Category «Features»

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Loved but Will Never Re-Read

memefulthoughts1
Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally take a shot at it! You can always find these lists (past, present and original) on my Riffle Page!

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books I Love but Will Never Re-Read

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a TTT post but I couldn’t resist when I saw this topic. It was definitely harder than I thought it would be to come up with 10 but once I started, I was able to round out my list.

The criteria is pretty simple. These books are books I enjoyed reading but can’t see myself reading again for a variety of reasons. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them out (well, some of them at least).

(In no particular order):


Links to My Reviews:

Me Before You | Room | Forbidden | Red Queen | Little Peach | Fifty Shades of Grey | Release Me | The Forbidden | Throne of Glass | Breaking Dawn

What books do you love that will never grace your eyeballs again?

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Leave a Link to your TTT in the comments below!

Trope Thursdays: New to Town [4]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


Welcome Back!

First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.

April’s Trope: New to Town

Definition:

One of the lead characters has just moved to a new town where our second lead is currently residing.

Common Features:

  • Mysterious Strangers
    • Possibility for Forbidden Love
  • Insta-Love
  • Angsty Teens
  • Secrets
  • New Family Unit
  • In Love with the Neighbour
  • In Love with the Roommate
  • Character “Soul Searching”

What I Love About The “New to Town” Trope:

I actually relate a lot to this trope as my family moved when I was a young kid to a completely new town. It’s an experience that truly defined who I am as a person and I learned a lot about myself from the whole ordeal as well.

Which is why I find it to be a fascinating trope to include in books. There’s a lot you can play with as it provides ample opportunity for character growth and self-discovery. But it also sets the stage for a sweet (or perhaps unknowingly forbidden?) romance to grow.

I think my favourite aspect is when it’s the entire family unit that has to move and the strain it can put on relationships. Not everyone is 100% on board with moving (I know I wasn’t) so it creates an interesting family dynamic.

What I Dislike About The “New to Town” Trope:

The somewhat sad memories it brings up for me?

No, in all seriousness, it’s hard to do this trope wrong. Most of the time it’s an introductory element that we slowly forget about as the story progresses. Obviously, sometimes the things I mentioned above aren’t capitalized upon but it just depends on the story and what it is trying to tell.

Books that Use the “New to Town” Trope Well:


HEAR ME OUT!

While the reader knows that Edward is a vampire, Bella doesn’t (and that’s just one of many things she doesn’t have a grasp on). Because Bella is new to town, Edward and the Cullens are these mysterious people to her. BUT, I enjoyed the anticipation of her finding out.

You can also throw in her relationship with her estranged dad too.

>>Series Review: Twilight

 

 

I picked this one because I think it really highlights the romance and family aspects of this trope. Strain has been placed on Layken’s family thanks to her dad’s sudden death and her mom’s decision to move them to a new town. It creates an interesting dynamic.

Add to that her new relationship with their neighbour and the consequences that follow and this is a great “New to Town” trope execution.

>>Series Review: Slammed

 

Others: Did I Mention I Love You?  | Wallbanger | No Pants Required

Books that Didn’t Use the “New to Town” Trope Well:

Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything! Usually books I dislike books with the trope for other reasons and not for the fact that they moved. But two of my lowest rated books with this trope are:

Anything by Minor by Kate Stewart (2 starts) & Just Breathe by Rachel Brookes (DNF’d)


Do you enjoy books with the “New to Town” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: March 2018

March 2018

I’ve known March was going to be a weird reading month since late January this year and it definitely lived up to that expectation.

As I mentioned in my February Recap post, my “big city” library card from my school days expired mid-February. I did my best to read as many books as I could and quite a few carried over into the first two weeks of March. I read a lot of books over those 5 or so weeks. Sometimes averaging 2 books a day–which is crazy even for me! But I managed to get most of them in (even squeezing in some books I already own so I could read the sequels from the library) so it was a great success.

Me for most of February and March

However, that means everything else went by the wayside a bit. My challenge targets for the month of March (and February too to be honest) got neglected and I spent the last two weeks of March (and will be using the first week of April as well) catching up on ARCs I had committed myself too. Luckily, January proved to be more productive than I anticipated so I’m not too far behind on everything and thanks to my speed reading, I’m wayyyy ahead on my Goodreads Challenge.

