Book discussions

How To Read More On a Budget ✯ A Guest Post by Maria Hollis

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Not everyone can buy thousands of books every year to read or can easily access a library where you can find these books available for everyone. It can be quite upsetting to see your friends reading all the cool stories while you just stare at their Goodreads status wondering if you’ll ever be able to read that one book you are waiting eagerly for. People probably see how much I read in a year and think that it’s impossible for them to read even half of what I read, but that’s not entirely true. So I’m here to try to help other readers who may live in this same budget situation. Trust me, I know how it is when you can’t find anywhere the books you want. When I was a teen we didn’t have all these ebooks options out there for us so I feel like maybe the options aren’t as clear for everyone else who is in need.

Because there are options! And I’m going to share how I get to read as much as I do now.

Continue Reading ➞

Bookish Bucket List Goals

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Welcome readers! Today I have a little fun post for you all, a list of some of my bookish bucket list goals. You know those things you just really want to achieve at least once in your life, no matter how silly or impossible they sounds. I do think some of these are more achievable than others, but I’m holding out hope for all (because I’m nothing if not a dreamer honestly). These goals are a mix of writing, blogging and reading goals but in once way or another, they all have something to do with books. Maybe you have some of the same goals as I do!

  1. Read 100 books in a year. This goal is silly because I’m a slow reader who has a hard time concentrating, meaning I doubt me reading 100 books in a year will ever happen since I’ve read 50 a year at the most. However, if I live until I’m 80 this might change so I’m still having it as a life goal. One year my friends, one year it’ll come true.
  2. Be named in the acknowledgments section in a book. For this to ever come true I’d probably have to be friends with an author, and since I don’t really have that many friends I don’t see this as a huge possibility, but dreams, am I right? No, but honestly I’d love to one day just be one of my friend’s biggest supporters when it comes to their books, their success is my happiness honestly. Maybe I’m just vain for having this as something I want to happen to me, but we’re being honest here and it’d just be really cool.
  3. Reach 100 followers on my book blog. Most of the time I don’t care much about numbers, they stress me out at times, but reaching 100 followers on my blog seems like a really special step so if that day comes I know I will be celebrating it.
  4. Finish writing one of my manuscripts. I have been writing for ages but have never actually finished a draft. I could blame it on a bunch of things, some reasons probably more legit than others, however, one day I am going to finish one of my manuscripts whenever that day will be.
  5. Publish a book. After I finish one of my manuscripts, edit, rewrite it and whatnot I really want to publish it. I have stories I want to tell and people I want to maybe one day inspire. I want to publish a book that is going to make people feel good about themselves and their identity because that is really important to me.
  6. Be a beta reader for someone. I would love to one day be a beta reader for someone, but the thought scares me. I’m not a native English speaker so I’m afraid I might not be able to help the writer as much as they might expect me to which is why I have been hesitant to even try this thing. However, I think that one day I still really want to so it’s on my bucket list.

Do you have any bookish bucket list goals? Do you share any of mine? I’d love to know!

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Books That Shouldn’t Have to Stand Alone

Standalone books are great for when you want to read something quick, and don’t want to commit to anything more than that. However, sometimes we stumble upon a book, a book we love, and it just happens to be a standalone. You just happen to read a book so good that you just wish that there was more. You crave it like you crave water, but there is not a sequel out there. Nor will it probably ever be. That is often the case with contemporary YA books. The moment is sad, because you, you just feel that these characters and their lives, they deserve to be told in vigorous detail. You personally deserve to know more. I think we have all felt it, one time or the other.

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The first book Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel is probably one of my favorite books ever. I would love it if we got to know more of Leila and Lisa’s story perhaps from a sequel with Lisa’s POV. I would honestly love to get to know more about her, she’s one of my favorite characters ever, and I’m dying to know how Leila and Lisa deal with high school, college and just life. We deserve to see more of our love nuggets.

