Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 2014 Wrap Up

Literally the worst reading month EVER. I failed this month. I really, really did. But in all honesty I'm not too sad about it. I read two books and I'm going to FLAUNT IT. Because you know what? I'm not going to read when I'm not in a reading mood. And September was not one of those months where I wanted to read all that much. So I didn't and I'm fine. Still coming to terms with the fact that achieving my Goodreads goal of 100 books by the end of the year is now practically impossible which is sad but oh well. It wasn't like I was going to reach it either way. So without further ado, the two books I managed to finish this month. (Also hi everyone. I'm back.)

Completed September 12, 2014
Ever since I saw the blindingly glittery cover at Indigo, I've been wanting to read this book. It's a satire/social commentary about the wealthy people in Eastern Asia and their lifestyles. And even though I am Chinese, reading about these families was such a foreign experience for me. It really is crazy to see what their lifestyle is like, though I'd be hesitant to take this book completely seriously just because it is supposed to be very exaggerated and ridiculous. While I also felt like it was a little too long, I had a lot of fun reading it. I felt like more attention could have been paid to the characters though and tightening up the storyline but overall, a pretty enjoyable read.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
4.5 out of 5 stars
Completed September 24, 2014
Second Rainbow Rowell book ever! It'd been a while since I'd read Eleanor & Park so I wasn't sure whether I would like Fangirl but I did! Rowell's writing is fantastic, I loved every bit of it. I loved Cath and Wren and I loved the university setting and I LOVED Levi and REAGAN and I literally loved every single bit of this book. I flew through this because I was just enjoying myself so much. Also, Rainbow Rowell, please write the Simon Snow series! They sound so good just from the little snippets in between the chapters! So good. So adorable. So many great scenes. Loved it.


That concludes my measly wrap up for September. Hopefully you had a better reading month than I did? Leave some of the BEST books you read this month down below! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sometimes You Just Need a Fresh Start...

The past week or so has been horrible in terms of blogging. Maybe you haven't noticed but I definitely do and it bugs me because I expect more out of myself. It's not that I don't want to blog, I do. It's not that I'm super, super busy either.

If I'm being completely honest, I'm not sure what it is exactly...

I like to be honest with you guys so here's honesty.

I wish I was a better blogger. I wish I was better at this blogging stuff. I feel like I SHOULD be. I feel like by now, I should have my shit together and be a super awesome blogging machine. But I just don't know where to start...

I create schedules. I make lists. But there is very rarely any execution. Which makes me frustrated. Even though being frustrated is no use and won't help me. I should stop complaining and whining and just DO IT.

But the thing is, no matter how many ideas I have and how passionate I am about all of them, I just never seem to able to get it all DONE. I want to make blogging work. I do. But looking at the mess that is my schedule right now, I just want to scream.

I'm caught between wanting to be a really great and consistent blogger and being a rather crappy one in reality. And I want to do better. It just makes me frustrated to see the state of my blogging. And it's not like I've ever been organized and on track. It's always been this way which makes me even more angered because WHY? Why can't I get it together even after so long? Why can't I just make it WORK? It makes me want a fresh start.

And so I don't really know what the point of this post is. I feel like I just needed to get it out of my system. This is admitting to you guys and myself that I don't really know how to blog. That I don't have my system figured out. That I'm still in the process of finding what works out for me.

This is probably all really stupid though but ugh, I just don't really know what to do with my blog sometimes. It's either I don't have any ideas but really want to blog or I have tons of ideas but don't know HOW to blog. And I don't understand how to get over that. How to just get over everything and blog like crazy. Because it seems to me that lately, even when I blog, it seems that there's more and more stuff that's piling onto my plate that makes me feel even more hopeless that I'll ever get the hang of this.

So having said that, I think I need some time to just clear things from my mind and work out how to go about blogging and continuing to do so consistently so I don't freak out and break down every other week. Here's to trying to be actually serious about this blog.

So I guess I'll see you guys around... But for now, I think I just need a break. To be able to come back, rejuvenated and to have a fresh start. I don't know why but I've always been fixated on the idea of a fresh start. I know that every day can be a fresh start but... it just doesn't work for me. I NEED a break so this is goodbye. For now.

xoxo, Annie

Saturday, September 6, 2014

August 2014 Wrap Up

August was a pretty spectacular reading month for me as well! I managed to read 10 books by the end of it which is a little less than what I ended up reading for July... but if you don't count the graphic novels, then it's pretty even! I was actually surprised to see how much I'd read in August because it was so much busier for me than July. I felt like I definitely, definitely read LESSER than I did in July but I didn't which is kinda awesome. Hopefully, I can keep up with this reading in September! 

4 out of 5 stars
Completed August 1, 2014
I was so excited to read this book, it even made my list of my most anticipated 2014 debuts! And it did not disappoint. The Merciless is a horror novel, meant to scare you shitless. And that is exactly what it did. I didn't find myself TOO scared by it but it was definitely creepy and unsettling! At the same time though, it's not a book that's too graphic. Vega doesn't go into a lot of detail regarding the happenings at this exorcism so most of the fear factor was actually a result of my own mind visualizing and overthinking everything. Which is good for those of you who are worried it might be a bit too gruesome. The acts that are included are definitely gruesome but Vega never really goes into too much depth so as long as you're not such an intense visual reader as I am, I think you'll be okay. So yeah overall The Merciless was pretty good. It's definitely a novel meant to shock and scare you so don't go into this expecting great character development or a strong plot.