So April is all about getting back on track! I’ve got some great sequels up next (including one I had to stop in February just as it was getting good) and some hotly anticipated titles I’ve been waiting to dive into. With a slightly more regular work schedule, I’m hoping I get get myself back into my everyday reading routine and checking off those “to-read” titles.

A Notable Change to my Reviews:

On all my reviews, I like to include a “Heat” rating so people know what type of sexual content they can expect in a book.

My Old Scale Looked Like This: (chaste) cold, cool, warm, really warm, hot, smokin’/steamy (very sexy)

I wanted to clean it up a bit because I was struggling a lot with the “cold” & “cool” as well as the “really warm” label. To me, cold and cool are the same thing (chaste kisses if any at all) and if a book has zero romance I just delete the field. I also found that “really warm” didn’t really suit the books I was labelling as such because they are descriptive.

So, going forward, I’ve merged my “cold” and “cool” tags into one (I’d already done that to the “smokin'” and “steamy” tags). I’ve also eliminated my “really warm” tag and have replaced it with “toasty” as I feel it better represents those novels that have your standard 3 sex scenes and not much else. I’m hoping that these more defined parameters will help me label books appropriately.

My New Scale: (chaste) Cool, Warm, Toasty, Hot, Smokin’ (very sexy)

Please note though that some upcoming posts will still have the terms “cold” and “really warm” in the post breakdown itself. I have so many posts scheduled (I’ve got things scheduled into December already!) that I just don’t have the time to go through them all and update them individually. But all the tags on my site have been appropriately adjusted.

thoughts

Total for March 2018: 27 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 1 Books

Last March:  16 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read + 5 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


Winter Renshaw has become a must read author for me and her latest just reaffirms that statement. In fact, this was the only 5 star review I gave this month!

Biggest Let Down (★★)


I should have listened to my gut when I felt like I should DNF this book. It’s never a good thing when you guess the “big twist” by the end of chapter one.

 

kobostats

Every quarter I take a look at my Kobo stats to see how I’m doing. My Kobo is my main reading device, used for personal and library books. My Kindle is used for ARCs but it lacks the statistic features of my Kobo.

As of:

March 29, 2018

March 31, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

23%

20%

Total # of Books Finished

284

542

Total # of Reading Hours

2511

2289

*Note: After an update midway through 2017, the statistics changed for my Kobo. It no longer counted library copies towards the Total # of Books Finished (though it still counts the hours). Hence, there is a decrease in my current numbers for that statistic!

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Trope Thursdays: My Family Member Hurt Yours

Most Viewed Review

Series Review: Sons of Broad

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 0 books added & 1 DNF’d | 2 of 25 Titles Read
Goodreads Challenge: 30 books added | 83/190 Books
52 Sequel Challenge: Blood of a Thousand Stars & 1 DNF| 13/52 Sequels
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 2 books added | 10/36 Books

View my Challenge Progress Here!

2018 Take Control
Take Control Wrap-Up – March 2018

I had so much fun with this month-long challenge! It worked out really well that I lot of the titles I binge-read at the start of March were titles that met the challenge guidelines as well as my self imposed ones. (We were to read books that were published before March 1, 2018 but I also gave myself the stipulation that they had to be books I had on my TBR before that date as well.)

My goal was to read 15 books that met these requirements and I ended up surpassing that!

>> See everything that I read here!

In February 2017, I created a challenge for myself to bring my Want to Read Goodreads Shelf to 500 books. By the end of December 2017, I had brought the shelf down from 1205 to 511 books! The ultimate goal for 2018 is to get that number lower than 500 and also bring down my “sequel” shelf as well. I’ve decided that every quarter I will check my stats to see how I’m doing when it comes to cleaning up my TBR

Currently

December 31, 2017

Want to Read (New)

502

511

To Read (Sequels)

316

301

It’s nice to know that my “new” TBR shelf hasn’t grown. I know I’ve added a few titles to that category since the start of the year so I’m pleased that I seem to be reading more items than I’m adding. As for the “sequel” shelf, again, I’m assuming that it is increasing due to the fact that I’m starting new series (and want to read their sequels). My hope for April is to get a few more sequels (especially finale ones) in to reduce that shelf.

