The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (ARC review)

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 448 pages
Song I Played While Reading: Generationwhy by Zhu
Rating: 3.5 stars

New York City as you've never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible- if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred yeas into the future, New York is city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something... and everyone has something to lose. 
Leda Cole's flawless exterior belies a secret addiction- to a drug she never should have tried, and a boy she never should have touched.
Eris Dodd-Radson's beautiful, carefree life fall to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
Rylin Myers's job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world- and a romance- she never imagined... but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?
Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he's hired to spy by an upper floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl that genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all- yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

This book was a whirlwind, so much so that I need to break up this review into parts just so I don't jump all over the place.

The setting: Can we TALK about this Tower for a second? Now, going into this, I just thought it was a simple, albeit very fancy, hotel. I was completely wrong. This building was literally New York City. If you could cram a city into a hotel, that's what this was. It was actually a little jarring, because I had this set vision, and then all of the sudden Avery is talking about walking down her boulevard, across the grass, watching the fake trees swaying in the breeze. And I was like woah, woah, REWIND. Turns out this Tower is so fancy and futuristic that you never have to leave it. There's schools, offices, playgrounds, greenhouses, hovercars, restaurants, trains, etc. The higher you go in the Tower, the more it looks like the outside world. The most confusing part (at least for me) was some of the monuments. For example, the Tower either had some sort of tunnel that led to 2118's version of Central Park, or Central Park was attached to it. All McGee said was that actual pieces from the original Central Park were inputed into the Tower's version. But why? Did something happen to it, or did the builders of the Tower just want easy access to it?
Which leads me to my biggest issue, which was the lack of history. Did technology advance at a normal pace, or did something happen where society needed all this high-tech stuff? What happened to all the original monuments? Why were they put into the Tower? I love history, because it helps me to understand the world in a book better, especially ones that take place in the future. So I think getting some background would've been really helpful. But I do have to give McGee kudos: she knew her shit. It's obvious she researched everything she could about futuristic technology. Hydraulic this and magnetic that and blah blah blah.

The plot: The Thousandth Floor pulled me in from the beginning. I was intrigued by the world and the characters, and was super excited to see how the rich and glamorous live. I'm a die-hard Gossip Girl fan (the books, not the TV show), and was absolutely obsessed when I was younger. GG basically introduced me to the fashion industry. So I was excited to read that this read similar to it, in the sense that it focuses heavily on the drama of these rich kids. It did get a little monotonous in the middle section, which was where I really struggled, because it felt like McGee was trying to pump as much drama as she could into the storyline, and got some of it tangled up. But she managed to save it by the end, because I was basically hyperventilating. Everything came to this huge crescendo right at the end and I was like "WHERE'S MY BROWN PAPER BAG, I CAN'T BREATHE."

The characters: I thought McGee pulled off the multiple narrations pretty well. They each had their own quirks, and even though I got a little tired of how narrow-minded some of them could be, I had to remind myself that this was how they grew up. They didn't mean to come across as bratty as they did.

Overall, this was a solid start to this trilogy (series?). I loved how McGee ended it, and how she tied everything up, leaving room for new problems and new romances. I can't wait for the sequel!
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Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler release day blitz + giveaway!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: July 19th, 2016
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, ebook

The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City in this wickedly funny debut about a girl who lands a dream internship at a magazine in New York City. If only she hadn't lied about being a dating expert on her resume...

Harper Anderson as always thought she should have been born somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittirck's backyard can one girl take?
Already resigned to working at a Skinny B's Juice Press for the summer, Harper is shocked when the ultra-prestigious teen magazine, Shift, calls to say they want her to be their teen dating blogger for the summer. All she needs to do is get her but to New York in two days.
There's just one teen, tiny problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn't have a whole lot of dating experience So when Shift's application asked for an "edgy" personal essay, Harper might have misappropriated her best friend's experience for her own. But she can just learn on the job... right? Will the house of lies Harper built around her dream job collapse all around her, or will she be able to fake it until she makes it in the big city?