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
4 out of 5 stars
Completed August 3, 2014
What a cute book! This was my first ever Leila Sales and it definitely will not be the last. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was perfect for summer! Chelsea was such an endearing character though she grated on my nerves a bit towards the end but overall, I really enjoyed her narration. I zipped through this so fast so maybe that was why the ending was so unsatisfying? It just felt like everything stopped. I WANTED MORE. Of Dan, of Reenactment Land (I actually kinda want to find a job at one now which is so weird), of ice cream connoisseuring and all of that.

It by Alexa Chung
4 out of 5 stars
Completed August 7, 2014
I was expecting something more of a memoir going into this book so I definitely did not get what I expected to get because this isn't a memoir. It's more of a collage of things that Alexa Chung likes and while I get that may come across as self-indulgent, I actually found myself really intrigued. If you don't like Alexa Chung, then maybe this book isn't for you but I found myself really enamored by it. I had so much fun reading it that I honestly did not want it to end and when it did, it was far too soon in my opinion. You can see more of my thoughts here in this Goodreads review.

Noggin by John Corey Whaley
3 out of 5 stars
Completed August 7, 2014
I'd been meaning and meaning to read this book and it took me a few weeks but it happened! Noggin started off really strong for me. I was loving every single moment of it, I was totally getting everything everybody was saying it but enter a short three day break from reading it and then I just could not get back into it after. Travis became really insufferable what with all the chasing Cate which I think detracted from the book as a whole. I mean, it makes sense but some of Travis' actions were really far fetched. Still good though. I'd recommend this to fans of John Green and Andrew Smith.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
3 out of 5 stars
Completed August 10, 2014
What an addicting read! I was so into this book for such a good chunk and felt like I couldn't flip the pages fast enough. But then, somewhere in the last third of the book, I fell off of the joyride. The story just seemed to drag on for so long. You'd think everything would be fine but then more would start to pop up. I was like... wait isn't this book supposed to end soon? I also found Echo's friends really annoying and Noah's pet names even more annoying. Honestly, I've just never been a fan of pet names and it didn't really seem to suit Noah either. Like nymph? Siren? Baby? PUKE. I wish I could have gone back and blacked out all of those phrases. It would've made my reading experience so much more enjoyable honestly.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
3 out of 5 stars
Completed August 13, 2014
Another case of it-was-good-at-the-beginning-but-the-end-I-didn't-like. I truly did love this book at the beginning though. I was so captured by the world and the characters. Having read Between Shades of Gray, I knew Ruta Sepetys' awesome kick ass storytelling skills and they really shone here and I LOVED that. But the ending. WHAT WAS THE ENDING? I was so disappointed in the ending. It kinda felt like we were back where we started at the beginning of the story in terms of story development and character development. Every problem that arose was resolved in a rush and far too easily. It's hard to describe but I felt disappointed honestly to have stuck so fervently with the book for two hundred pages only to read the ending and find that everything for the most part stayed exactly the same. Which of course, begs the question: what is the point of this book? Also I don't know why particularly but the focus on prostitution and the way Sepetys handled it put a bad taste in my mouth.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
4 out of 5 stars.
Completed August 19, 2014
I was kinda expecting to love this book and while it didn't quite meet my expectations, I still found myself pleasantly satisfied. The only thing is that the impact of Willem on Allyson wasn't too clear for me which made it hard for me to understand why she was so desperate to find him. I didn't get quite how they fell in love in the first place and how Allyson became so caught up in him. I didn't get that emotion which sorta detached me from the book but overall it was really good. There's something about the writing and about the story that just feels so authentic. I really felt I was there with Allyson every step of the way.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
2 out of 5 stars
Completed August 22, 2014
Unfortunately, I was never able to connect with this book. It was so hard for me to get into it and when I did, there would always be something to bring me back out of the world.For starters, I feel like a lot of things about this world was left to the reader to ASSUME on their own accord. I get wanting to SHOW not TELL but there was just too much left to guess for myself here that resulted in beaucoup de confusion for me.There were also a couple other things that I didn't like or there were some things that I did like but I felt didn't really get that much attention which was unfortunate. And I also didn't really think The Darkling was so villainous which is a problem as he is supposed to be the villain. But I'll delve more into that in my review which you should watch out for if you're interested!

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
4 out of 5 stars
Completed August 28, 2014
I liked this a lot more than The Statistical Probability which I thought was cute but didn't really blow me away either. This book on the other hand really blew me away! Lucy and Owen's story had me engrossed every step of the way. And while the third-person narrative still felt a bit off for me, like it made the story feel a bit more juvenile than it was, it's hard to deny the beauty and poetic-ness of Jennifer E. Smith's writing. The Geography of You and Me is very much a story surrounded on the idea of serendipity which I really enjoyed. It's hard not to be interested in the idea of serendipity and fate. Very cute and sweet!

On the Fence by Kasie West
4 out of 5 stars
Completed August 31, 2014
On the Fence was so good! I read at 10 at night and finished it at 12. I don't think I've ever read a book THAT fast. Seriously was so in love with this story. Very sweet and cute. I loved Charlie and all her brothers. I loved Braden. BRADEN. I love that guy. I could not put down this book! It gave me so many feels and squealies and tinglies and I swear my mum thought I was crazy because the amount of times I flailed while reading this book reached an all time high, I'm sure.


So those were the books I read for August! What were some of the books you read in August? And have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Speak your mind! And I'll see you guys next time.