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 New-to-Me Series + 3 Previously Started Series):

If I Lie
Keep

The Testing (The Testing, #1)
Keep

Wicked Games (Games, #1)
Keep

The Impact of You
Pass

Catching Liam (Good Girls Don't, #1)
Pass

Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)
Pass

Beauty from Pain (Beauty, #1)
Keep

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)
Keep

The Savage Blue (The Vicious Deep #2)
Keep

Every Never After (Never, #2)
Keep

Pass: 7 | Keep: 3

Grand Total since January: Pass: 14 | Keep: 16

Did I make any mistakes? Let me know in the comments below!

 

I saw this meme the other day and thought it would a great way to keep track of my ARCs and keep me more accountable. While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I will only be updating every quarter.

Every month I give myself the allowance of requesting 3 ARCs as per my 2018 Reading Plan. Now, that doesn’t always happen (as you’ll see below). I’m a member of a few street teams and there are always surprise releases or opportunities so I end up reading more ARCs than I plan. Honestly, I mostly use that 3 ARC limit for requests on my blog so I can pace myself and give authors/publishers an approximation.

My Progress for January to March, 2018:

ARCs Read: 31  |   ARCs Overdue: 4*  |  Upcoming: 12

*Some of these books are from my Street Teams and they are “read ASAP” but I consider them to be overdue.

Going Forward:

I’m imposing an ARC hiatus for April and May. No more impulse clicks for this girl! I’m really overwhelmed with all the review copies I’ve signed myself up for this month. And while I love helping with the promotion of books, I feel like I’m not doing a very good job of saying “no” or reading those challenge books I’ve prioritized.

So for the months of April and May I’m not going to sign up for any future review copies or blog tours or take requests. I’m going to make a few exceptions for the Street Teams I’m a part of and the Publishers I work closely with, but otherwise, I want to focus on books I already own and utilizing my library more to read already released novels.

How am I going to accomplish this? Basically I’m going to be deleting all the review opportunity newsletters I subscribe to as they come into my inbox. I also will not be browsing the Netgalley catalogue for the next two months. Out of sight and out of mind is my philosophy for accomplishing this.

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

Each month I have a list of 11 books I’ve selected to read for that particular month. These books include review copies and reading challenge picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for April:

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) Hot Mess (Love is Messy Duet, #1) When It's Real Suitors and Sabotage Cursed: The Hunter Inside (Cursed, #1) Gunslinger Girl

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Blurb Release: Fixed Forever by Laurelin Paige

Not only is the Fixed Series one of my all time favourite contemporary romance series, but it is also one of my most viewed blog posts in the years since. I’m not even kidding! My review of that series is one of my most popular posts year to year since I wrote it in 2014. And rightfully so! I love adore this series with all my heart.

Which is why I am super excited about the latest novel in that instalment! I can’t wait to catch up with all the characters and see what delicious drama Laurelin Paige has in store for us!


Title: Fixed Forever

Author: Laurelin Paige
Release: June 25, 2018
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback & eBook
Pre-Order: Kobo | Amazon | iBooks | Nook
Add to TBR:  Goodreads

Hudson Pierce-

You act so high and mighty, you and your perfect pregnant wife Alayna. With your perfect child and your perfect home.

You weren’t always perfect. Your past is filled with misdeeds.

Does your wife know all your secrets?

Would she stand behind you if she did?

You think because she’s on bedrest you can protect her? How sweet.

Sleep tight, you two.

-An Old Friend.

 

Add: Goodreads // Buy:  Kobo | Amazon | iBooks | Nook

Watch Laurelin Paige Read the Synopsis here!

 

Laurelin Paige

With over 1 million books sold, Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

I can’t wait to return to the world of Fixed!

My Full Series Review Found Here!

What about you? Are you excited?

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SERIESous Discussion: 5 Reasons Why Novellas Stop Reading Slumps


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


Reading slumps happen to everyone.

