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ARC Review of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

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ibelieveinathingcalledlove1I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, and Romance

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Diverse story, adorable characters, and a unique twist to normal high school drama.

Purchase here: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

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Thank you, Macmillan International, for my ARC of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo!

My actual rating for I Believe in a Thing Called Love is 3.5 cake slices rounded up to 4 cake slices. I Believe in a Thing Called Love is an adorable young adult rom-com story about a girl named Desi Lee. Desi is Korean American and excels at school but not so much at romance. After years of flailures (flirting failures) Desi, finally, starts to watch the k dramas her dad loves so much and uncovers the secret to how the couples always get their happy ending. “The K Drama Steps to True Love” is born and Desi is sure that if she follows the steps, her crush Luca will become her boyfriend and they’ll have their happily ever after. Desi and Luca have great chemistry and banter in this book, and you’ll be rooting for them until the very end. The ship is honestly just adorable.

“K dramas bottled up swoony true love in addictive ten-to-twenty-hour packages. My reactions to chaste first kisses were akin to heart attacks. I bawled with abandon when couples had to break up when one of them was suffering. I sighed happily with glazed eyes when my characters finally got their happy ending.”

This book is hilarious, in an almost painful way, and if you’re a fan of contemporary stories then you will love I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Desi’s personality really shines through the pages and you will fall in love with her in an instant. I love how Desi has so many sides to her and people will relate to both Desi’s confidence and her insecurities. Desi is an unapologetic know-it-all, she is a hard working student and knows how to fix a car because of her dad being a mechanic. Speaking of Desi’s dad, the relationship between Desi and her dad is the most precious part of the book. It’s heartwarming and beautiful, I wish parents got more presence like this in young adult books.

I love the idea of Desi finding love through following her thought out k drama steps. However, I definitely think this book should come with a “Don’t Try This at Home” warning label. To fulfill her k drama steps Desi takes some drastic measures, a few really dangerous ones too, and I wish the severity of some of her actions had shown through some more than I felt they did in the book. Another downside to the book was the ableist language that was used throughout the book. Words like “crazy” and “insane” were thrown around a lot which was just unnecessary and could potentially upset readers.

All in all, I Believe in a Thing Called Love is definitely a young adult contemporary story to check out this season. This book had me fangirling over Desi and Luca and even got me invested in the amazing side characters as well. It will make you laugh (out loud) and it will make you swoon. At certain times my heart was racing from the tension but the end really wrapped it all up nicely.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #4 with Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Rachel Lynn Solomon. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Rachel, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

My debut novel, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE, will be out next year from Simon Pulse! It’s a dual POV YA contemporary about twin sisters who receive opposite results from a genetic test for Huntington’s disease. It contains protagonists who are practicing Jews, a complex sister relationship, all-consuming first love, and a lot (I think!) of moral gray areas.

I love 70s music! My mom is a huge disco fan, so I grew up around that, but as a teen, I started getting into new wave. There’s something so exciting as a teen about discovering music for yourself, digging back through the decades to find what moves you. The Cure is my favorite band, I imagine because my angsty teenage heart related to their gloomy, poetic lyrics. I also listen to a lot of David Bowie, Blondie, and The Clash.

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The Six Most Beautiful Books I Own

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Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I have a bit of a different post for you all. I had an idea a while back that I really wanted to make gifs out of my favorite books and this week I finally did it. The gifs could definitely be better but I still like the way they look (because you know, they could have been worse). I really love the book covers of these six books and their interior looks as well. There is something very amazing about a book that pulls at your heartstrings due to its beauty. A lot of these books I haven’t read but that just means I have so many great reads ahead of me.

1. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

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Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz is a book high on my summer to be read list. Not only is this book really beautiful, it comes highly recommended, has a Filipino main character, is #ownvoices and is supposed to have amazing romance.

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{#SUMMERFEELS BLOG TOUR} Review of Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology + Giveaway

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Welcome to the blog tour for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology. Today I have my review for this amazing book and a giveaway where you can win a gift card and a few books. You definitely have to join in on the fun!

SUMMERFEELS-cover-ebookSummer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

Publication Date: April 30, 2017

Genres: Romance, Contemporary and Anthologies

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: A lot of short stories, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the summer.