The Host is a book I think most people know about it. It made me bawl several times, and I have a soft spot for Melanie, Jared, Wanda and Ian. After that ending, damn that open ending, we deserve to know more about these characters and this world. I know Stephenie told the world she’s making this book into a series, but so far we have gotten nothing. Please, give us, give us more.

Another book I really would have loved to get a sequel to is Dreaming of Antigone. Andria uncovers so much about her dead twin sister, her family and what she thought she knew about her life. In this cocktail there’s also Alex, who have dealt with his fair share of hurt as well. The ending to this one is great, but I would have loved to see the next step in their lives after everything that happens.

Dirty London is a short book about London Noble, about how tough high school and life can be. The amazing part about this book is that there is a strong sense of family and sisterhood, and the ship is just the best. The only thing I would change is that we get more. This book is only about 170 pages, and ends on a very happy note but I would have loved to see more of the Noble family and the love story.

A fifth standalone book that I would have loved to get a sequel to is Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here. Scarlett is Jewish, a fanfiction writer and throughout the book we get to know her and see her grow so much. Her personality is so lovely and amazing, and most of all unique, we deserve to see more of it. I want to see Scarlett fall in love, apply for college and I want to read more of her fanfiction.

Keeping Her Secret is another book I crave a sequel for. It’s about Riya and Courtney. This book takes place during a summer camp, and they meet again after several years. I love the ending, but as the greedy person I am, I want to know more about their lives after summer camp. I mean am I the only one who just wants more? Just give me endless books of my OTP and them doing day-to-day things.

What standalone books do you think deserve sequels or spinoffs? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?

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Six Bookish Confessions

Every reader and book collector is different, just as we are all different people. However, communities tend to be united in their ways or at least have a certain pattern to things. A lot of the stuff we do, we do without giving it a second thought, but sometimes if you really think about it, you realize you do certain things differently from the majority. Or so you think. That’s why I thought I’d confess to a few bookish things I do that I don’t think the majority of the book community does. But maybe I’m wrong, if I am, I’d love to hear it!

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I hereby confess to the fact that… 

  1. I buy books with my eyes on the price, everything else is secondary. When buying books I’m all about the cash and that’s just the way it is. I’m a student, I live at home and I can’t buy all the new hardcover books every month. So my tactic is to buy books during sales (Amazon kindle deals please and thank you) and to mostly buy paperback books, which I actually prefer. For international readers, such as myself, I have come to realize that when buying a physical book there are few stores with as good prices as The Book Depository. You looking for a book? That’s where you should go first. The way I usually go about buying books is that I look up the books I’m dying to read and those with reasonable prices (reasonable is different from person to person) I buy.
  2. I really like paperbacks better than hardbacks. This is partly because of price, which has been discussed above, but it’s also because I just prefer that format. I hate that with hardback books the cover isn’t attached to the book. It makes the book harder to read (do I take the dust jacket off or do I leave it on seriously) and I think it’s easier to accidentally hurt a dust jacket than it is to hurt a paperback.
  3. When reading I often prioritize shorter books over longer ones. This confession I’m almost ashamed of but I honestly don’t know how not to do it. I think it has something to do with me being stressed a lot but finishing a book during a short period of time just feels better which is why I tend to lean towards picking shorter books. Do I never read long books then? Of course, I do, I read after what the story is about but I love short books. Maybe it’s a bit weird, but that’s just how I am.
  4. The act of rating books is one I have not yet mastered. Rating books? How do you even do that? For the majority of my life I have rated almost all books five stars because if they made me fangirl a bit I loved them, and if I loved them they were getting five stars. I have evolved a bit from that, but I do think that rating a book is the hardest thing ever. Four stars (cake slices in my case) doesn’t necessarily mean the same for one book as it does for the other. However, I like to rate books, it gives me direction but in the end, my thoughts will tell you what you need to know about what I thought about a book.
  5. I act all cool around authors on social media but in reality, I’m fangirling. Why you may ask? Well because their beautiful and magical words have touched my heart and soul, and now they’re talking to me. I know they’re just human, and I’d never think or treat them as anything else but we all have people we look up to and admire. My favorite authors are just that, people who inspire me. So yes, I act cool but honestly, I’m probably smiling like a big goof behind my screen. Also, among my friends, I am known to just get very excited by things, and my favorite authors talking to me is a fabulous thing.
  6. I buy books secondhand. I know some people buy secondhand and others don’t but honestly, I love it. Unfortunately, I live in Sweden which means that people don’t read that many young adult (and new adult) books in English and even less actually end up in secondhand shops. However, that won’t stop me from searching. A book that has a little history outside of the story itself is pretty cool, at least in my opinion.

That was all of my six book related confessions, I bet a few of these are pretty common even if people don’t talk about them much, or am I wrong? I’d love to know what you guys think about my confessions.

What bookish things do you do that you’re unsure about whether others do as well? Do you have anything to confess?

Ten Things I Hate About You: Book Edition

“I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.”

Love and hate, both such strong emotions, so strongly intertwined. We love to love, we love to hate, hate to love and hate to hate. It goes for people, material things, and of course books. There are so many books we love, so many books we hate, but then there are those we love to hate and hate to love. They are complicated, messy and we are not sure if what we feel for them is just that, love or hate.

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Books have a way of making you go completely wild with emotions, they take over your mind, and as a result make you feel like you no idea how or what to feel. Do I love this? Or do I hate it? It’s probably a bit of both right? Sometimes this is exactly what I think while reading, it’s a mess. I have a few books that make me feel like this, or well ten to be exact. Here is a list of ten books I have a love/hate relationship with:

  1. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  2. Friends vs. Family by C.L. Stone
  3. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
  4. The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
  5. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
  6. Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen
  7. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Mass
  8. The Death Cure by James Dashner
  9. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

These books are all different in how they make me feel. Some of these books are just books that just made me the dislike the series in general even though I really loved it before, whereas the others are books that just have a certain event that made me go “omg why did you do this, what is this, go back” but that I still love despite that. It’s all just a mess of strong and weird feelings that you make go bratwurst (what??).

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To end things I just want to say, we are all going to have different books that we love and that we hate. Certain books we love might still have aspects that we’re not able to stand. After all, we’re all different people with different taste.

This post is supposed to be a fun discussion post about the complexity of feelings we can have for books. However, if a book is problematic and hurtful then it’s our duty to say so and warn our peers. No one should ever have to read a book with bad representation.

Other than that, I do think love/hate relationships with books are good. They fuel discussion and make us have to think a bit more about our emotions. Also hating something in a book doesn’t mean you actually hate the book itself, which is something we should all remember.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with a book? If yes, which one?

Lusting For Cover

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a serious case of cover lust. I go weak at the knees when I see a beautiful book cover and am guilty of buying a book solely because of its book cover. Sometimes it pays off, other times it really doesn’t. Have you guys ever bought a book just because of book cover lust? Which book was it?

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A book cover often give me the first impression of a book, so be it good or bad. I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, which is true, but the cover undoubtedly does give you a first vibe of the whole book. If a book cover is poorly made the book usually needs to have a convincing synopsis and/or a good price in order to convince me to get it. The truth is that cover lust also applies for me when I’m only buying an ebook, the prettier a book is, the more likely I am to want to buy it. Is that sometimes bad? Yes it is. I might miss amazing books because of this mindset, but the one thing I have going for me is that I’m aware of the fact that I do it. Even though the book cover is a big part of my first impression of a book, it does take a seat in the back later on.

Way back I only went on book cover and synopsis when I was about to buy a new book but these days I tend to often go on friends and other amazing blogger’s advice. Especially when I buy a physical copy of a book. I want to know that my money goes to books that are worth it and that I know I’ll like. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it when a book has the most beautiful cover I’ve ever seen.

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In the end having cover lust is not a bad thing, I think we all want pretty shiny things. However, what we need to remember is that a book is not its cover. A book is its synopsis and the story it’s trying to tell. If a book has a beautiful cover it’s only an added bonus. An author who has a book cover not as appealing as the next author shouldn’t be punished for that, because the truth is, most authors can’t choose their covers and/or doesn’t have a lot of options to go with. All authors, no matter their book cover, deserve all the love in the world if the story they have written is a good one.

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A beautiful book cover can both enhance the beauty of a story and make a story that’s otherwise pretty dull appear more enchanting to the naked eye. I think we like to believe that books with beautiful covers are good, but I think in our hearts we know the stories worth putting our time and energy on, no matter what they look like.

Have you ever bought a book because of cover lust? Did it pay off or was it a complete bust? Let me know in the comments below!

All About Anticipation

Today it is all about that anticipation. Anticipation for books. You know the feeling, the one you get when you just can’t wait to read that one book you have had your eye on. In this blog post I feature six books I have a huge anticipation for, three that are already published but I haven’t had the chance to read yet and three that aren’t published yet.

3 Already Published Books I Cannot Wait To Read

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Three books that I can’t wait to read are Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan and Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer.

Six of Crows is a book that has a lot of hype and it seems absolutely amazing, it’s about six outcasts and an impossible heist. The book seems to be action packed and have a cast as diverse and magical. However, the question is if they can all work together in spite of their differences or if they’ll fail trying. You can add it on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon or Book Depository.

You Know Me Well is about a gay girl and gay guy who are classmates that have never talked to each other. Yet during one night they become the best of friends in an instant. This book excites me because the friendship more than the romance seems to be in focus and positive LGBT books are something I love. You can add the book on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon or Book Depository.

Trust Me, I’m Lying is the only book out of the three that I already own.  The reason I’m excited about this book is because it’s a teen thriller, with wit and a hint of romance. The book is about a young con artist and how she will use every trick she got in order to find her father before his mark does. You can add it on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon or Book Depository.

3 Books I Cannot Wait To Read That Are Not Published Yet

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Three other books I can’t wait to read, that are coming out either later this year or next year, are Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley, Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst and Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee.

Our Own Private Universe is about bisexual teenage girl Aki who is only out to her best friend. However, when they go on a four-week youth-group mission trip to Mexico she never expected she’d find someone there who she’d want to date. That is of course until she meets Christa. This book sounds so incredibly cute and lovely, and Robin Talley is one of my favorite authors ever. You just know it’s going to be great. You can add the book on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon or Book Depository.

Of Fire and Stars is about a princess, with a gift for magic, betrothed to marry a prince. However, in the nation she is about to become queen magic is forbidden. She meets the prince’s sister and when forced to work together they soon grow a friendship which later blossoms into something more. I don’t know about you guys but I think two princesses falling in love is the coolest. This book is one of my most anticipated books ever. You can add the book on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon or Book Depository.

Not Your Sidekick is about a world where superpowers are common yet Jessica doesn’t have any. She finds the perfect paid internship where her crush Abby works, only to find out it’s for the town’s supervillain. However, what started as a fun way to go against her superhero parents turns dangerous when Jessica uncovers a plot bigger than all of them. This book sounds so badass I wish it’d just appear in my hands right now. You can add it on Goodreads and  pre-order it on Amazon.

What books do you have a big anticipation for? Any specific books you have your eye on? Let me know in the comments below!

Addicted Series Lovefest: Why I Love It More Than Chocolate Cake

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When I think about the Addicted Series, what it means to me and what I love about it, I’m filled with a lot of emotions that I truly have no idea how to describe properly. You can go your whole life, read a thousand books and though you are wiser for it that might be it. However, if you are lucky you will one day read a book that will change you on a fundamental level, make you question yourself, what you believe in and who you are. A book might just be a bunch of words put together but books also have a great deal of power in them. I was lucky, I read the Addicted series by Krista & Becca Ritchie and it has really changed my life.

“Freedom doesn’t come with age. It doesn’t magically appear when you’re a legal adult. It comes when you stand up for what you believe in.”

– Hothouse Flower

When I think about the characters in the Addicted series I am overwhelmed with love for them, with pride, with hope that even though we all face hardships we can come out on the other side okay. Not just okay but happy and in love, with a life filled with friends and family that loves you.

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The Addicted series started with three sisters and their men, six very different people with their own hard struggles and battles to be fought. Lily Calloway, a girl addicted to sex who never felt important, and Loren Hale, an alcoholic who always found his answers in a bottle. Rose Calloway, who always wanted to be in control of everything even when it was impossible, and Connor Cobalt, a guy who had never loved anyone in his entire life. Daisy Calloway, a girl who was suffocated and never listened to, and Ryke Meadows, the selfless and forgotten son who grew up doing everything to please those who barely acknowledged him.

These six people and their lives soon came to be intertwined and changed forever. The girl, now a woman, who once was addicted to sex is now a strong woman who is role model due to her quiet strength. The man who always went to the bottle when things were hard is now a successful business owner and father, and he is there for the people in his life as never before. The woman who wanted to control everything now stands tall knowing she has always fought and done her best for her family while at the same time overcoming her own fears. The man who had never loved anyone before now loves more deeply than anyone ever thought possible while also no longer hiding who he truly is. The woman who was once silenced is now standing up for herself, doing what she loves, fighting for what she believes in with no turning back. The man who did everything for everyone else is now proudly doing things for himself, fighting for the woman he loves and never thought he could have while at the same time living life to the fullest.

“I want to say in the end, but maybe this is still the middle. In the middle.

I’ve watched Lo become sober.

I’ve watched Lily curb a relentless addiction. (I’m proud of you, sis.)

I’ve watched Rose blaze her own trail and put fire to stereotypes.

I’ve watched Connor fall in love. With more than just himself.

I’ve watched Ryke Meadows unclip his shackles and rise again.

And me. I’ve discovered who I am. I’m not letting her go or hiding her to please other people. I am Daisy Petunia Meadows. And I’m here to stay.”

– Long Way Down

The Addicted series might be ending but my love for these characters, for these books and Krista and Becca won’t. I came here for the books, for the characters, but I’m staying for Krista and Becca and the Fizzle Force. If you don’t already know this Krista and Becca, you guys are incredible and amazing people. You are such talented writers, you work harder than anyone I have ever seen. You publish book after book, push yourselves to the limit to get these books out to us while you at the same time give us bonus materials and extras. It doesn’t go unnoticed, all that hard work, all your dedication and all you do for your fans, we see it, I see it. It’s incredible, remarkable and you deserve all the praise, fame and chocolate cake (or any other flavor if chocolate is not your preference *cough* it totally should be *cough*) in the world.

No but really, Krista and Becca, I am honestly so in awe of everything you do but especially the way you interact with your fans. You don’t just see us as someone far away, someone who merely pays for your books and then reads them. The Fizzle Force really is a family and I have found some of best friends in it. I have found a friend in you both too. You are so kind to everyone you talk to, so be it an old fan or new, and you make everyone feel at home in this fandom. Including me.

I hope now that Some Kind of Perfect is almost here you’ll finally get some rest, read some anticipated books, watch your favorite shows and just spend time with whoever makes you happy. I cannot wait to read Some Kind of Perfect and say goodbye to this era, however, I know great things will come from you both in the future and I cannot wait to see it all. I am so proud to call myself a Fizzle Force member, an Addicted series fan and a friend of yours. All the love to you Krista and Becca, to the Fizzle Force that has enriched my life and everything that is to come.

“For the first time, I yearn for tomorrow and cherish yesterday and live for today. It’s peace that no one will take from me.”

– Addicted After All