From preventing them in the first place to getting yourself out of one, everyone has their own tactic for beating reading slumps. In the past, I’ve shared a lot of my strategies to thwart off reading slumps because they were a frequent occurrence in my reading life two years ago (i.e. reading year 2016).

>> SERIESous Tips: How to Prevent the Chore of Reading

Now, they don’t happen as much thanks to the changes I’ve made to my reading habits. But they still do happen, just not as long. In fact, as I write this (in November 2017), I consider myself to be in a slump and one that I would classify as my first major one in 2017. Which is pretty good to only have the first major reading slump in the 11th month of the year!

But as I am in this slump, I became inspired to write this post. I’ve shared how I avoid reading slumps in the past but I wanted to talk about how I get out of them when they do happen and why they don’t last for too long.

Answer: Novellas.

I’ve tried lots of things in the past and have had varying success (like reading a book from a favourite author or reading a book I normally wouldn’t). And these do often work but my tried and true method is reading novellas. Novellas are great anytime of the year, but I find them particularly helpful when I’m in a bit of a reading slump.

Reason 1: Quick Reads

I classify novellas as anything that has 20 to 150 pages. These are the books I can read easily in one sitting or in less 3 hours. Meaning, you aren’t giving up a huge time commitment but you get the satisfaction of completing something. More importantly, are getting yourself back in the habit of reading once again. And hey, if you don’t enjoy the book, you didn’t waste too much of your time!

Reason 2: Faster Plot Lines

The quick plotlines of novellas can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it cuts out the unnecessary drama and descriptions but a curse because sometimes things can feel rushed or incomplete. But what I want to highlight here is that you get to the main plot a lot quicker than some full length novels and that gets you invested early to see how it will all resolve.

Reason 3:  Often Leave You Wanting More

This idea works in two ways. One is that if you are reading a serialized story told in parts, they are notorious for ending on cliffhangers because they want you to read the next installment. And because of Reason 1, you can find yourself burning through a lot if you get yourself addicted.

The other reason–which is slightly negative I’ll admit–is that reading a novella may make you crave a full sized novel. Full size novels have the benefit of working out those slightly more complicated plotlines which can be missing in a novella depending on the style. Novels can also feature a larger cast of characters, and if you are like me, you often get drawn to these side characters. So reading a novella where these may be lacking may inspire you to pick up that novel you’ve been putting off for awhile.

Reason 4: Lots of Book Series Have Them

Novellas are often a part of your larger series. They can be short stories about side characters or alternative POVs or prequel stories to help build the world. The point is, sometimes returning to a world you are already familiar with–and likely enjoy–can remind you why you love reading the in the first place.

>> Fun Fact: This reason is how I got out of my November reading slump. I returned to the worlds of A Season for Scandal, Wolf by Wolf and Sins & Scandals by reading their novella installments.

Reason 5: Often Free!

Yes, FREE! Lots of author’s write novellas for their series as bonuses for readers. If your library has the series as an eBook series, they may have the novellas already. And you can often find the first one or two installments of a serialized series for free as a hook to get you into the series. Having an eReader can help but you can also use your tablet or computer or phone as most eBook retailers have apps.

>> Guide: Tips for Buying an eReader //  Guide: Using a Tablet for eReading

My point is, you don’t have to break the bank to get out of a slump. You can grab something that catches your eye and dive right in without worrying about spending your money!


Do you read novellas? How do you stop a reading slump?

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Trope Thursdays: My Family Hurt Yours [3]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


Round 3 of my new feature!

As I said in the description above, the idea is to look at common book tropes and dissect them each month. I’m going to pick a variety of tropes–including ones I hate–and dig a little deeper. First, I’ll define what that trope is and then list some common features. Next, I’ll pick some examples of the trope in action and why it works (or doesn’t work) for that particular story. And then finally, I’ll open the floor to you to tell me your thoughts on the trope or recommend some reads to me.

My Family Member Hurt Yours

Definition:

A situation where an unlikely bond (or romance) develops between two leads (A & B) in a novel despite a shared history of Person A’s family member hurting/betraying Person B’s self or family.

Example: Sara and John fall in love despite the fact that John’s father was the one driving the car that killed Sara’s sister 5 years ago.

