Cram-A-Thon Wrap-Up!

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Hello!  Last week I participated in the Cram-A-Thon.  The goal of this readathon was to complete 7 books in a week.  I decided to join last minute (check out my TBR here), so I wasn’t sure how well I was going to do.  That being said, I actually did incredible!?!  While I didn’t manage to read 7 books, I’m still so proud of how much I accomplished!

Here’s what I managed to read:

1. A Predicted 5 Star Read

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I read Sanctuary by Meg Cabot for this challenge.  While it wasn’t my favorite book in the series, and so, not quite a 5 star read after all, it was still a solid 4 stars, and I’m so happy to have read it. I really enjoyed it!

2. A Book That’s Out of Your Comfort Zone

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For this challenge, I read the poetry book, The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace.  I’m not a huge poetry person, so I didn’t love this book.  However, I really felt the emotion and the author’s passion behind her words.

3. A Book That’s Been on Your TBR for a Long Time

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Fire and Ice by Erin Hunter was such a fun and adventurous read!  As a huge cat lover, this series is perfect for me, and this book was so fun and intriguing to read.

4. A LGBTQ+ Ownvoices Book

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Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp was a really unique and important read.  It focuses on the importance mental health.  I admit I was hoping for a little bit more from this book, but regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.

5. Something That’s Not a Standard Novel

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Goldie Vance by Hope Larson was such a cute and fun graphic novel!  I loved the illustrations, the mystery, and all the characters.  Goldie, herself, reminded me quite a bit of Nancy Drew and Penny Parker (the original Carolyn Keene’s own mystery series).

6. A Book with Your Favorite Color on the Cover

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My favorite color is pink, so I decided to go with The Borrowers by Mary Norton for this challenge.  This is the only book I wasn’t able to complete for the readathon.  I only had about 40 pages to go, but I was SO tired on the last night of the readathon that I just couldn’t finish the book.  I did finish it the next day though, and this book was so enjoyable!  It was completely different, and wayyy better than the movie.


Overall, I’m so pleased with how much progress I made for this readathon!  I really didn’t expect to read more than 3 books, and instead, I nearly completed everything.  I’m honestly so proud of myself! 🙂

If you participated in the Cram-A-Thon, how did you do?  Thanks for reading!


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Top Ten Books I’m Bringing to the Pool, AKA My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday new

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

Books I’m Bringing to the Pool, also known as, My Summer TBR

This week’s topic was books to read at the beach or pool, or it could serve as our summer TBR.  Being that I pretty much live by the pool in the summer, I decided to use this week’s topic to share which books I plan to bring with me to read poolside!

Save the Date

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Save the Date by Morgan Matson is at the top of my reading list! I just love her books so much!! I’m going to Barnes and Noble tomorrow pick up my copy and I’m SO excited!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 

Summer State of Mind

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I read Sleepaway Girls a couple years ago, and it made such a fun and cute, summer read.  I picked this book up last summer at the Dollar Tree, and I never got around to it.  So, I’m really hoping to get to it this summer!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 

The Start of You and me

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My Secret Santa gifted me The Start of You and Me, and because it looked so summer-y, I’ve been waiting since Christmas to read it!! It looks like it’s going to be such a great book, and Nicole, my Secret Santa, told me it was one of her favorites.  So, I’m so excited to give it a read!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Anne of Ingleside

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You guys know how much I love Anne!  I only have 3 books left to read in the series, and I want to at least read Anne of Ingleside this summer.  I’ve been taking the last few books slowly, because I want to savor the series, but I think I’m ready now to finish it and see the full story of Anne’s life!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

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This book sounds so unique, and like something that I would absolutely love!  Plus, I love books about books.  I really am looking forward to reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend very soon!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Chemist

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I recently bough a copy of The Chemist, and I’m really curious to read it!  I’ve enjoyed all of Stephenie Meyer’s books, so I’m hoping I enjoy this one just as much.

