved a book (or thought I loved it), I would do nothing but rave about it (see Allegiant review). If I didn’t love a book, I wouldn’t exactly be positive about it (though I do try!).

By stepping away from the book and my notes for at least a day, I’m allowing my feels and fangirl-y emotions to settle down, so I can form opinions that are semi-decent xD

This is the procedure I’m following for In The Afterlight, so I’ll probably start writing the actual review today. But in this case, my thoughts about ITA haven’t changed one bit.

Step 3: Pull Out Your Laptop, It’s Review Time

laptop

We’ve now reached step 3 of my reviewing process, which is when I start crafting the review. This is when I sift through my notes and decide what I do and do not want to include in the final review (I’m not too big on editing… *sheepish grin*). This can take a while if my notes are extensive. Just take my Clockwork Princess review. I think it took me five months before I actually started going through my notes, because there was so much I’d written! It can definitely get overwhelming to the point where you don’t even want to see your notes.

Just like the notes I took, I will section off certain places in my post to talk about the characters, etc. This is when I’ll also (obviously) start making the phrases in my notes actual sentences. For example, in my notes for In The Afterlight, I wrote under my Ruby section, “changed so much since TDM,” which I can easily translate to: “Ruby’s character transformed immensely since The Darkest Minds.” It’s like magic!

(I’m totally using that example sentence in my review… *coughs*)

Step 4: Rate The Book

Rating the book used to be something I’d do right after finishing a book. I’m trying not to do that because, like I said, I like to let my feels settle down before proceeding. I feel like this step ties in with step 3. I do sometimes try to gauge what I’d rate the book I’m reading as I’m reading it. I’m not going to get into too much detail about how I rate my reads, because that’s something I’m saving for tomorrow’s post :D But I will tell you that my ratings are solely “gut feelings.” I usually feel a “pull” to a certain rating, if that makes any sense.

Step 5: My Review Just Went Live!

iron man

After rating the book, I “edit” my post (lol, not really… I rarely edit anything… that sounded unprofessional, wow xD), tag it, and send it off into the World Wide Web for you to read!

My reviews tend to be on the longer side, and I’ve tried to cut down, but I have too much to say. I think the reviews are more for my benefit, just so I can get my feelings out of my head and somewhere else… if I don’t do that, I’ll never sleep at night!

My reviews are also almost always spoilery, so I really think that they’re more aimed at people who’ve already read the book in question. I am trying to start something new where I put a small “non-spoilery” section in the beginning of my review, so I can try to reach everyone :D

And then… rinse and repeat!


That’s all for my reviewing process. How do you review books? Are your rituals anything similar to mine? Or nowhere close? Let me know, and leave me links!

-littleonion