2018 Reflection / December Wrap-Up

Hello fellow readers! Happy holidays! I hope that your all doing well. I am experimenting with this new editor mode so please, bear with me!

Looking Back:

I took a little break from the blog towards the end of 2018 to focus on some big changes in my life. I completed another semester with a 4.0 and I started a new exciting job. Things are moving a mile a minute and I am trying to soak up as much down time as I possibly can.

This year was an incredible reading year for me! I accomplished my Goodreads goal of 100 books!!! It is crazy to think with everything going on that I read so much. This was the year of amazing reads, let me tell you. I even read classics! I can’t tell you the last time I did that willingly, but I have grown to appreciate them in a brand new light.

Even better, I even started to write my own book. It has been a time of trials and tribulations, but I am taking each in stride as I continue to learn. I am prepping myself to submit to a creative journal through my school… but that is a post for another day!

Favorite Posts of the Year:

This year I had some favorite posts… some of them you guys really loved too which was exciting! I am always looking to grow and reach out to more readers with new and exciting posts. This year was a time of reviews, book hauls, and book birthdays. It wouldn’t be an end of the year reflection without giving a shout-out to my favorite posts!

The Final Empire: Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension: Brandon Sanderson

The Hero of Ages: Brandon Sanderson

July 2018 Wrap Up

Kingdom of Ash: Sarah J. Maas (Book Birthday)

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2018)

Favorite Books of the Year:

Now for this question, the list is extensive. As previously mentioned, I have read some fantastic books this year. Instead of blubbering on about all of the tears I shed, smiles etched on my cheeks, or sassy emotions that I felt, I feel that a photo collage is the best route. Again, I cannot express how fantastic these books were! They all received 5 stars and are completely worth picking up.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has stumbled across my blog and has taken the time to give it a look. I appreciate each and everyone of you. I wish you all a very Happy 2019! May the books be ever in our favor! Happy holidays everyone!

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Book Birthday: Kingdom of Ash (10/23/18)

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IT’S HERE, IT’S FINALLY HERE

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We have a book birthday everyone!!!!!! Wanting to wish Kingdom of Ash a very special happy birthday. This is the final novel of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series and I know that my heart will be ripped to shreds. On the other hand, look at that cover!

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Description of Throne of Glass via Goodreads: 

“Nothing is a coincidence. Everything has a purpose. You were meant to come to this castle, just as you were meant to be an assassin.”

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the King’s Champion and be released from prison.

Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her.

And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing Celaena never thought she’d have again: a friend.

But something evil dwells in the castle—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival—and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.


I will leave you all now to go cry as I read. I hope you enjoy!

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September 2018 Wrap-Up

Hello readers! I know I say this almost every post but I do hope that you’re all doing well. Happy fall time!!!!! I am so beyond excited that we are in October. The sweaters are out, the candy corn is being consumed, and the weather is growing chilly. I am one happy girl.


Life update:

September was the a fast month for me. I am bogged down with school work and actual work at the moment. I am trying to take some time to relax this month and take a breather.


Book wrap-up:

I completed nothing of pleasure this month, but I did read two fantastic classics. First, I read a good majority of Poe’s short stories. I also read Emerson’s Nature which I already adore.


Entertainment: 

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I have been jamming out to Marshmello and Bastille’s new song. I have really been loving the beat and the music video made me sob uncontrollably.


Blog Posts for September:

Escaping from Houdini: Kerri Maniscalco

The Way of Kings: Brandon Sanderson 


Currently reading:

I am still continuing on with my listening/reading of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson! I am loving it so much so far. I am about 140 pages in and taking my time with it. Listening to it on my school/work commute makes my days brighter.

I also just picked up The Last Magician at the bookstore yesterday and I plan to start it this evening. I have heard fantastic things about it via Regan from peruseproject on YouTube. I highly suggest her channel if you like book reviews/great book vlogs!

 

The Way of Kings: Brandon Sanderson

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Book Information

Published: August 31st 2010 by Tor Books

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Page Count: 1007

Amazon: Hardcover – $18.87 / Paperback – $11.76

Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $26.99 / Paperback – $14.24


Description via Goodreads:

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.


