31 March 2016

2016 Reading Challenges Update - March

Because Reading is better than reali life

The first Challenge I will be participating in is the 2016 Bookish Resolutions Challenge, hosted by Laura @ trips down imagination lane and Michelle @ Because Reading. The challenge runs from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2016 and you can sign up here before 1st March 2016.

My 2016 resolutions are:

Bookish resolutions
  • Get Netgalley ratio up to 80%
    • January - 57%
    • February - 57%
    • March - 52% (This better start going up real soon!)
  • Read 20 physical books I already owned prior to 1st January
    • January - 2
    • February - 4
    • March - 8
  • Reread 5 books
    • January - 0
    • February - 2
    • March - 2
  • Finish 6 series
    • January - Finished/Up-to-date = 2
    • February - Finished/Up-to-date = 3
    • March - Finished/Up-to-date = 4
  • Reach my Goodreads goal this year (65 books)
    • January - 8
    • February - 14
    • March - 23
Blogging resolutions
  • Finish updating all blog posts to current layout
    • January - A few updated this month
    • February - All reviews updated! Just to update all other posts and make a few tweaks.
    • March - All Top Ten Tuesday posts tweaked.
  • Visit 4 blogs a week, so 16 a month (not including memes) (by visit I mean comment on)
    • January - 9 (Need to be better)
    • February - 12 (getting there)
    • March - 16 (I made it! Woo!)
  • Blog ahead - get to at least 6 weeks ahead
    • January - 2 weeks ahead (I think...)
    • February - 1 week ahead
    • March - 0 weeks ahead (Hopefully, I'll get a few scheduled next week...)
Personal resolutions
  • Start going to the gym again
    • January - I'm joining tomorrow...
    • February - On hold indefinitely... need to save money
    • March - Still on hold...
  • Start learning Spanish again
    • January - Haven't started yet...
    • February - Still haven't started....
    • March - Maybe next month...


New-Release-Challenge2016-450x450

The second challenge I will be participating in is the 2016 New Release Challenge hosted by Lexxie @ (Un)conventional Bookreviews and Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!. The aim of the challenge is to read as many books released in 2016 as possible. Sign up is open until 15th February 2016.

As this is my first year participating in this challenge and I'm wanting to read more books that I already own, I'm going to set my goal as New Release Pro so 16-30 books.

    Because Reading is better than real life

    The third challenge I want to participate in is the 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @ Because Reading. Sign up is open until 1st July 2016. I'm hoping this will help me reduce the number of physical books I have still to read.

    As this is also my first year participating in this challenge (and I don't know how well I'll do reading from a set list), I'm aiming for level 1 so 12 books and 1 book a month. These are the books I plan to read over the year:

    FangirlThe Other MeCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)The Rose Petal BeachThe Fault in Our StarsA Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)It's All About TreoBuster: The dog who saved a thousand livesThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)Our ZooThe DUFFA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
    1. January - Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
    2. February - The Other Me, Saskia Sarginson
    3. March - City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1), Cassandra Clare
    So after the first quarter, I have read 3 of my 12 books and made an A!


    The fourth, and final, challenge is the 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Evie @ Bookish Lifestyle. The aim is to read as many books (published in or before 2015) from your TBR as possible. Sign up is open until 31 November 2016.

    I'm going to set my goal at A Friendly Hug so 11 to 20 books.

    Follow me via GoodreadsFacebookTwitterBloglovin, and Pinterest.

    Feel free to leave a comment.

    29 March 2016

    Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Five Star Reads


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is my ten most recent 5 star books... I'm also going to add in 4.5 star books.

    28 March 2016

    ARC Review: My Kind of Crazy, Robin Reul

    My Kind of Crazy

    Title: My Kind of Crazy
    Author: Robin Reul
    Published: 05/04/2016, Sourcebooks Fire
    Pages: 256
    Source: Netgalley
    Format: Ebook

    Rating: 2/5

    "Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year-old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can't quite seem to catch a break. It's not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells "Prom" in sparklers on her lawn...and nearly burns down her house.

    As if that wasn't bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank's dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him - and his "work." The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton."

    27 March 2016

    The Sunday Post (Late Edition) (27 March)


    The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

    24 March 2016

    Book Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1), Cassandra Clare

    City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

    Title: City of Bones
    Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
    Author: Cassandra Clare
    Published: 09/07/2013, Walker Books Ltd
    Pages: 506
    Source: Bought
    Format: Paperback

    Rating: 4/5

    "Clary Fray is seeing things: vampires in Brooklyn and werewolves in Manhattan. Irresistibly drawn to the Shadowhunters, a secret group of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons, Clary encounters the dark side of New York City – and the dangers of forbidden love."

    22 March 2016

    Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love But Haven't Mentioned in a While


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the top ten books I love but haven't talked about in a while.

    21 March 2016

    ARC Review: Flawed (Flawed #1), Cecelia Ahern

    Flawed

    Title: Flawed
    Series: Flawed #1
    Author: Cecelia Ahern
    Published: 24/03/2016, HarperCollins Children's Books
    Pages: 400
    Source: Netgalley
    Format: Ebook

    Rating: 4/5

    "The stunning YA debut from internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.

    Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

    But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

    In this stunning novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything."

    20 March 2016

    The Sunday Post (20 March)


    The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

    18 March 2016

    Book Tour & Giveaway: Then Comes Love, Lindsay Detwiler



    Three generations of women,
    Three second loves,
    All with a dose of chaos mixed in.

    Title: Then Comes Love
    Genre: ChickLit
    Release Date: March 18th




         
                      
    Sometimes in life, changes can be good…

    After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility.

    You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike…

    Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together.

    Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike…

    Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge.

    No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy…






    Amazon: US I UK I AU I CA

    17 March 2016

    ARC Review: Finding Hope, Colleen Nelson

    Finding Hope

    Title: Finding Hope
    Author: Colleen Nelson
    Published: 19/03/2016, Dundurn
    Pages: 200
    Source: Netgalley
    Format: Ebook

    Rating: 3/5

    "Hope leaves her small town for a fresh start, but her plans are derailed by an online romance and the appearance of her brother.

    Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start.

    At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first."

    15 March 2016

    Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the top ten books on my Spring TBR (went slightly over 10...woops).

    14 March 2016

    Book Review: Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1), Stephen King

    Mr Mercedes

    Title: Mr Mercedes
    Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #1
    Author: Stephen King
    Published: 23/04/2015, Hodder Paperbacks
    Pages: 405
    Source: Bought
    Format: paperback

    Rating: 4.5/5

    "In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. 

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

    In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

    Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

    Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable."

    13 March 2016

    The Sunday Post (13 March)


    The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

    10 March 2016

    Book Review: The Notebook (The Notebook #1), Nicholas Sparks

    The Notebook

    Title: The Notebook
    Series: The Notebook #1
    Author: Nicholas Sparks
    Published: 2011, Sphere
    Pages: 221
    Source: Bought
    Format: Paperback

    Rating: 3.5/5

    "How far can love endure?

    Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

    But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade."

    08 March 2016

    Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Love & Characters I Don't Get


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the top ten characters everyone loves but I just don't get and characters I love but others seem to dislike. This is a tricky one this week so it's quite a short list.

    07 March 2016

    Book Review: Wicked (The Wicked Years #1), Gregory Maguire

    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    Title: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
    Series: The Wicked Years #1
    Author: Gregory Maguire
    Published: 2006, Headline Review
    Pages: 495
    Source: Bought
    Format: Paperback

    Rating: 3/5

    "When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

    Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

    An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn't so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature."

    06 March 2016

    The Sunday Post (Late Edition) (6 March)


    The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly of Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

    03 March 2016

    Crossing the Ice (Ice #1), Jennifer Comeaux

    Crossing the Ice (Ice #1)

    Title: Crossing the Ice
    Series: Ice #1
    Author: Jennifer Comeaux
    Published: 07/08/2014, Jennifer Comeaux
    Pages: 308
    Source: Netgalley
    Format: Ebook

    Rating: 5/5

    "Falling hard never felt so good.

    Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.

    The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though…

    The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?"

    01 March 2016

    Top Ten Tuesday: Quick Reads


    Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week's topic is the top ten books you should read if you're in the mood for a quick read.
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