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

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I recently watched the musical, Cats, for the first time, and now I really want to read the book that inspired such an iconic Broadway show.  This book looks like it’ll make such a cute and quick read!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Turtles All the Way Down

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I’ve had this book since January, and I still haven’t read it yet!  I’ve loved every John Green book I’ve read so far, so I’m hoping I’ll feel the same way about this one!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Belles

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I’ve heard SO many good things about The Belles since it was released, I need to read this book ASAP!  Plus, people compare it to my original YA fave, Uglies, so I have to see if this one lives up to its hype for me!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street

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I look at this book every time I go to Target, which knowing me, is quite a lot.  I think this book sounds so interesting, and honestly, it just looks summer-y to me; I think it’s because of the ice cream!  Regardless, I need to either just break down and buy a copy, or at least borrow it from the library, because I really want to read this book this summer!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 


That wraps up this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!  What are some books you hope to get to this summer?  Do you enjoy reading at the pool, or do you prefer staying inside with the AC on?

Thanks for reading!


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Book Review | Sad Perfect

sad perfect.jpgTitle: Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot

Pages: 320

Genres: YA, Contemporary

Published by: Square Fish (Feb. 28th, 2017)

Summary

Perfect is only on the surface in this gripping novel about a teen girl who looks normal but struggles with a little known eating disorder. 

Sixteen-year-old Pea has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, which means she can’t eat very much because nutritious foods frighten her. Having ARFID is like having a monster inside of her, one that dictates what she can eat, what she does and who she socializes with. This monster is growing and controlling more than just her food issues?it’s causing anxiety, depression, and giving her thoughts that she doesn’t want to have.

When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that’s when the monster really takes over her life. Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, best friend, and Ben the support and strength that she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her.

Sad Perfect is the haunting debut novel from Stephanie Elliot.

Sad Perfect: A Novel

What I Thought

I first heard about Sad Perfect from EmmmaBooks on Youtube.  Her review on her channel really made me interested in this book and it had been on my TBR ever since.  For whatever reason, I have been thinking about this book lately, and decided to finally read it.  I’m so glad I did, too!

The first thing that really stood out to me about this book and what made it so unique, was that it was told in 2nd person. Aside from reading those Choose Your Own Adventure books from 2nd grade, I had never read a book in 2nd person before. At first I was a little weary with how I would be able to connect with the story this way, but I found it actually really helped me to connect. I was Pea. I don’t have ARFID, so I can’t say if the rep was accurate, but while reading Sad Perfect, I truly felt like I was able to get into Pea’s head and understand what she was going through. 2nd person really helped make this story come alive and feel very personal to me.

Another thing I appreciated was that this book does not glamorize mental illness. It shows the repercussions of not taking your medicine. It shows how frustrating and difficult recovery is, not only for you, but also family and friends. This book is so real and so raw.

Also, because of the topic and nature of this book, I would definitely say have caution when reading this book if eating disorders, anxiety/depression, suicide, and self-harm trigger you.

I will say the one thing that was a little bothersome to me was the original cover of the book. It features the tool that Pea uses to self harm as the focus of the cover. I, personally, felt like that was a bit tacky and hurtful. It has been changed for the paperback release, though, which is the cover I used for this review.

I really enjoyed all the characters in this novel. I admit, sometimes I felt like I wanted to know them just a little better, but it is sort of understandable because it felt like Pea kept a little distance from people because of her illness. Overall though, everyone was really interesting. I especially loved how supportive Ben was. He stood by her even when he didn’t always understand. Not only that but his family was supportive, too. It was so great to read about an encouraging and joyful family.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sad Perfect. It was so unique and really opened my eyes up to the struggle of recognizing you have a problem and recovery. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about living life with a mental illness and a compelling and honest read.

4 stars 2


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2018 Classics Challenge – Update #1

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Hey everyone! Earlier this year, I announced that I was doing a 2018 Classics Challenge.  You can find out all the info about it in my original post, here!

Now, my original plan was to share a post for each classic book I read.  Well, so far, I haven’t done that, lol!  So, I’ve decided that I will just update you all with how I’ve been doing so far.

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So far, I’ve read three classics this year.  Here are the books I read, and a little bit of my thoughts about each of them:

19th Century Classic

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I read The Picture of Dorian Gray in April, and quite enjoyed it.  Dorian was such an interesting and memorable character to me.  This book appears simple, but is so, so complex.  Even though this book isn’t very large, there were parts that felt a bit slow, but overall, I really did enjoy it.