Have you ever read a book that has stuck with you long after you put it down? Or how about a certain character? Well, I have found myself in both of these situations once again. The Way of Kings has found a way to stay in the back of my mind for the past two weeks while I formulated this review.

I jumped into The Way of Kings right after I finished era I of the Mistborn Trilogy. I was high on Sanderson’s writing and I couldn’t imagine not picking up another one of his books. This one grabbed me from the first chapter and it was hard to put down.

I love books that are character heavy and that focus on the characters and their backstories. Sanderson writes characters so well and I think that is one of the main reasons why I find myself coming back to his work. The Way of Kings is a monster of a book and I think that the characters that are present are fantastically written.

We follow three different characters and their journeys. This includes Kaladin (Hello new book boyfriend!), Dalinar, and Shallan. I took right away to Kaladin’s sections and they were some of my absolute favorites. There was so much dimension to Kaladin and his backstory. I found myself looking forward to reading about what shaped him to become the man he was when we meet him.

It took me more time to get on board with Dalinar and Shallan’s chapters. I wasn’t blown away by them at first but around 1/3 of the way into the book, I changed my tune. I found Shallan’s chapters very interesting because of her own personal mission (I don’t want to spoil anything so I have to leave it at “mission”) and her talks about her love of drawing. Dalinar’s chapters gave me more insight into the war and especially the past which was fantastic!

Since this book is so large, there will be slower sections, but even then there was no drag in this book. I believe that is partially because readers are essentially following three different storylines. What I loved the most was the side characters in the storylines, especially Kaladin’s bridge members. They were likable from the get-go and I loved the sections they were in because each one had their own contribution to Kaladin’s life and situation.

The plot is intricate and intriguing. There is a main component (I can’t spoil it!) that brings all of these characters to where they are in book one. I am interested in seeing how Sanderson continues to approach each book, because the The Way of Kings takes you several different places during its 1007 page run.

The setting is also fantastic! We follow 2/3 characters on the Shattered Plains and it is such a strange environment. The creatures and conditions that Sanderson introduces us to are creeping and scary, and utterly perfect. Our other main character is away in another part of Roshar and is in a kingdom where tensions are high and mysterious things are occurring.

I also have to highly recommend the audiobook for The Way of Kings. I started listening to the audiobook as well as reading my physical copy and I loved it so much! I usually don’t like audiobooks, but because I have a long commute now, I was able to listen on the go and it was fantastic. The narrators are Michael Kramer and Kate Reading and they elevated the experience.

Of course this book is a 10/10! I loved it so much and this was an amazing first chapter to an epic fantasy series. I am currently only a few pages into Words of Radiance but I am itching to get back in as soon as I can!


Favorite Quotes:

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”

“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”

This book was given 5/5 star rating on Goodreads. 

Book Birthday: Escaping from Houdini (9/18/18)

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Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Escaping from Houdini, happy birthday to you!

That’s right fellow readers, we have a book birthday!! Today Escaping from Houdini hits shelves and I cannot be more excited. This is one of my Top 3 books for this year and I am already in the midst of reading it. This is the third book in Kerri Maniscalco’s series and it is possibly one of my all time favorites.

In this novel follow alongside Audrey Rose and Thomas as they set sail to America. Of course, there will be a few bumps along the way….

I don’t want to give any spoilers along the way, but below is the synopsis of the first novel along with where to purchase the books!


Description of Stalking Jack the Ripper via Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


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Stalking Jack the Ripper

Amazon (paperback): $7.48

Barnes and Noble (paperback): $8.24

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Hunting Prince Dracula

Amazon (paperback): $9.89

Barnes and Noble (paperback): $10.58

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Escaping from Houdini

Amazon (hardcover): $12.91

Barnes and Noble (hardcover): $16.14

You: Caroline Kepnes

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Book Information:

Published: September 30th 2014 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Page Count: 424

Amazon: Hardcover – $40.45 / Paperback – $10.48

Barnes and Noble: Hardcover – $22.27 / Paperback – $11.21


Description via Goodreads:

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.


What a trip this book was. I still am mind blown by everything and it made me rethink a lot of things. I don’t even want to try understand the high level of research this type of book needed, but the end result is truly chilling.

I picked this book up randomly, not really knowing much before going into it. My friend recommended it and she said it was fantastic. I don’t usually read thrillers but this one was different and her suggestion didn’t disappoint!

We are introduced to Joe and Beck through a seemingly innocent encounter, but Joe is anything but innocent. He wants to be engaging and funny, not to mention make a lasting impression on Beck. From the moment he see’s her he becomes obsessed. There is no question in his mind that he and Beck would be perfect.

The story is told by Joe’s POV and readers and thrust into his mind where things are just as scary. The writing kept me on edge the entire time, but I wasn’t surprised at some of the big reveals. I knew how this story was going to end before I finished the first chapter. I knew there wouldn’t be a happy ending but the ride along the way did keep me on the edge of my seat.

Joe is the classic unreliable narrator and it was intriguing to read about his attempts to blend in and create this new persona that he knew Beck would be interested in. Deep down he was cold and calculating and his obsession heightened that inside of him.

This book isn’t for the feint of heart. There were some very disturbing moments and some of the language is graphic. There was also a good amount of time spent on the thought of sex which was fine to me, but there was a large amount of it mentioned.

Overall, this was a good thriller. Joe was a very interesting character to examine and Beck had her messy moments. I think that if you like thrillers with more graphic content then this may be a book to pick up. Also, Lifetime is picking this up and turning it into a show which looks very good!

Favorite Quotes:

“The problem with books is that they end.”

“Work in a bookstore and learn that most people in this world feel guilty about being who they are.”

This book was given 4/5 star rating on Goodreads. (I would give it 101 stars would that I could).

July 2018 Wrap-Up

Hello readers! I know I say this almost every post but I do hope that you’re all doing well. Can you believe we are already done with July?! Where has the time gone? July was a great month for reading, movies, and music which is always great.


Life update: 

Not too much surprising has happened. I am just soaking up the sun and enjoying my last remaining weeks of school free fun. We are now entering August and sadly for me school starts up. It will be a grueling semester but I will be reading some great things and I will be chronicling those times along with you all.


Book wrap-up:

This month I had the best reading time! I discovered my new favorite series and one of my favorite authors. Big shout out goes to Brandon Sanderson for making me realize epic fantasy books don’t need to scare me, but the Lord Ruler does lol. In total this month I finished 3 books, all part of the same trilogy. I also have full book reviews for each of the books so I will have those linked below if you’re interested in taking a look.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson: 5/5 stars

Brandon Sanderson introduces readers to a world where the Dark Lord has won. Dive straight into a world of chaos and follow along with a crazy masterplan to destroy the higher power.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson: 5/5 stars

This is the second novel in the Mistborn trilogy so be prepared to get your mind blown!

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson: 5/5 stars

This is the third and final novel in the Mistborn era one trilogy and let me tell you… many tears will be shed.


Entertainment: 

First off we have two very different types of music that I have become obsessed with for the month of July!

Above we have the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again album. It has been on repeat since I saw the movie when it first came out over a week or so ago. I absolutely adored the first one’s soundtrack and this one was just as amazing! Some of my favorite songs are “One Of Us” and “I Kissed the Teacher.” I have also been loving Ariana Grande’s new song God is a woman. Sooooo good!

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The movie that took the cake this month was Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I have seen it twice so far in theatre’s and I am not at all ashamed. It was so good and I adored the characters and to see Cher on the big screen for the first time in my case was an experience. I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed Mamma Mia!.

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Lastly, I have found myself rewatching The Office via Netflix this month. I needed a good laugh and that show never fails to make me smile.


Blog posts for July:

The Final Empire: Brandon Sanderson

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2018)

The Well of Ascension: Brandon Sanderson

Sunday Post: 7/15/18

The Hero of Ages: Brandon Sanderson

Sunday Post: 7/22/18

Book Haul: July 2018

Sunday Post: 7/29/18


Currently reading:

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I am stepping into August by carrying over my July read of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I am taking my time and enjoying this first book!


How did your July go? What is on your currently reading list? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear about it!

Thank you so much for reading and I will catch you at my next post. May we all have a great new month ahead!

-Samantha 🙂

Feel free to follow my new book Twitter for more book updates and pictures of my pets!

*The featured photo was found on Pinterest. All credit goes to the original owner.