Common Features:

  • Plan for revenge
  • Plan for redemption
  • Forbidden love
  • Focus on family
  • Unexpected plot twists

What I Love About The “My Family Member Hurt Yours” Trope:

While it doesn’t have a nice name or an easy to explain definition, this is one of my favourite tropes to read for a variety of reasons.

For one, I always find these stories have well developed characters. They often have complex characteristics and situations given the past and that provides ample opportunity for growth. Through meeting this “new” person, they start to question their beliefs and perspectives and I find that the result is stronger characters and a solid connection between the leads.

I also like the focus on family. Lots of books create a tragic past by having negligent parents or the like–and while those are important stories–it is nice to see cohesive families in novels as well. Sure, they might not be in the healthiest of places but that’s another great aspect of these stories–the growth of the family unit as a whole.

What I Dislike About The “My Family Member Hurt Yours” Trope:

One of the hardest sells of these novels is the romance. You have to convince me that these two people should overcome all the obstacles in their way in order to be together. They have to learn the lesson of forgiveness and moving on. Which means I don’t want to see superficial connections forged between them. I need to see why these two belong together and why their love is stronger than the past of hurt.

Note: All these examples mention the shared past in some respect in their synopsis. I didn’t pick any books that have this trope as a hidden twist in their stories in an effort to prevent spoilers.

Books that Use the “My Family Member Hurt Yours” Trope Well:


This is one of the first books I ever remember reading with this trope to it. What I liked about these two was who they were as people. They both have their flaws and their setbacks due to their shared past. I really enjoyed watching them work individually on those weakness while at the same time watching them fight this fantastic connection between them. It’s such a beautiful story about letting go of the past and seeing what the future holds.

>>Series Review: Games

 

 

Ok, this one might be cheating a bit since the person directly affected is the heroine but the shared past does have an effect on her family as well.

What I really loved about this one was the focus on what the outside world thought as opposed to what the characters thought about their love. It was an interesting perspective for the novel to have. While their connection could have been a touch stronger, I really enjoyed watching them overcome their shared past.

 

Books that Didn’t Use the “My Family Member Hurt Yours” Trope Well:


I love a good “need for revenge” story and I was hoping this book would have it. Unfortunately, it focused way too much on the sexy times of the relationship and seemed to leave the plot behind in favour of heated sex scenes. It didn’t help either that the relationship was pretty insta-connection.

Series Review: Fifth Avenue Trilogy

 

 

Despite a promising start, this one lost me in the middle and never got me back. This is one of those cases where the romance wasn’t developed enough to convince me these two belonged together despite all the obstacles.

Series Review: Finding


Please let me know what you think about this features structure/topics be commenting below. I am more than willing to modify it in the coming months!

Have you read any books with the “My Family Member Hurt Yours” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: February 2018

February 2018

Looking back at the month of February, I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to. I blame a few key factors.

First, the Winter Olympics were on! I’m OBSESSED with the Olympics, and in particular the Winter ones (the Canadian in me likes the ice sports what can I say!). For those who follow me on Twitter you probably got annoyed with all my retweets but Canada had a great games and I’m not sorry 😉

Secondly, I went away on an extended vacation and I wasn’t able to read as many books (or watch as much Olympic events) as I would have liked. I still managed to squeeze a few reads in while en route so I was in a good place once I returned. Which is important because:

Third, my “big city” library card from university expired mid month so I had a lot of books I wanted to get through. Thanks to eBooks and some strategic planning, I still have a mountain load of eBooks waiting to be read in the next two weeks. Which means, my 2018 Reading Challenges went by the wayside but I got through a lot of titles I had had sitting on my TBR for years so I consider that a win!

thoughts

Total for February 2018: 21 Books Read + 7 Novellas Read

Last February: 13 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 3 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

It’s no secret I’m a huge Monica Murphy fan. I haven’t had the greatest luck with her YA stuff lately but I always enjoy her New Adult titles and this one was no exception. No one else could write this story like she could and it lived up to my every expectation!

Biggest Let Down (DNF’d)


I was SO SO excited to read this one! It had Shakespeare; forbidden love and was set in Toronto! I really wanted to love this one but I couldn’t tolerate the petty heroine and the not-burning-at-all slow burn romance.

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Monthly Inventory: January 2018

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: Amber Elixir

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

 

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: NONE | 2 of 25 Titles Read
Goodreads Challenge: 29 books added | 55/190 Books
52 Sequel Challenge: 5 Titles Added | 11/52 Sequels
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 4 books added | 8/36 Books

View my Challenge Progress Here!

In February 2017, I created a challenge for myself to bring my “Want to Read” Goodreads Shelf to 500 books. By the end of December 2017, I had brought the shelf down from 1205 to 511 books! The ultimate goal for 2018 is to get that number lower than 500 and also bring down my “sequel” shelf as well.

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 New Series + 3 Previously Started Series):

Deeper We Fall (Fall and Rise, #1)
Keep

Music of the Heart (Runaway Train, #1)
Keep

Breathing Underwater (Breathing Underwater, #1)
Keep

Going Under
Keep

If He Had Been with Me
Pass

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1)
Keep

Shattered Promises (Shattered Promises, #1)
Keep

Endure (Need, #4)
Keep

Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)
Keep

Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #0.5)
Pass

Pass: 2 | Keep: 8

Did I make any mistakes? Let me know in the comments below!

Take Control 2018 Button

I’m taking part in the Take Control of You TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer for the month of March. The challenge is simple: read books that have been published before March 1, 2018! That won’t be hard for me since I have a list of backlisted titles I have out from the library and it lines up with my reading challenges for this year. There aren’t any new releases for March that I have on my immediate radar either and I only have 1 ARC that will be published this month.

For me, I’m only going to count titles that I’ve already added to Goodreads. These means sequel novels for newly started series (even if they were published before March 2018) will not be counted though the inaugural novel will be counted.

My Goal: 15 Titles

You can track all my progress on my 2018 Reading Challenge Page here!

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

Each month I have a list of 11 books I’ve selected to read for that particular month. These books include review copies and reading challenge picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for March:

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) Hot Mess (Love is Messy Duet, #1) The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace, #1) Deadly Secret (Sons of Broad #2) The Divinity Bureau Chase Me (Broke and Beautiful, #1)

 

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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SERIESous Discussions: Lessons Learned from Blog Tours


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


Truth: I didn’t know that blog tours existed until my 2nd year of blogging.

Embarrassing, I know, but I was in such a bubble during my first year of blogging (2013) that I didn’t know what was out there. Anyways, I started slowly with taking review requests in 2015, joining Netgalley and then in 2016, I officially joined the community of being a tour host.

I thought about making this a tips post but I really think this is more a reflection on my experiences being a tour host and how two years of hosting blog tours has changed my blogging and reading habits.

Lesson #1: I LOVE Helping Authors!

There are so many great books out there, from big-name publishers to self-published, and I love the idea that my blog post might help one person discover a book they never knew about. Exposure is everything, especially for those debut authors who are just emerging onto the scene. Just getting the email sign-ups for tours has exposed me to a lot of books I might never have seen otherwise.

More often than not, I often get to connect with these authors after the fact and I love that! I’ve had some great discussions and fantastic opportunities present themselves as a result. Those interactions remind me why I love blogging and reading in the first place: a shared passion for stories.

>>Some Blog Tour Organizers: Audiobookworm Promotions |  Lola’s Blog Tours  | Chapter by Chapter | Social Butterfly PR | Xpresso Book Tours | YA Bound Book Tours

Lesson #2: Keep an Eye on the Number of Requests

I’ve talked in the past about some of the tactics I use to minimize the feeling of reading as a chore but it is so easy to sign-up for blog tours when you are getting emails daily. Like I said, there are a lot of interesting books out there and it can be hard to resist clicking the “request” button for every title that gets your attention. But you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by creating more deadlines and commitments than you can handle.

I personally aim to do no more than 2 requests (blog tour or review request/opportunities) per month. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail but I find that ground rule keeps me from requesting all the books.

Using a calendar to keep track of all my posts allows me to see the bigger picture. Can I fit that tour in on those specific dates? Have I already applied/committed to review something that day? You have to be careful because most blog tours want their post to be the “top” post of the day and that may mean shuffling your schedule around to meet that requirement.

>>Tip Posts: Using Trello to Keep Organized | Organizing Requests | How to Start Scheduling Blog Posts

Lesson #3: Read the Book ASAP!

Most blog tours give you a month or more notice before your scheduled date and you often get the review copy a few weeks before the posting date. When I put in my book deadlines on my calendar, I aim to have the ARC finished at least a week before my tour stop…but that doesn’t always happen.

Reading the review copy at the last minute can have some unfortunate consequences. For one thing, you might not be able to finish the review on time. For another, you might end up DNFing the book or are unable to give it a favourable review (which defeats the purpose of a promotional tour though you are always encouraged to post your review later). Or something comes up and you just can’t post anything for the tour.

All the touring groups I deal with are great with recognizing that you won’t like every book you read and are very accommodating with changing the date or type of tour stop and/or making alternate arrangements. But my point here is that it can be stressful for all involved if you leave your reading to the last minute and arrangements can’t be made. You have to remember that it is a privilege to be awarded a spot on a tour, not your right as a blogger. If you are hard to work with or can’t make your commitments, it might affect your opportunities with that company later on.


Those are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned over the last year. Although blog tours can be a bit of work, I’ve found them to be extremely rewarding! I’ve discovered a ton of amazing books and authors over the last two years and I hope you have to by following my blog.

Do you participate in Blog Tours? Why or why not?

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Riffle Lists: Slow Burn Romance

Riffle is an independent book site that keeps track of what books you are reading and want to read. It’s similar to GoodReads but it keeps things simple and is super easy to use. One of my favourite features is the ability to create and share lists! It is a great way to create your own list of books that have a certain theme for your own records AND a fantastic way to discover new books through other users’ lists!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love (no pun intended) romance themed lists around Valentine’s Day every year. I’m a sucker for a good romance novel and I read them all the time.

This year, I was inspired by my recent Trope Thursday Feature where I looked at the slow burn romance. Normally, I want things to happen fast in my novels but the slow burn romance is the exception. There is nothing I love more than some great sexual tension between leads!

Here are some notable books with slow burn romances:

Read my reviews:

Smut | The Raven Boys | A Stardance Summer | The Wall of Winnipeg and Me | Defy the Stars | Duels & Deception | Unknown | To Win Her Heart | Idol | Play | Cross the Stars | Blackhearts | Schooled | The Mad Tatter | Lost & Found

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The Perfect Match: Winter 2018 Edition

Winter 2018 Edition

The Perfect Match: A seasonal feature where I play matchmaker but with books! What happens when you take Book A and combine it with Book B? The answer is Book C!

I did a bit of a fail with this feature last year, forgetting to do posts for the summer and fall of 2017. But never fear! I’ve returned with some romantic reads just in time for Valentine’s Day!

This time I’ve paired up books with some of my favourite rom-com movies!

Why This Match?

All these stories feature lead heroines who are escorts who fall in love with the client. While The Arrangement definitely has a flare for the darker dramatics, whereas Pretty Woman and the Calendar Girl Series are much lighter. But all these stories have the same female empowerment vibe to them thanks to their strong heroines.

Why This Match?

Rush was a favourite from last year. Like Brokeback Mountain, it shows the relationship between two men who feel like they can’t share their true feelings for each other. Actually, Rush inspired Leveled to a certain extent but I actually read Leveled first (plus, it is a novella compared to the novel that is Rush). Regardless, it has a lot of the same themes of sexuality and societal pressures.

Why This Match?

Ok, I know I am cheating a bit with A Walk to Remember since it was a book first. BUT, the novel takes place in the 1950s whereas the movie is the 1990s so it has more “contemporary” themes. Pushing the Limits features a once popular girl who is now a bit of a social outcast falling for the school bad boy. Of course, there is more than meets the eye and these two find a deeper connection and understanding. It’s darker than the other two but features a great romance and story. Chloe from Where the Road Takes me reminded me so much of Jamie from A Walk to Remember. They are both these quiet, determined girls who suddenly get noticed by someone from the “in-crowd” and try their best to not fall in love.


Agree or Disagree with my picks?

Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments below!

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