Purchase here: Amazon | Print Copy (the Philippines only)

Synopsis: Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.

Featuring stories by: Elea Andrea Almazora • Erleen Alvarez • Ella Banta • Rachelle Belaro • H. Bentham • Halina Cabrera • Charlie Dio • Mina V. Esguerra • Elizabeth Galit • Georgette S. Gonzales • Ami Granada • Irene Jurado • Catherine Lo • Arlene Manocot • Bianca Mori • Eris Peñaluna • Farrah F. Polestico • Kit Salazar • Miel Salva • Fay Sebastian • Kate Sebastian • Yeyet Soriano • Marian Tee

About #romanceclass:

#romanceclass is a community of authors who attended various writing workshops organized by Mina V. Esguerra, readers of books by those authors, and readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors. Visit romanceclassbooks.com to see the full catalog of books!

Giveaway

For this giveaway, you have the chance to win a gift card, some swag and even a copy of the book. You don’t want to miss out on the chance.

Prizes:

  • International: Amazon gift card worth $25
  • Philippines Only: Print books from some of the authors:
    • My Dutch Billionaire by Marian Tee
    • Kate, Finally by Yeyet Soriano
    • Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

Enter the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway, and good luck to you, I hope you win!

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Thank you to the authors and editor Kate Sebastian for my e-ARC of Summer Feels and the chance to read and review this book for the blog tour!

Summer Feels is a book that’s cute and hot, and that makes you want to go to the ocean to take a dip to cool down. I doubt any other anthology will soothe your cravings for a good summer read like this one. The anthology starts out slow with short stories that are cute and lovely, and that will make your heart flutter and then gets hotter and hotter with every story. Towards the end, you will definitely need a fan and/or a dive straight into the ocean. The best part about this anthology was that I got the chance to read short stories both from #romanceclass authors I have loved and admired since before and also new ones where I want to devour every book they have ever written.

I do believe there will be at least one short story (but probably, very likely, a lot more) for everyone. We see so many tropes that I love in this one that I know if you are a romance fan, you will want to devour Summer Feels like you devour an ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Only this anthology lasts way longer, and will probably make you warmer instead of colder. However, you will love it. While I gave this anthology 4 cake slices as a whole, I had a lot of favorites that I believe are worthy of 5 cake slices and I really want to really highlight them here. They made me fangirl, squeal, laugh and just feel as if I was in the middle of the best summer ever which is just what I love about these short stories.

The following short stories were all favorites of mine. Fall for Me by Miel Salva made me fangirl and fall in love with the characters that I cannot wait to read more about in the future. Then there was The Game of Twenty Questions by Elizabeth Galit which was second chance romance with stargazing, a soft spot for me. Moreover, Guide for a Day by H. Bentham also really stole my heart away with this m/m romance where a tour guide and the journalist that was given the tour fall in love. Secondhand Wanderlust by Erleen Alvarez was amazing with its travel vibes, a backstory of sisterhood and a girl finding love while also stepping out of her comfort zone. Four Basic Principles by Bianca Mori was really unique and had second chance romance and beautiful ocean scenes. Wedding Night Stand by Mina V. Esguerra was a really hot short story that makes me want to read the full book where these characters are from, it was just the best. There is also An Overdue Adventure by Kate Sebastian which had a bit of a hate to love story with childhood frenemies together with a bittersweet backstory and beautiful nature scenes. Lastly, Butter Sunset by Halina Cabrera which was steamy and had lots of food references that made me crave seafood. These short stories were all beyond amazing, and I will definitely be checking out these author’s full books in the near future.

An issue I had with a couple of the stories was that a few slurs and harmful words were used. The words crazy, gypsy and queer were all used in inappropriate and harmful ways and were completely unnecessary for the stories. They could have easily been deleted.

All in all, this is a summer themed anthology you should definitely have on your radar. If you love reading romance and finding new authors at the same time, there is no better choice than this anthology. There are so many adorable and hot stories in Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology, you will most likely fall in love with a lot of couples in it. In Summer Feels you will see enemies turned into lovers, childhood friends, romances with second chances, men with beards, female soccer players and so much more.

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Maria Hollis’ Lillac Town Birthday Games – General Quiz {Win Books!}

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Hi everyone and welcome to this exciting post I have for you today. Tomorrow, May 15, it’s Maria Hollis’ (the author the Lillac Town series) birthday and to celebrate this, Maria decided to host a few games on a few blogs, including mine, where you have a chance of winning ebooks of her books and just have lots of fun. Over on The Book Voyagers‘ blog, you can find out which character you are through a character quiz, find their blog post here. On Lisa The Bookworm’s blog, there is a game of word search and you can find that one here.

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You can find Maria Hollis’ books on Goodreads and Amazon. Find The Melody of You and Me on Goodreads here and Amazon here. Find The Paths We Choose on Goodreads here and Amazon here.

On my blog here today I have a general Lillac Town quiz for you all, with six questions all about the Lillac Town series and its characters. Down below are the questions.

  1. What books and/or authors are mentioned in The Melody of You and Me? (at least 4) (tip: Josie reads Filipino authors and f/f books)
  2. What is the full name of the four main characters from TMOYAM and TPWC? (tip: blog tours)
  3. What is the first sentence of The Paths We Choose? (tip: author’s Tumblr)
  4. Who are the protagonists of book 3?
  5. What instrument does Chris play?
  6. What’s the name of the bookstore where the girls work?

The idea is for you to send at least five answers to these questions to Maria’s email. The first five people to send the correct answers will win an ebook of hers of their choice. Since not everyone has read all of the books, there are a few tips to help you for a couple of the questions. You can also find a lot of the answers on Maria’s Tumblr, and if you have a hard time finding the answers there, you can also talk to her on her Twitter and she can give you additional tips over there. You can also search for the books on my blog since I have both reviewed and have lots of other Lillac Town blog posts as well. When you think you have the answers, send them to Maria’s email at lillactown@gmail.com.

If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to contact Maria Hollis through any of her platforms. I know she would be more than happy to help you out in any way she can. She’s the sweetest so don’t be shy.

Good luck everyone! I hope you’ll have lots and lots of fun with these games. Also, don’t forget to go wish Maria a happy birthday tomorrow!

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Once Upon a Time a Main Character and her Brooding YA Hero met …

Hey everyone, today I have a special blog post for you all. I was chosen to be a part of the #BroodyBFF street team to promote @BroodingYAHero and his upcoming novel, Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status so today I have a Broody McHottiepants blog post for you. Expect a lot more blog posts about him and his book in the future. Today I’m gonna tell you the story of how I met this brooding YA hero.

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Once upon a time, a young girl* met a broody boy in a far away land where the birds are constantly tweeting and the sun is always shining. They call this land Twitterland. This girl would follow this broody boy everywhere and love all parts of him, even the more questionable ones.

This young girl would love this broody hero, get lost in his emerald green eyes and forget all of her old friends. He was her whole world. Friends, who? Family, what? It was the two of them against the world. Despite a second guy entering the picture, his allure tempting, in the end, the only guy in this young girl’s heart was Broody McHottiepants. He was the only YA Hero to ever steal her heart away.

Looking back, it all started a sunny fall day almost two** years ago. The young girl was strolling through a feed of tweets, deep in thought over how ordinary she was in comparison to all the other girls in the world. That’s when she first saw him, Broody McHottiepants, the boy about to become the hero to her heroine. A simple retweet, a loud laugh, and their fates were forever sealed. The click of the follow button that day would change their futures forever. Broody, with his bad boy vibes and heart only soft for one girl, was the key to this heroine’s character development. Together they would overthrow an evil force working against them while riding a ridiculously dangerous motorcycle, their chemistry like thunder on a dark summer night. This main character and her brooding YA hero would walk hand in hand towards their happily ever after, or so the story would like for you to believe, for now…

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*the girl was 19 years old, perhaps not that young after all. 

**or so she thinks. When it’s a story about true love, the epic kind where the clouds separate to make room for the sun, is accuracy really that important?

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, where can I find my very own Broody McHottiepants? Worry not, fellow protagonists, there is a @BroodingYAHero out there for everyone and you can follow him just like I did.


Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status by Carrie Ann DiRisio & Broody McHottiepants. Add on Goodreads.

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.


Have you met your @BroodingYAHero yet? If yes, how did you meet him?

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Book Playlist for How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I’m here with another book playlist for you guys and it’s one for the amazing book How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. If you guys didn’t know this already, I’m in love with How to Make a Wish and if you want to you can read my review here. The story about Eva and Grace is one that will pull you and it will make you feel a wide range of emotions from beginning to end. If you want to listen to my interpretation of How to Make a Wish you can do so through my playlist.

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The playlist only has 10 songs and I worked really hard on finding the perfect ones (I redid this playlist about two times just to get it right). I really hope you’ll like the songs I chose. I tried to make the playlist take you on the same journey as the book does. I hope this playlist will give you similar feelings as the book did. If you haven’t read How to Make a Wish yet, you can add the book on Goodreads and buy the book on Amazon and Book Depository.  You can listen to my playlist down below or on Spotify and YouTube.

Will you be listening to the playlist? Have you read How to Make a Wish yet? What did you think of it?

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Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie Book Playlist

Hi everyone, I have a lovely book playlist I want to share with you guys today. If you saw my review for Infini earlier this year then you know the book totally blew me away. Krista & Becca write the most magical books, and I always love them so much. Infini is about forbidden second chance love and will gut and build you up at the same time. This book has a Jamaican-American heroine and a Russian-American hero that you will just fall in love with (I know I did). I seriously recommend you guys check it out if you haven’t read it yet. You can add it on Goodreads or buy it on Amazon.

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The book playlist consists of 14 songs, and it’s based on the love story between Luka and Baylee from the book. If you’ve read the book, I would recommend you to listen to it in order, from start to finish, but it works either way. You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here or on YouTube here. If you’re interested in Krista & Becca Ritchie’s other books, you can visit their website here.

Have you read Infini yet or do you have plans to do so? Do you plan to listen to the book playlist I made?

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ARC Review of A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

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acrownofwishes1.jpgA Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

Genres: Fantasy and Young Adult

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Lyrical writing, amazing and fleshed out characters and magical world.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley, for my advanced review copy of A Crown of Wishes!

A Crown of Wishes is a magical story that follows the Fox Prince and the Jewel of Bharata through a Tournament of Wishes with them seeking and fighting for their dreams and hopes. Roshani Chokshi with her lyrical writing has a way of pulling you in and making you feel every word on the page, every smell, touch, and feeling as if it were your own. If you love fantasy you are guaranteed to love this book, but even if fantasy is not what you usually read I know the writing and the characters in A Crown of Wishes will sweep you away like the wind.

“This was a fight. I would fight to win and fight to return. And that hope, to have something to fight for once more, grew wings inside me.”

Except for the writing, the characters are really what made me love A Crown of Wishes as much as I did. Vikram and Gauri are from enemy kingdoms and together have to fight in a Tournament of Wishes where everything is at stake: their dreams, hopes, and fears. Their journey will push them to their limits and take them to places they never saw coming, both in this magical new world, they are discovering and within themselves.

First of all, we have Vikram, a prince about to be king in name only in his kingdom Ujijain. He’s courageous, witty and charming, with lots of hope and faith in himself and his abilities. Gauri on the other hand, the Jewel of Bharata and the exiled princess, whom Vikram calls Beastly Girl is a mixture of sweet and vicious. You could say she is a series of contradictions but her flaws are so genuine and relatable you can do nothing but love her. She has grit in every bone of her body, but her heart and soul have a soft and tender side that comes out in painfully human moments. They are both forced to work together, having been mere enemies a few moments earlier, and through their journey, they get to know each other and learn to trust one another in ways they never saw coming. There is undeniable chemistry between Vikram and Gauri which is seen both in their most dangerous moments and the discreet moments just between the two of them. Another character I really fell in love with is Aasha, though she plays a much smaller part in the book than both Vikram and Gauri she truly captures your attention and makes you want to see more of her. She is curious and kind, and will always lend you a helping hand.

All in all, this amazing fantasy book deserves all of the praise in the world. I’m still awestruck by the writing and doubt anything I write in my review will ever do it justice. The lyrical writing we see in A Crown of Wishes is breathtaking and rare and will make you fall in love with every word you read. If you are looking for a book with a detailed and interesting plot with well-developed characters and beautiful writing then look no further. A Crown of Wishes is filled with culture and lush descriptions and is a must read Young Adult Fantasy book this spring.

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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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