 

Classic Under 200 Pages

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I read Breakfast at Tiffany’s back in February, and while it was a quick read, I, personally, did not enjoy it too much.  I found myself being unable to connect to the author’s writing style, and thus, found myself unable to connect to the story or the characters.  I really just think it was more of my personal preference though!  To hear my full thoughts, I wrote a review about it, here!

 

Children’s Classic

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I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in March, and I really enjoyed it! Out of all three classics that I’ve read this year, so far, this one has been my favorite.  The plot and concept were so intriguing and so well done.  I really loved seeing the Christian parallels throughout the story, too.  The characters were so charming and Narnia itself was just as magical and enchanting as everyone else always says, also.  This book was so readable, and honestly, just such a delight!  To hear my full thoughts, click here to read my review!


That’s all the classics I’ve read so far in 2018!  I still have quite a ways to go if I want to complete my challenge, but I think I can still do it. I’m working on reading a classic over 500 pages right now.  I decided to go with The Count of Monte Cristo which is over 1,000 pages, so please wish me luck with that! 😜

I’m going to try to share my progress more often now, so look for more updates soon!  Also, if you’re reading any classic books that fit any of the challenges, be sure to share them with me and follow along with the hashtag #2018ClassicsChallenge!


Thanks so much for reading!


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Top Five Books That Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

Top Ten Tuesday new

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

Books That Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

Because I’m busy with the Cramathon this week, though, today it’s going to just be a top five!

Just One Day

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I have a feeling Just One Day will be on a lot of people’s lists today! From Paris, to London, to Amsterdam, this book involves so many traveling adventures.

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

13 Little Blue Envelopes

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13 Little Blue Envelopes is another book that really brings out the travel bug in you!  It’s just one of those books that is absolutely perfect to read during the summer.  You’ll really feel like you’re traveling Europe with this one!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Safe Haven

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Growing up, my family and I would always go on vacation to Oak Island, NC, which is super close to Southport.  In fact, we would visit Southport while we were there.  So, when I read Safe Haven, everything about its setting reminded me of those vacations and made me really want to go back!!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 

The Christy Miller Series

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The Christy Miller series definitely makes me crave the beach!  While there’s a couple different locations throughout this series, the most notable ones that I think of are California and Hawaii.  I’m from Ohio, and for the past two weeks, there has only been about 1 day where it was consistently sunny.  So, this series makes me dream of sunshine like no other!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series is just filled with so many adventures.  It is the ultimate summer read!  It especially makes  me want to visit Greece, like Lena!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 


That’s my TTT for this week!  What are some of the books that make you want to travel?

Thanks for reading!


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Cram-A-Thon TBR!

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Hey everyone! So, this is late and last minute, but yesterday evening I found out that the Cram-a-thon was this week!  It started yesterday, June 10th, and runs through June 17th.  I don’t think I’ve ever participated in the Cramathon before, but I’ve seen others do it, and it always looks like so much fun.  So, even though I’m joining late and last minute, I’ve decided I’m going to do it!

The goal of the readathon is to finish 7 things in 7 days – so y’all already know I won’t actually be able to complete this. 😉  That being said, I’m going to try my best to read as much as I can!  There’s also challenges to help base your TBR pile on.  Being that I joined last minute, I haven’t put too much thought into what I’m going to read, but I’ve gathered some that fit the challenges, and they will be my tentative TBR, unless I change my mind on any of them.

Alright, here are the challenges and the books I’m hoping to read this week!

1. A predicted 5 star book

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For this one, I’m going with Sanctuary by Meg Cabot!  I pretty much love all of her books as it is, but I especially love this particular series.  I’ve given all these 4 or 5 stars, so I have no doubt that I’m going to love this one as well!

2. A book that’s out of your comfort zone

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I very rarely read poetry.  I did read Amanda Lovelace’s first book, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, though, and I did enjoy it.  So, I’m going to give her second book a chance, too!

3. A book that’s been on your TBR for a long time

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I have to go with Fire and Ice for this one.  The Warriors series is one of my sister’s favorites, and she’s been encouraging me to read them for years!  A while back I did read the first book, Into the Wild, and really enjoyed it.  So, I know I’ll love this one, too.  It’s just one I keep putting off!

