Midyear Reading Goals Check In

As I go to write this post, it turns out I didn’t make a lot of solid goals for this year. Most of them are spread across a few different posts, so I will be checking in with a few different posts. Let’s get going and see how I am doing so far this year.


2017 Series Bucket List

This is a post I did to talk about the series I want to either start or finish this year. I am also doing the Series Ender’s Challenge in conjunction with this goal.

Series To Finish

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I haven’t finished these series yet. However, I think I am still on track to finish them. I have The Well of Ascension from the Mistborn series sitting beside my bed waiting for me to start next. I have the last book in the Snow Like Ashes left to read, which will happen this summer. It is currently packed waiting to move, so I will read it when I get to my new apartment. Lastly, I have 2 books left in The Heroes of Olympus series. If I read one in the summer and other in the fall, I will be done.

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This is the series that I finished this year. Woohoo!! It was a struggle to finish, and I nearly DNF’d it, but I did finally finish.

Series to Start

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I haven’t started any of them. I swear I have had them on every monthly TBR, and haven’t picked them up yet. They will get some priority soon.


Books I Need to Read by the End of 2017

This was a Top 10 Tuesday topic and when I did it I put some of the oldest books from my TBR in it. I haven’t read very many of them, so I need to focus and get them done.

Read

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I have finished 2! Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I am currently reading Miss Peregrine’s so it will be read very soon.

Still Need To Read

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I think I really challenged myself with this one. But if I put my mind to it I can get through these books. I am still excited to read most of these, and if I hate them I can always DNF right?


Goodreads Challenge

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I am destroying this challenge so far this year. I challenged myself to 52 books, which is one a week. I am already at 41 books which is 17 ahead of schedule. I kind of want to read over 70 books this year, which is more than last year but I am not going to hold myself to that.


How are your goals going so far this year? Let me know 🙂

Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Genre: Contemporary
Publication: 4/7/2015 by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: eBook
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Summary
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

My Thoughts
I have heard so much about this book over the last 2 years, so it was finally time that I picked it up. I did enjoy this book, but it followed the same kind of story line as a lot of YA contemporaries that I have read. This book is diverse in that it is a M/M romance, which is awesome for someone who is looking for a story that represents them. But for me, it was still pretty predictable. I was much more invested once Blue and Simon met in real life. They were very adorable and I was really rooting for them.

One thing that did throw me off about this book was the description on masturbation. I like that it was normalized (because let’s me real we all do it) but I felt uncomfortable reading about a 16 year old doing it. I am much older than 16 and it just felt uncomfortable. However, it was nice to see it normalized, so I am still conflicted about it.

In the end, this was an enjoyable read. I read it on vacation by the pool and I just flew through it. I would recommend if you are looking for a cute contemporary. It was pretty predictable but if you want a book that represents you better, check this out.

Midyear Book Freakout Tag | 2017

It’s already midyear! It’s that time of the year where I evaluate my reading progress for this year so far. I will go over my stats soon, but for now I am going to do one of my favourite tags. This tag was created by Chami at Readlikewildfire on Youtube so check her out for the original. Let’s get started!


1. Best You’ve Read so far in 2017

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A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

This is the last book in my new all time favourite series. So obviously it’s my new favourite for the year so far. I will always recommend this series.

{Review}

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read so far in 2017

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard

If I can’t pick A Conjuring of Light, my second favourite sequel so far this year is Windwitch. I think it added a lot to this series and it was a good book.

{Review}

3. Best Graphic Novel You’ve Read so far in 2017

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Lumberjanes, Vol 4: Out of Time

This is a category I added myself because I love comics so much they needed the love. I could have added both Volume 3 and 4 to this list but I choose Vol 4. However, they are all amazing and it’s my favourite comic series.

4. Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Need To

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This was a hard one to narrow down, but I have decided on When Dimple Met Rishi. It’s everywhere right now and I am very excited to read it. Contemporary isn’t normally my genre, I always try a few and this one is up my alley.

5. Most Anticipated Book for the Second Half of 2017

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One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

As a Fantasy reader there is always a sequel that I am super excited to get to. For the rest of the year I am really only waiting for 1 more sequel and it’s One Dark Throne. I really enjoyed Three Dark Crowns at the very beginning of the year, so of course I need the sequel. Very excited and I want to read this now.

6) Biggest Disappointment so Far in 2017

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

This was another category I had a hard time choosing for. This one won because I said it was one of my most anticipated released for 2016 in my post last year so I am definitely disappointed that it didn’t work out for me.

7) Biggest Surprise so far in 2017

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Goldie Vance Vol 1

This is a fantastic comic. It’s an Nancy Drew-esque story and it works so well in comic format. The second volume just recently came out and I need to read it soon. There is also a potential LGBT romance which would be amazing!

8) Favourite New (or New to You) Author 

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Becky Albertalli

This is a hard one for this year so far because I haven’t read a lot of new to me authors yet this year. I didn’t absolutely adore Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda but I did like it enough to want to check out her other new book.

9) Newest Fictional Crush

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Jay Asher

  This is cheating, because I knew about Jay Asher long before now. But I never actually crush on anybody in books, so this counts!

10) Newest Favourite Character

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Queen Arinsoe

I really enjoyed this book. I know a lot of people struggled with it but I am a fan. I really loved Arinsoe in this book and I can’t wait to see what happens to her in the next book.