About Laura Stampler
Laura Stampler is a California turned New Yorker. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a journalist, interning - and then worked on staff - at various newspapers and magazines. Laura has written everything from dating to social media stars to justice issues at Time magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. When she isn't writing, she's probably looking at pug gifs on the internet.

Twitter / Tumblr / Instagram / Goodreads

A hardcover copy of Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies to TWO (2) winners - US only


(Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway is US only. Ends July 26th at 11:59 PM Pacific. Book will be ordered from Amazon. Prizing courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours.)

Follow the tour!
Week Three
July 18th - Swoony Boys Podcast - Review & Character Interview
July 19th - Book Briefs - Review
July 19th - A Dream Within a Dream - Guest Post
July 19th - All The Crannies - Review
July 20th - The Mind of a Book Dragon - Review
July 20th - Dazzled by books - Author Interview
July 21st - Vibin With Books - Review
July 21st - The Recipe Fairy - Guest Post
July 21st - Oh, For The Love of Stories - Review
July 22nd - Books and Bindings - Review
July 22nd - Underneath the Covers - Guest Post
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The V Girl by Mya Roberts excerpt!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I got my dates mixed up with my tour date (I was a month off), so I had to repost this. Sorry for any confusion!

The V Girl by Mya Roberts
Publisher: N/A
Publication date: July 1st, 2014
Pages: 363

In post-apocalyptic North America, sexual slavery is legal. Lila Velez desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute for love. 

Lila’s coping mechanism to cope with her mother’s loss is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey F├╝rst, a foreign, broody man who she distrusts because of his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself. 

With threats looming at every turn and no way to escape, Lila fears that falling in love will only lead to more heartache. The consequences of laying down her arms for Aleksey and welcoming hope might destroy more than her heart. They might force her to face the worst of her nightmares becoming a reality. Is love possible in a world that has forgotten what the human touch is? 
Due to mature content, this book is intended for +18 readers.

   Aleksey's eyes turn to me as if asking, What is love for you, then?
   "It would take all afternoon to explain it."
   In responce, the back of his hand grazes my cheek. "We have all afternoon and, if you want, all night."
   All night. "Bare with me; this will be boring." I inhale deeply. "I think true love transcends time. The thunderbolt does not. Not if it strikes men the way you described."
   I start a sprint toward a glade where my favorite orange flowers grow. He catches up with me easily.
"Most girls prefer flowers over trees." I brush my fingers on the petals. "These flowers blossom quickly. They speak of passion, of beauty." I take a withering flower that has dropped to the ground and fondle it between my fingers. "But flowers don't last. They wither easily and have limited growth. A tree speaks not of passion, but sturdiness. Yet, it grows higher and last longer. Some of these trees were here before I was born, and they'll be here once I'm gone."
   My head falls back as I look at the highest tree. "Real love ought to be more like a tree and less like a flower." I sigh loudly. "That's the kind of love my parents had. It wasn't as consuming as it was everlasting. And you see that tree over there?" I point toward a cluster of trees across from us. "Now it's only showing green leaves, but in spring it's covered in flowers. Because as reliable as trees are, they can also speak of beauty and passion."

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks
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The Graces by Laure Eve (ARC review)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Graces by Laure Eve
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: September 1st, 2016
Pages: 432
Song I Played While Reading: Alarm by Anne Marie
Rating: 5 stars

   Everyone loves the Graces.
Fenrin Grace is larger than life, almost mythical. He's the school Pan, seducing girls without really meaning to. He charms them lazily until he grows tired, breaking their hearts quickly and cleanly, biding his time until someone special comes along. Someone different, who will make him wonder how he got along all this time without her. Someone like me.

Fenrin's twin, Thalia, is a willowy beauty with rippling, honey-colored hair. She's a graceful gypsy who stands aloof - cool without even trying. Wherever she goes, Thalia leaves behind a band of followers who want to emulate her. She casts spells over everyone she encounters, just like Fenrin - even if they both deny it.

Then there's Summer. She's the youngest Grace, and the only one who admits she's really a witch. Summer is brooding, untamable, and lovely. She's dark on the outside - with jet-black hair and kohl-rimmed eyes - and on the inside. She's got a tempest of emotions roiling within her. It was inevitable that she'd find me, the new girl - a loner with secrets lurking under the surface.

I am River. I am not a Grace. But I'll do anything to become one. 

Let's give a round of a applause for not only the designer of the cover (gorgeous, right?), but whoever wrote the summary. It's fucking genius. It hooks you in, wondering just what the hell this is about. Who are the Graces? Who is River? And why is she so confident she'll fit in with them?
I'm going to keep this short, since I don't want to spoil anything. You need to go in blind, maybe a little in awe of River's confidence, but relatively blind. There's a reason for it, and it fucking works. I had no idea what to expect, and I was so blown away. The instant I started reading The Graces, I knew I was a goner.
Eve's writing is so encompassing, so beautiful and rich, that it kind of smacked me in the face. It reminded me why I loved reading so much, and why I had chosen to DNF the last book I had been reading, How To Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather. I remember thinking to myself "This is what a book should be like. Not something lifeless and dull, but full to bursting with life and its tragedies and hopeful moments."
Eerie, dark, tragically beautiful, and otherworldly, The Graces is something that I think a lot of people won't be expecting. It'll stab you right in the heart, and leave you gasping for the sequel.
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A slightly new feature coming to the blog!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In lieu of a couple revelations that I had last week, I was stuck with the issue of trying to figure out what books I would formally review on my blog. Since I have a natural tendency to want to review everything that I read, I decided that I would start utilizing Goodreads. I always write something on there as it is, even if it's just as simple as "Loved it!" or something like that. I'll start writing a little more, maybe a sentence or two, and then will link the post in my review section. It'll look a little something like this:

I might tweak the way that looks a little bit, or even have a separate section for reviews that are posted solely on Goodreads. (I'm open to suggestions or opinions!)

I figured out that I'll formally reviews books that either a) I'm a part of the blog tour for, b) I was asked/sent to review, or c) it was really fucking good. So far, I only have two reviews link to Goodreads: Caraval by Stephanie Garber, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I'm the black sheep in the rage for Caraval (I thought it was okay) but LOVED Quiet. If anyone wants to know anything about what it means to be an introvert or an extrovert, or don't understand how you can possibly live in this obnoxious world when all you want to do is read and drink coffee (I feel you), then please read this. It's wonderful.
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My quirky little review of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Thursday, July 7, 2016

   Finishing a beloved series is difficult. 
   I'm more of a realist in the sense that everything needs to end eventually. You can make a series 10+ books if you want, but you need to stop at some point. Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf had a fantastic discussion about the continuation of a series, and she ended it by asking if we were the kind of reader who would never want a series to end. I realized I wasn't, and said that the quality of the story would lesson as time went on. There's magic in the story because it has a cause. Whether that be from overthrowing a totalitarian government or stopping an evil villain (if we're talking fantasy here), or overcoming the death of a family member or getting into the college of your dreams, we're hooked by this quest. If we care about the characters, we want to see them overcome whatever obstacle that stands in their way. We care, sometimes too much.
   So, for me, even though it physically hurts to finish a series, especially one that has hooked me in and sunk its claws deep, I'm also happy it's ending. It deserves a good ending. So, like I said earlier, finishing a beloved series is difficult.
   As some of you may or may not know, I listen to music when I read. I made a post about it, with some examples of my favorite books and their corresponding music. To sum it up: I pick my song based primarily on sound, not by the lyrics. It has to fit the mood of the book. If it doesn't, it's like nails on a chalkboard for me. Finding that perfect song enhances my reading experience tenfold, and I honestly can't imagine not listening to anything while I read. Plus, I have a slight case of ADD, so listening to music blocks out any distractions so I can focus more on the story.
   I'm not sure if this happens with everyone or not, but playing a song repeatedly while reading a book almost, I don't know, glues the song to the story. You know how shows have theme songs? Take I'll Be There For You, the Friends theme song. You can't play it without thinking of Friends. Every vocal chord, sound, and instrument is ingrained in that show. If you hear a similar note in a different song, you think of it. That's how it is for me. If one of my theme songs comes on, for a split second, I'm ripped away from whatever I'm doing and thrown into a kaleidoscope of that book. Characters, scenes, and feelings come rushing at me. Then it pulls back, like the tide, and I'm back to reality, but it's resting in the back of my head, always sitting next to me and reminding me of the book or series.
So, not only do I mourn the ending of this series and its character's and their struggles, but I'm mourning the feelings. I'm mourning that kaleidoscope, because it'll never be as strong as it is when I finish a book. I'm 100% immersed in the story and the music, which creates this entity that I really have no words for. It's like the finishing notes at a play; you realize it's ending as the music is being drawn out, and you're simultaneously trying to fit every sound and smell and feeling into your memory, while thinking to yourself "This is it, this is it, this is it."

   Which leads me this: my review of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to construct this post. I knew I wanted to write a little something before, since this is an anticipated final book in a series, but since I wrote so much, I decided to write this review in two parts. The first will be a very short overall summary of my feelings. The second will feature some of my concerns, which will obviously contain spoilers. So, let's get into it!

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Pages: 439
Song I Played While Reading: Faith and How Deep Is Your Love by Calvin Harris
Rating: 4 stars

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

   I thought The Raven King was a fantastic ending, especially for its characters, which isn't very surprising since this is a character driven story. I do have a couple concerns and a slight disappointment for how a certain quest in this story ended, but it was overshadowed by the overall feeling of rightness. Steivfater's writing was even more amazing, which I didn't think was possible. If you've read the rest of these series, but for some reason have yet to read this, READ IT. Please.

   Okay, to try and keep this entire post as short as possible, I'm just going to talk quickly about the few things that either confused me or disappointed me.
Firstly, the anti-climactic scene of finding Glendower. WHAT. WAS. THAT? Was Steifvater trying to shock us? Throw us for a loop? Because I was just disappointed. The gang goes through so much to find this damn king, and yet, he's just dead. "Whoops, I wrote an entire serious where one of the main plot points was finding a sleeping Welsh King that one of my characters spent years of his life pursuing, but I'm just going to crush everyone's dreams and waste everyone's time and have him be dead this entire time. Yeah! Sounds good to me."
   I wanted this huge climactic scene where Gansey dies and everyone is heartbroken and sobbing and finds the king and asks him to spare Gansey. I wanted that angst! Not Gansey fucking fist-bumping Adam, saying "Thanks for everything" or whatever the hell he says, and then telling Blue to kiss him, all the while they're on the side of the road in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere. And then he dies and everyone is just silent. Sad, yes, but virtually silent. The only damn person who was even trying was Henry Cheng. (Who I appreciated, but was also very confused about, because why did Steifvater make him so vital so late in the story?)
   Then we have Noah, who supposedly masterminded this whole Welsh King charade, who's life is constantly in this circular motion, time traveling, very-confusing whirlpool thing. I don't know about anyone else, but time-traveling is very confusing on a good day for me. If it's just thrown in my face very quickly, I might as well be bashing my head against the wall. (And by this time traveling thing, I mean Steifvater spewing out that "Gansey felt like time was slipping away, as if he had already done this" sort of thing. That wasn't the exact sentence, but it was along the lines of that.) And then Noah just kind of went caput. We got absolutely no conclusion with him. Was he still a ghost? Did he finally travel on into the after life? Why was he suddenly having issues keeping up his normal facade now?
   Also, Mr. Gray just went caput too. In fact, that whole scene with him "becoming a king" and wanting to change the magic-dealing business was never wrapped up. What happened after the creepy triplet killed Piper and the demon was feeding from her? I'm assuming Mr. Gray got away. Did he end up going back with Maura or going off on his own? WHY WAS THIS NOT RESOLVED, I LOVED MR. GRAY.

   Alright, I think that's it. Even though I felt strongly about some of this stuff, I still LOVED this conclusion. The first half of the story, like the toga party and The Orphan Girl, were heart-shatteringly adorable. I could scarcely breathe whenever Gansey and Blue openly held hands or hugged each other.

Let's chat! Have you read The Raven King? If so, what were your thoughts on it? And do you play music while you read? Let me know down in the comments! :)
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Monthly wrap-up: June 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hi guys! As I've said, and felt, with probably every monthly wrap-up, I can't believe this month is already over. June went by SO freaking fast. May had an excuse: the first two weeks were filled with finals, BEA, and visiting friends and family (which was not an easy feet and I don't understand how I survived), while the last half was adjusting back to life and my summer work schedule (which Rihanna summed up with Work because WERK). June was just June, but apparently it wanted to be a fast June, which was kind of okay with me.
I got back on track with my normal reading schedule this month, read some faaaaaantastic books, listened to some faaaaaaaaantastic music, and just apparently had an all around fantastic time. Let's get into it, shall we?

The Dreamer by E. J. Mellow - 4.5 stars // Goodreads

Elementals: The Head of Medusa by Michelle Meadow - 3.5 stars // Goodreads

Mosquitoland by David Arnold - 4.5 stars // Goodreads

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (reread) // Goodreads

I wont lie: I thought I had read more. But I've been DNF'ing a lot of books lately, so it always seems like I've read more than I actually have. But for only reading five books, they were some kick-ass books, so I guess I would rather read fewer books and enjoy them more, versus reading a lot more and not enjoying all of them. A Court of Mist and Fury and Mosquitoland were both my favorites of this month, ACOMAF because it was fucking ACOMAF and that needs no explanation, while Mosquitoland had bunch of quirky and hilarious characters that pulled at my heartstrings. 

On the blog
I kicked off June with my A Court of Mist and Fury review, then had my usual slew of "Happy Monday!" posts, which are, sadly, being kicked to the curb with some revelations that I had in this blog post. I was a part of two blog tours, The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder and Elementals: The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow. Next, I talked about my top favorites for the first half of 2016, then did a tag talking about some intimidating books in my TBR. I reviewed The Dreamer (highly suggest for anyone looking for a fun NA fantasy) and Mosquitoland, which I loooooooved. 

Music I've been loving
It's officially summer, which means my love for county music is reemerging. I was a huge fan in high school, but kind of fell out of it when EDM came and kicked its ass to the side. But there's just something about summer time and country music that go so well together, you know? It's probably because most country music revolves around summer time, but still. I can't jam to country in the winter. No. I've also been reeeeeeally into listening to acoustic in the morning when I'm drinking my coffee and checking my emails. It's such a soothing way to start off my day, and it leaves me feeling happy and content. 

Into You by Ariana Grande // Talk by DJ Snake // Guillotine by Jon Bellion // Too Good by Drake // Needed Me by Rihanna // Can't Stop The Feelings by Justin Timberlake // Bartender by Lady Antebellum // Sangria by Blake Shelton // Home Alone Tonight by Luke Bryon // That's My Kind of Night by Luke Bryon // Runaway by Ziggy Alberts // Home by Dotan // Like Real People Do by Hozier // Georgia by Vance Joy

Books I got this month
I went used bookstore hunting and found some good shit, my friends. REAL GOOD SHIT.

Frankenstein by Shelley Mary
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly 
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
World Without End by Ken Follett

I'm a part of the blog tour for Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler, then was contacted by Nelou Keramati to read her debut novel, The Fray Theory, which, let me tell you, sounds AMAZING. Then I ordered And I Darken by Kiersten White because I've been wanting this gorgeous novel since I first heard about it.  

Life shenanigans
A lot of exciting things have been happening, especially pertaining to my blog and Instagram. Two publishing companies emailed me saying they loved my Instagram and wanted to add me to their mailing list, while a new book subscription box asked if they could send me a box for free for review. I, naturally, almost died with all of these emails, but the cherry on top was getting asked to be an Ambassador for Lit Without Limits. Lit Without Limits is a non profit organization that sends empowering books to girls in mentoring groups. It's all about being a #girlboss, and I'm so incredibly honored that Haley asked me to join their team. I'll be moving in August to a bigger town, and I plan on going to the local library and asking if I can start a book club in connection with Lit Without Limits. Not only will it be great because I'll be meeting girls who live near me, but it'll bring a strong dose of empowerment to the town, plus I've always wanted to join a book club. So why not start my own? 
If you have any interest in joining, whether that be becoming an Ambassador, volunteering, or even donating, please check out the website for more information! Then email if you want to jump in on this amazing chance. You don't have to anything crazy or out of your comfort zone. One of the options when becoming an Ambassador was speaking at schools or at a church, and I told Haley right away there was no way I could do that. She replied immediately that I was to do whatever I was comfortable with. I think a book club is a really good start. (Also, if anyone lives near Sacramento, please let me know! I would love it if a fellow book blogger would come to the book club.)
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Revelations, a call for books, and an overall life update!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

If there's one thing I've learned since moving cross-country (I'm a midwest gal living in California), it's how to be me. Sort of.
I'm not saying I'm 100% at ease with who I am. There are some days when I wish I could be more outspoken, other days when I wish I was more thoughtful. But I've definitely gotten to know myself better. Not socializing with anyone your age for 3 months, then keeping a close-knit group of friends, really gives you a lot of time to yourself. I've been slowly getting into the groove of blogging and reviewing, which I didn't think would take this long because there's not much to it. In the beginning, I just based what I knew off of what I've seen on other blogs. But I've come to realize that, though blogging is pretty straight-forward, everyone has their own little niche. There's different review styles and post content. Some people strive to post as often as possible while other people prefer once a week.
So, as I've slowly come to this realization, I've been noticing my tendencies. As I tried certain approaches to blogging, I learned what I did and didn't like. It's been pretty interesting, since it completely changed from the beginning. I thought I had realized how I liked reviewing and spacing out my posts, but it's changed in the past couple of months. I'm not sure if it's because I started college, so I don't have as much time to post as often, or if it's because I'm coming into my own. Who knows? This'll probably all change in a few months, and my blogging tendencies will flip again. But what's important is the present and what makes me feel like I'm running my blog that way I want to run it, not somebody else's. So, here are a few of my realizations.

I don't like posting more than 3 times a week.
Hell, I almost don't even like posting more than once a week! Obviously, if I have a multiple reviews scheduled for a certain week, then I'm just SOL and it's my fault for not looking at the dates. Or if things just happen to align during a single week, that's fine. But to me, I want to post quality reviews, discussions, or monthly recaps. I don't want to whip out posts that are just 'eh', just for the sake of having new content all the time. Quality over quantity, my friends.
The issue with this though, is my weekly "Happy Monday!" post. If you just stumbled upon my blog, "Happy Monday!" is a weekly post I do on (you guessed it) Monday's that feature what I read the week before, what I'm currently reading, my TBR for the week, music I was loving, posts I uploaded prior, etc. It's basically the Sunday recap post I see a lot of people do, but I just choose to do it on Mondays. For the sake of my sanity, I'm just going to throw that out and cram all that in my monthly recap.

I'm not going to review every book I read.
You're probably thinking "What?! You review every book you read?" YES. I DO. It didn't even occur to me that people didn't do this! What's funny is that I only noticed this in the last month or so. I remember I was looking for a certain review on someone's blog, because I had seen on their Instagram that they had read the book, and I was confused on why they hadn't written one up yet. I write my reviews pretty quickly after I finish a book because everything is fresh in my mind. I'm still (usually) drowning in the feels and need to write my thoughts down. So, as I've been following more and more people on Instagram and seeing what they're reading, and then seeing their lack of reviews, I was puzzled. It really hit me when I was stalking Grace Smith's blog and noticed how little reviews she had, considering she reads 200-300 books a year. It was literally a smack to the face: people didn't review every book they read??? Oh my god. Then I asked on twitter if everyone formally reviewed every book they read, and literally every person said no. I'm still stunned.
It's going to be really hard to break the habit. It literally makes my cringe, since I just have a natural tendency to let everyone know my feelings on every book I read. But a) that won't work with my one-post-a-week revelation, and b) that seriously won't work with my one-post-a-week-revelation. My one comfort in this is that I can post smaller reviews on Goodreads. I rate everything on there as it is, so if I don't want to write up a full blown review, I can just write a small thing on there and link it in my blog. Or I can do a post on a bunch of mini-reviews. There are possibilities, Mariah, and either way, people will know your feelings. CHILL. BREATHE.

My taste in reading material is broadening.
I find myself yearning to read non-fictions, biographies, poems, and basically every genre all of the sudden. I love YA dearly, and this isn't me saying I'm growing out of it. Hell to the no. Go look at my TBR bookcase and the huge ass pile of YA books that can't fit on it, and dare me to say I don't love YA. But I want to read more and learn about everything. I'm even reading about the news and politics, which before, I could barely stomach to do. I just thought it was too depressing and stressful. But I'm sick of being unaware. I don't want to be ignorant to the world, because it's real and scary and important. Knowledge is power, which is apparent when I'm informing my own mother of things happening in the world and I feel a sudden sense of strength, like hell yes I (kind of) know what I'm talking about!
So, please, please, PLEASE comment down below any favorite poems, non-fictions, historical fics, biographies, and basically anything else informative and interesting. For example, I'm reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and am absolutely loving it. So cool!

Don't stress over blogging.
This is a huge thing. A couple weeks ago, I wasn't in the mood to read. It wasn't a book-hangover, or even a book slump (though, at the time, I called it that). I just didn't want to read. Instead, I watched the entire first part of season one of Outlander (and it was amazing). I called it a book slump just because that was my natural reaction to this feeling of not wanting to read, which is a little ridiculous, as if something was wrong with me.
If I don't want to read, that's OKAY. I had to realize that. At first, I struggled with not forcing myself to read because I knew it would set me back on my Goodreads challenge. Then I worried that I wouldn't have any blog posts for the week, and stressed over that for a couple hours. I had the whole week off from work, so I had lots of free time, and it was amazing how guilty I felt just because I wasn't reading. I need to get "BLOGGING IS A FUN HOBBY," tattooed on my forehead. Also, "IT'S OKAY NOT TO READ SOMETIMES," and "JAMIE FRASER IS A BEAUTIFUL."
I think my quality over quantity mentality will really help in my quest to not stress over blogging. So what if I don't read anything? So what if I don't post something in a week? So what? Blogging, when it comes down to it, is for me. No one else. There's just an added bonus that I have followers.

Don't stress over blogging pt. 2
It used to bother me that I had so many more followers on Instagram than I did on here. I've seen other people do this sort of comparison, and it comforted me knowing that other people shared this insecurity. But I've come realize that that's just what makes me... me. I'm better at taking pictures, writing a short caption, and letting it fly free on Instagram than I am blogging. It's more personal, which is definitely something I'm very good at controlling. Blogging is more professional, and I'm not quite there yet. There's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of a blog than there is in an Instagram post.

Course it's not like anything is going to really change. All you're gonna notice is that I'll be posting less (ish). But I wanted to get this out there just in case things are a little wacky at first, since I'm still settling into these new revelations. I also have some super exciting things going on that I can't wait to talk about, so stay tuned! Thank you guys for being so amazing and kind and understanding.

Let's chat! What are your favorite non-YA books? Have you ever struggled with anything I've mentioned? Are you also drowning in your TBR pile? Because SAME.
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