4. A LGBTQ+ Ownvoices book

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I started Before I Let Go right before the cramathon started, and I didn’t even realize it was an ownvoices novel until looking into what to read for the readathon.  So, I think that turned out pretty perfectly since I’m starting this readathon so last minute!

5. Something that’s not a standard novel

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Goldie Vance is a graphic novel, which is also something I don’t read too often.  I think this looks like such a fun and mysterious series, and I cannot wait to read it!

6. A book with your favorite color on the cover

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My favorite color is pink, so I went with The Borrowers for this challenge.  I think it’ll be the perfect book because it looks like so much fun, and it’s small, which is exactly the kind of book I need for this readathon!

7. Read seven books

I don’t have anything picked out for my 7th book yet.  If I somehow, miraculously, am able to read all of these books in 7 days and have time to read something else, I can assure you that, whatever it is, the book I pick will probably be an extremely short story!


And that’s my TBR!  Wish me luck!  Be sure to let me know what you’re reading if you’re participating in the Cram-A-Thon, too.

Thanks for reading!


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Book Review | My Sister’s Keeper

my sisters keeperTitle: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Pages: 423

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

Published by: Atria Books (May 18th, 2004)

Summary

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

My Sister's Keeper

What I Thought

I first watched the My Sister’s Keeper movie back when it was first released.  That movie broke me, and I was sure I’d never read the book.  Then, I found out they movie has a completely different ending from the book, and I’ve been curious to read it ever since.  Flash forward 8-9 years, and here I am; I finally read the book!

Continue reading

May Wrap-Up!

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I feel like I said this every month, but can you even believe how fast this year is flying by?!  We’re already halfway through, and I’m kind of freaking out about that.  On the plus side, the summer months are finally here, and with them they bring more reading time, no school, and SUNSHINE!  Needless to say, I’m just a little excited. 😉  Overall, I had an okay reading and blogging month for May.  The first half of the month, I was so busy with finals and dance that I barely blogged or read at all.  Once everything settled down though, I was able to get a bit more on track.  I ended up reading three books in the month of May, which, given my circumstances, isn’t terrible, but I was hoping for at least four.

BOOKS READ

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– Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

STANDOUT BOOK OF THE MONTH

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Emergency Contact was filled with great characters, real life topics, and cute banter.  It’s a perfect, mature*, YA novel that I think a lot of people have been looking for!

*not in the explicit way, haha.  The characters are older – in their late teens and early 20’s.

 

BOOKS REVIEWED

The Rebellion by Livy Jarmusch \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff \\ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


BOOK HAUL

So, I bought quite a lot of books in the month of May!  First, I went to two different library book sales, and so, if you’ve followed me for a while, you know I go completely overboard at those sales, and bought wayyy too many books.  If you’re interested in seeing which books I got, I currently have that book haul as a story highlight on my Instagram.  You can check that out here!

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Then, I received a copy of How to Be a Perfect Christian by the satire website, The Babylon Bee, from WaterBrook & Multnomah as a thank you gift for signing up to be a member of their book launch teams.  A huge thank you to them! It was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise, and I can’t wait to read it!

 

IMG_1699.jpgLastly, I was looking through the bargain books at Books-a-Million, which is a very dangerous place to be, and found a hardcover copy of The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer for only $6! I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was a bit of a Twi-hard back in the day (maybe I still am a little, lol), and I also loved The Host.  So, I’m excited to give this one a try and see what I think!

MISCELLANEOUS

Like I said earlier, the first half of May was quite slow.  Despite that, May still managed to feature some exciting posts!

Top Ten Tuesday new

Here are all the TTT’s that I participated in for the month of May:

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Here’s what I was Waiting on Wednesday for this month:

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I participated in The Rebellion blog tour last month, as well!

The Calico Books New Logo

Also, last but not least, I unveiled my new logo for The Calico Books!


That wraps up everything bookish that happened during May!  I have high hopes for a big reading and blogging month for June, so wish me luck! 🙂

Thanks so much for reading!


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Waiting on Wednesday

Waitingonwednesday

Waiting on Wednesday/Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature, started by Breaking the Spine and continued by Wishful Endings, that puts the spotlight on upcoming releases! 

This week’s pick is:

A Thousand Perfect Notes

RELEASING JUNE 7TH, 2018

a thousand perfect notes.jpgSynopsis

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

I’ve been following Cait’s, AKA Paper Furry, blog and Twitter for a couple years now.  She’s just so sweet and funny!  When I found out she was releasing a book, I was genuinely so happy for, and then when I read the synopsis, I just knew I HAD to read it!  This book looks like it’s going to break my heart, and I am so ready for it! Plus, the cover is just so gorgeous.  Also, I’m so excited, because it comes out tomorrow. I won’t have to wait much longer to read it now!

 

 


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Top Eight Books I DNF’d Too Quickly

Top Ten Tuesday new

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again!  It’s a weekly bookish list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week’s topic is:

Books I DNF’d Too Quickly

I am not someone to DNF (did not finish) books too often.  So, even though I really enjoyed thinking about this week’s topic, it was a really hard one for me.  Because of that, I could only think of 8 books that I’ve DNF’d that I may have given up on a little too fast.

Dune

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So, I was supposed to read Dune in my 11th grade Lit class.  I started it, and really tried to read it, but I just could not get into it!  So, I hate to say it, but I SparkNotes my way through this book.  Now, I don’t remember anything about this book, except I think there’s this giant worm and a genius baby.  I really do think though, that if I was able to read Dune at my own pace and leisure, I could really enjoy this book.

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

to kill a mockingbird.jpgI’m embarrassed to say that I used SparkNotes on To Kill a Mockingbird, too.  Let me just say though, my freshman year of high school was so overwhelming.  I went to an online school, and most weeks I would literally work from like, 8 AM until 6 PM every single day, including weekends.  I really want to read this book now, though.  I really think I would appreciate it so much!

Also, side note, I have to lol at my high school adviser who told me that my freshman year course load was how university was.  My university courses can be SO overwhelming, but nowhere near as bad as that year was!!

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

the curious incident of the dog

 

Okay, this one was not a school book! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was the book club pick for my high school’s book club.  Everyone else just loved the book, and those that had already read it had hyped it up so much.  I, personally, just couldn’t get into it.  I often wonder if I gave up on it too soon, though.  Now that it’s been several years, I’d like to give this book another chance sometime!

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Jungle Book

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I tried reading The Jungle Book many years ago.  I went into it, though, thinking it would be like the Disney movie.  I should have known, though, that it would be quite different!  I think because I had set certain expectations about this book, that when it was not what I was expecting, I just wasn’t into it.  Now that I realize it’s going to be different, I think I’d like to give it another try sometime.

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Through Gates of Splendor

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I don’t have anything against this book!  I started reading it, and I found it interesting enough.  I just think I wasn’t in the mood for a book like Through Gates of Splendor, when I tried reading it.  I’m sure I’ll give it another try someday!

 

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Pride and Prejudice

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This is another book that I picked up that I just don’t think I was quite in the mood to read.  I tried reading Pride and Prejudice during a super busy time, and I just didn’t quite have the time or energy to devote myself to it.  I definitely plan on giving Pride and Prejudice a second chance very soon!

 

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Swiss Family Robinson

Swiss Family Robinson.jpgYou guys.  5th grade me HATED this book!  It drove me crazy the way he always said “said I.”  I don’t know why, but it just bothered me so much that it was always worded like that. 😂  Luckily, my teacher was so chill, and she also hated the book, that she didn’t make me finish it.  She gave me an alternate assignment to do instead.  I actually have no idea how The Swiss Family Robinson ends though, and there’s a part of me that would really like to know.  I remember one of my classmates said it was the saddest book he ever read.  So, I’m both scared and intrigued to give this one another try.

Check it out on Goodreads!

 

The Monstrumologist

the monstrumologist.jpgI tried reading this book a couple years ago because I though it would be a fun and creepy read for Halloween.  That being said, The Monstrumologist was just too much for me at the time.  The descriptions in the first couple of chapters were just so gruesome!  I do think the actual plot of this book sounds really intriguing, so I may try again sometime.  If the descriptions throughout the rest of the book stay too gross and graphic though, I’ll probably end up DNFing it for good.

 

 

Check it out on Goodreads!

 


Those are my picks for this week’s TTT.  What are some books that you may have DNF’d too soon?

Thanks for reading!


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