11) A Book That Made You Cry

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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

This book is so conflicting for me! I was annoyed by half the book and was crying by the end of the book. Life is a struggle but yes I did end up crying at the end.

12) A Book That Made You Happy

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson just makes me laugh. I loved her second book so I obviously had to pick up her first one. It did not disappoint and I was shamelessly laughing on public transit. I can relate to Jenny so much and this book just made me happy.

13) Favourite Post You Did This Year

I have had been in a bit of a blogging slump recently. But I am very happy I made the move to WordPress this year. I have been really enjoying it. I also really enjoyed my Finished Series Update post, because it makes me feel like I am keeping organized by talking about series I have finished.

14) What Books Do You Need to Read By The End of the Year

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How was the first half of your year? Let me know down below! If you are interested here is my Midyear Tag from last year. Let’s hope the rest of the year treats us well and we read all the awesome books.

 

Review: Adnan’s Story: The Truth for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry

Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime
Publication: 8/9/2016 by St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 410 Pages
Format: eBook
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners

But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence — among many other points — and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan’s Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.

My Thoughts
I knew I needed to read this book as soon as I finished listening to the podcast, Serial. I am a Forensic Science student and we spent a lot of time discussing people who are actually innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. Adnan’s story is so similar to many of them but at the same time very different, especially considering that the ones I learn about generally contain DNA evidence. After listening to Serial, I needed to hear more evidence so that Adnan is actually innocent. This book did help give some clarity to the case and gave a much more personal recount of what happened.

I did have to put this book down the first time I tried to read it. However, I think that was because I was in the middle of school work and this story felt too much like school work at the time. I finished it on vacation, and did really enjoy it. There were some dry parts and at times I felt all 400 pages of it. However, if you loved Serial and want to know more I highly advise you check this book out. If you know nothing about this case, go listen to Serial.

Top 10 Tuesday : Backlist Books That I Have Recently Added to My TBR

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
It’s been a hot minute since I did a Top 10 Tuesday and I am very excited to be back. This week we are talking about new books we added to our TBRs. I am going to be talking about the backlist books that I have recently added to my Goodreads “want to read” self. All of these books are 2016 releases or older. Let’s get going.
  
The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock – I just added this book to my TBR a few minutes ago. I heard about it from looking at other people’s wrap ups. It’s an adult contemporary that takes place in Alaska. 
The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver – Another book added due to someone’s wrap up. My favourite way to find new books. This one follows a women who cheats on her husband and the story follows what happened after but also the alternative time line where she didn’t cheat. It sounds interesting and it got added.
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – I added this one because it’s a SciFi written by a Canadian author. I have heard lots of good things about it so it’s on my TBR.
  
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – I added this after I heard a few people talk about it last month. It’s about Henrietta Lacks who’s cells were taken to create HeLa cells. I am a scientist so I think this would be an important read for me.
Shockaholic & Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – After reading The Princess Diarist I need more Carrie Fisher in my life. Right after reading it, I added both her other memoirs onto my TBR and I can’t wait to read them.
   
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee – This is a memoir of Sungju and his story about trying to survive in North Korea then escaping. I have a few memoirs from North Koreans on my TBR and I seriously need to try them out. 
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith – I recently read The Cuckoo’s Calling and really enjoyed it so the rest of the series is now very much sitting on my TBR.
The Fireman by Joe Hill – When I went to add this book I didn’t really remember what this book was about. This is a book about a plague that causes people to burst into flames. Plagues intrigue me so I am going to check this one out.
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese – This book is another important book in Canadian Literature. It is about the 1960’s in Canada and residential schools. I need to read this.
What have you recently added to your TBR? Let me know 🙂 

Short and Sweet Reviews: Graphic Novel Edition #12

Descender Vol 2: Machine Moon
Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Steve Wands

I am really happy I picked up this series. It’s a really good story following a robot in a universe where robots are outlawed. The story is very interesting and the art work is very unique. The art does take some time to get used to but it really does suit the story. Also I never knew I could care so much about a tiny robot. If you are into SciFi I would recommend this series.

4 out of 5 Stars

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Know
Ryan North, Erica Henderson

Squirrel Girl is the most refreshing superhero ever. This series is hilarious and I am already excited to pick up the next volume. This one jumps back in time, and it’s a pretty interesting arch but not my absolute favourite from this series. I love how Squirrel Girl will tweet with Tony Stark and The Hulk on twitter, it’s just awesome.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Saga Volume 3 
Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

This series is very much growing on me. Enough so that I bought the rest of the series that is current released, ooops. Anyway, this was another good installment to the series. So far I have enjoyed each volume more than the last. I highly recommend if you are looking for a SciFi graphic novel. This one was kind of slower than the first 2 volumes, but I really enjoyed that aspect and getting to know our characters better.

4 out of 5 Stars

May in Review | 2017

 
 
Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir {3 out of 5 Stars}
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now {4 out of 5 Stars}
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas {3 out of 5 Stars}
Saga Volume 3 {4 out of 5 Stars}
Favourite of the Month: Saga Volume 3
Disappointment of the Moth: A Torch Against the Night
General Thoughts: This was a strange reading month. I found myself struggling with most of the books. I have had some huge life changes and I am trying to get back into my groove. Hopefully, with books that I love much more.
 
Beat the Backlist
6) A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
2017 New Releases Challenge
4) A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas