Julia Ember’s 12 Days of Diversity Readathon – Day 1

ICYMI, I am participating in Julia Ember’s 12 Days of Diversity Readathon! You can find all the info on the readathon on Ember’s blog, and check out my TBR on my last post.

Anyway, the first day of the readathon was yesterday, and here are my stats!

Current Read: Marian by Ella Lyons

Pages Read: 24

Total Pages Read: 24

Books Finished: 0

Thoughts on Day 1

  • I started late because I was out for most of the day
  • I can still feel a bit of a reading slump in me, but I really want to do well on this readathon so I’ll have to force myself to read. How do you get out of a reading slump?
  • I’m not going to get much reading done today, either, since I was needed at work longer than I expected to be needed
  • Still hoping I can finish Marian tonight, nonetheless!

It wasn’t a perfect Day 1, but here’s hoping for a better Day 2!

Hope you’re all doing well, and if you’re participating too, let me know which books you’re reading!

Talk soon.

~Becca

12 Days of Diversity Readathon TBR!

I know my School’s Out Readathon 2.0 ending yesterday, but I’m looking for any excuse to force myself to read more before the end of the year, especially if it involves reading more diversely! For this reason, I have decided to join Julia Ember’s 12 Days of Diversity Readathon! Starting today, December 19th, up until December 30th, I will be attempting to read at least one book from each category listed on the linked blog post! The theme for this readathon is retellings, which I’m super excited about!

Here are my picks and their respective categories:

RELEASED IN 2016: And I Darken by Kiersten White

and-i-darken

Description

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

 

PROTAGONISTS OF COLOUR: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

TSOCM

Description

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom – until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry – except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy – insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though – swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

 

LGBTQIA: Ash by Malinda Lo

ash

Description

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

 

NON-WESTERN STORIES AND MYTHS: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

a-thousand-nights

Description

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

 

SMALL PUBLISHER: Marian by Ella Lyons

marian

Description

When Marian Banner moves to the glittering city of Nottingham with her father, Sir Erik the Fortunate, her entire life changes. She is no longer allowed to run about the countryside in trousers and braids, climbing fences and shooting turkeys, but is thrust into a life of dresses and jewels and dancing lessons, none of which Marian is particularly pleased about. Her dark mood changes when she meets a tiny whip of a girl called Robin Hood. Robin is fierce and brave, and wants more than anything to become a knight, regardless of her gender. Together they explore the city, becoming fast friends along the way.

As time passes, their friendship into something bigger and scarier and far more wonderful. But then Marian’s father is killed in service to the king and she catches the king’s eye.

Can Robin save her one more? Or will Marian discover how to save herself?

 

As much as I would like to aim for Reindeer or even Badass Santa status, it’s probably not realistic for me. I’ll just work on posting nice photos of each of the books I read on Instagram haha.

Huge thank you to Julia Ember for hosting this readathon, and I hope some of you lovely readers also plan on participating!

Until tomorrow, friends!

 

~Becca

Days 6 & 7 Stats, and Readathon Wrap Up!

Major apologies for missing a day! I turned out to be a lot busier this week than I thought I’d be…

Days 6 & 7

Pages read: 10

Thoughts on Days 6 & 7

  • not very happy with my reading performance during these last two days, not going to lie
  • some last-minute plans came up and messed with my entire schedule

 

Readathon Wrap Up

Total Pages Read: 352

Total Books Finished: 1

The Blazing Star by Imani Josey – ★★★★☆

Books Unfinished:

Ever the Hunted by Erin Sumnerill

To Hear the Ocean Sigh by Bryant A. Loney

Readathon Thoughts:

  • I did much worse this time around than the first time. I’m attributing this to the fact that it’s the holiday season, and I’ve got more to do in December than I do in April.
  • The good thing is that the one book I read was really good! I’ll post my review for it by the end of the year, but I hope you’ll look into it nonetheless!

 

So, as you can see this School’s Out Readathon 2.0 did not go as well as I had wanted it to. After I read The Blazing Star, I fell into this huge reading slump where I just didn’t want to read ever. I managed to get a few pages in, but not nearly as much as I had wanted to. I’ll be participating in the #12DaysofDiversity readathon starting tomorrow (which is also when my TBR for it will be going up), so hopefully I can get a lot more read before the end of the year!

Thank you to everyone who participated – especially you, Andree (shoutout!). I’m hoping to improve upon this readathon a bit by April, which is likely when the next one will be, so stay tuned!

~ Becca

 

Day Five Stats

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the sixth day of the readathon! Can you believe it’s almost over? Where has the time gone???

Here are my stats so far:

Pages read today: 0 😦

Total pages read: 342

Books finished: 1

Thoughts on Day 5:

  • I think I’m in a reading slump, because I never feel like reading
  • Instead I cleaned my room and watched Netflix. Eep!

Day 6 Housekeeping:

  • Today’s photo challenge prompt is FREEBIE, so do whatever you want!

 

Thanks for keeping up with me, folks, and have a wonderful day ❤

~Becca

Day Four Stats

Yikes I’ve been really bad with posting my updates on time, sorry folks!

Here are my stats so far:

Pages read today: 39 (according to iBooks, although it’s off of the actual book length)

Total pages read: 342

Books finished: 1

Thoughts on Day 4:

  • Didn’t get as much reading done today because I wanted to clean up my room.
  • I started another book, To Hear the Ocean Sigh by Bryant A. Loney

Day 5 Housekeeping:

  • Today’s photo challenge prompt is TREAT YOURSELF.

 

Hope you’re all doing well! Sorry I’ve been really bad at this, I didn’t expect to have as much to do as I ended up having. I meant it when I said that this is an at-your-own-pace, super casual readathon xD

~ Becca

Day Three Stats

Hello! Once again I was working through the day change, so this post is a little late.

Here are my stats so far:

Pages read today: 36 (according to iBooks, although it’s off of the actual book length)

Total pages read: 36

Books finished: 1

Thoughts on Day 3:

  • Yay for finishing a book!
  • Boo for not getting very far into the next book, EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill
  • I had to work a whole lot, so not a lot of reading was done.

Day 4 Housekeeping:

  • Because I don’t work tomorrow, I will be hosting reading sprints at the following times: 9:30 AM-10AM, 12PM-1PM, and 2:30PM-3PM, all EST. Watch my Twitter for the sprint starts!
  • Today’s photo challenge prompt is CELEBRATION.

~ Becca

Day Two Stats

Hello! Sorry this is late, I was working when the readathon day changed!

Here are my stats so far:

Pages read today: 149 (according to iBooks, although it’s off of the actual book length)

Total pages read: 270

Books finished: 0

Thoughts on Day 2:

  • I’m a little annoyed with myself for not finishing this book during day 2, but luckily I’m almost near the end so I should be able to finish it by the end of day 3!
  • I’m still liking this book
  • I was awake at 4:30AM, so I got a little extra reading time in before work haha

 

Day 3 Housekeeping:

  • I’ve got even more works shifts today than yesterday,
  • Today’s photo challenge prompt is WARM AND COZY.

 

That’s it for today! How is the readathon going for you? Are you enjoying what you’re reading?

~ Becca

Day One Stats

Good afternoon, and welcome to day 2 of the School’s Out Readathon 2.0!

Here are my stats so far:

Pages read: 121 (according to iBooks, although it’s off of the actual book length)

Total pages read: 121

Books finished: 0

Thoughts on Day 1:

  • I got a late start because I had to finish an essay and do some housework
  • Not too bad for day one
  • I really like the book I’m read, The Blazing Star by Imani Josey!

 

Day 2 Housekeeping:

  • I’ve got work today, so no reading sprints until maybe tonight? Keep an eye on my Twitter!
  • Today’s photo challenge prompt is RELAXATION.

 

Have a wonderful day, everyone! ❤

~ Becca

School’s Out Readathon Housekeeping + TBR!

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the first day of the School’s Out Readathon!

Before we begin, I would just like to remind everyone of a couple of important bits of info, which can also be found on the original post I posted last week.

  1. This readathon starts today (Sunday, December 11th, 2016) at 12PM/noon EST, and ends on Sunday, December 18th, 2016 at 12PM/noon EST.
  2. This is a casual readathon, so you read what you want and at your own pace. There is absolutely no pressure at all!
  3. I will host reading sprints when I can, but because my work schedule is pretty unstructured I can’t plan them too far in advance. I suggest you follow me on Twitter, where I will give some kind of advanced warning if I plan to do a readathon.
  4. There is an optional photo challenge, the prompts for which you can find on my Instagram (a couple posts back). Remember that new days start at 12PM/noon EST!
  5. Use the tag #schoolsoutreadathon2 for any posts you make!
  6. I will be posting daily updates on my progress and thoughts, although I will likely also be making comments on both Goodreads and Twitter!

Once again, if you have any questions at all, feel free to mention me on Twitter or leave a comment on this post!

And now, onto my TBR for the week!

I’ve got myself a little theme for my week of reading: galleys/ARCs! I’ve got a whoooole bunch that need to be read, and I’m looking to get through as many as possible. I will be reading them in the following order:

1. The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

the-blazing-star

Description:

Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.

But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?

She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.

Great.

Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.

As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.

 

2. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

ever-the-hunted

Description:

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

 

3. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

iron-cast

In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.

When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

 

4. To Hear the Ocean Sigh by Bryant A. Loney

to-hear-the-ocean-sigh

Jay Murchison believes he is a nobody at his high school in Oklahoma. Coming from a conservative family of affordable luxury, Jay has an overwhelming desire to become something great. After a mysterious girl named Saphnie in North Carolina mistakenly texts him, an unlikely relationship develops that affects Jay’s self-perception and influences the rest of his sophomore year. This correspondence leads him to a group of thrill-seekers who provide a grand departure from the quiet life Jay is familiar with and eye-opening experiences to witness first-hand the truth behind the loose morals his fellow classmates have come to know.

 

5. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

the-bone-witch

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

And there you have it! It’s pretty ambitious for a slow reader like me, so hopefully I can get through them all ^.^”

I hope you all have a ton of fun, and happy reading! ❤

~ Becca

Plans Plans Plans

Good morning friends! I hope your weekend went well, and that you treat yourself on this marvelous Halloween day!

So I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately, particularly about this blog and my bookish presence in general. I absolutely love book blogging, love sharing my thoughts about books and doing bookish tags and maybe helping people discover new books. Blogging is really the only kind of non-academic writing that I do anymore, too, and in a way it helps ground me.

As of late, however, I haven’t been super satisfied with my content, both here and on my Instagram. And, you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been reading like I used to. Right now I’m averaging a book a month, and I just dropped my Goodreads goal to 30 because I likely will not be able to reach 35 by the end of the year if I continue at this rate.

As far as I see it, these problems are due to my lack of time (although maybe I’m also just not that creative, too, but shhhh). I am currently in my third year of university, taking four classes that are demanding; between weekly lab reports, quizzes, readings, and – more recently – midterms, it takes a lot of my time and attention. Seriously, I have been studying for a week straight and I’m super tired of it. On top of that I have a part-time job, and family, friends, and a boyfriend who want to spend time with me. Plus, I like to get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Maybe my time management isn’t the best, but right now that whole “you have to make time to read!!!” thing isn’t working out for me, and I haven’t been able to plan out and really think about my posts.

So, after sobbing to my mom about how unprepared I am for my midterm in 2 hours, and with everything else listed above in mind, I have decided to go on a month-long hiatus.

There are three things that I hope to achieve during this break:

  1. Focus on school. I just had my midterms, and I didn’t do as well on them as I want to do. I am spending way too much on university to not get what I want from it, so I want to prioritize my education.
  2. Work on my content. Look, I’m clearly a n00b when it comes to book blogging; I have done the blogging thing before, but not this specific kind of blogging. I want to make good content, both for myself and for my readers. I have a lot to learn, so during this break I want to do some research and planning for my blog. It may be completely revamped by the time I return. We’ll see!
  3. Read more. This one is pretty self explanatory. It’ll be good to build up my review bank so I’ll have new reviews to post, and not just the transfers from my booklr.

When will it end, I hope you ask? Well, I still plan to do the School’s Out Readathon 2.0 starting on Sunday, December 11th, so that will likely be my first post after my hiatus! If you’d like to keep up with me in the meantime, you can follow my Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads, although odds are that I will be updating them less often, too.

Thank you all for reading this and my other posts, and for being supportive of this silly little hobby of mine. I hope you’ll stick around for when I make my triumphant (maybe not but you never know) return to the book-blogging world in December.

I wish you all a wonderful Fall/Autumn, and I’ll talk to you all again soon.

~Becca ❤