The Blog Most Likely To… Tag

The Blog Most Likely To... Tag

Hello, friends! Today I wanted to share a super cool tag that I think all bloggers should participate in, The Blog Most Likely To… Tag! I was tagged by Joey at Thoughts and Afterthoughts. Thanks, Joey! (By the way… you never suggested a blogger superlative to me… but that’s okay!)

Like Joey explained in his post, this challenge was actually inspired by Huntley Fitzpatrick’s release of The Boy Most Likely To back during the summer of 2015. Like Joey, I haven’t read any of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s work despite having heard so many wonderful things. But I do plan to eventually. My Life Next Door being the one that holds the most anticipation; that premise just appeals to me the most out of the rest of Fitzpatrick’s work.

But anyway, before I reveal what my blog superlative is… I just wanted to let you guys know that early 2015 I also completed the More Happy and Not Tag, which was created by Shelumiel at Bookish and Awesome. That tag was also inspired by a book release, More Happy Than Not. It’s such a feel good post that I also encourage you guys to do if you haven’t already. (By the way, despite all the promises and “I’ll read it soon”s, I never managed to pick that book up in 2015. Sigh. Will 2016 be the year?)

Note: This is a 2015 tag, meaning I was first tagged in 2015. I’m just trying to go through all the awards and tags from my 2015 queue. But I am an tag/award free blog in that I won’t be doing any more tags/awards after I go through the 2015 drafts. Sorry for the confusion!

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows9780765376497 by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #2 (2/3)
Published by Tor on February 23, 2016
Genres: [Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 509
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed February 24, 2015

– read the bold text to avoid SPOILERS –

Alright, it’s official. Victoria Schwab has earned her place among my top tier must-buy-new-releases-immediately authors. I enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic when I buddy read it mid-2015, but I was still hesitant to claim Schwab as a favorite-precisely because I had only read one book of hers and there were small flaws I couldn’t overlook in ADSoM. But, after this thrilling sequel, it’s been confirmed.

[I don’t normally do this before my reviews to sequels, but in case you haven’t read my review of A Darker Shade of MagicYou can go here. I’m extremely proud of it. (I really believe it was the primary reason why I got an ARC of A Gathering of Shadows and it was a post that literally prompted weeks of writing/deleting drafts before I could gather my thoughts. (Did you see what I did there? “Gather my thoughts”… A Gathering of Shadows…)]

A Gathering of Shadows takes place four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Red London is still dealing with the repercussions after the fateful Black Night. However, this doesn’t deter all from preparing for the Element Games, an international tournament between the strongest magicians held to strengthen political ties and entertain the populace. Meanwhile, White London seems to be in a weary disarray after the Dane twins’ deaths. Grey London is experiencing an unforeseen pandemonium and is missing a certain female aspiring pirate. And Black London is stirring. With the rise of the latter London, the balance has been tipped and another London must fall.

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3 Quotes Challenge

3 Quotes Challenge-2

Hi! Today I’m doing a somewhat different tag but still related to books in a way, the 3 Quotes Challenge. I was tagged by Yen at Little Calico’s Journal, Baby Ruth at Bittersweet Sensations, Analee at Book Snacks, Cristina at Tiny Obsessions, Rach at The Girl Who Reads, and Percy at Percy Reads. Thank you all so much for tagging me to participate!

I actually participated in the Top Ten Tuesday post that had bloggers share their Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Books sometime in 2015. From that post, I mentioned that I don’t tend to annotate my reads nor pay attention to quotes. I appreciate good writing but I’m usually unable to directly quote lines even from my all time favorite books. So this challenge is going to be quite difficult for me.

Okay, let’s do this before I start rambling too much and make this an excessively long post (it’ll probably end up being one anyway, knowing me).

Note: This is a 2015 tag, meaning I was first tagged in 2015. I’m just trying to go through all the awards and tags from my 2015 queue. But I am an tag/award free blog in that I won’t be doing any more tags/awards after I go through the 2015 drafts. Sorry for the confusion!

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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

littlelifeA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Published by Doubleday on March 10, 2015
Genres: [Adult] Literary Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 720
Format: Audiobook –> Hardcover
Source: Audible –> Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed January 13, 2016

– SPOILER free  –

How do I even begin?

If you’ve read other reviews where readers said they enjoyed this book those reviewers are absolutely mad. This book intrigued, consumed, impressed, stunned, humbled, and perhaps even destroyed me, but it’s a stretch to say that I enjoyed it. A Little Life is the most depressingly bleak and disturbing book I have ever read. It’s one that leaves you at a loss for words, makes you sit there for a while thinking about what you’ve just read, and stimulates you to cry upon your awareness that this book, though fiction, has very real, nonfiction themes attached to it.

I just made a t-shirt using this graphic created by @littlelifebook. Source.

I made a shirt using this graphic by @littlelifebook. (I’ll be sharing photos of it on my Instagram soon!) Source.

Edit 7/7/17: I forgot to edit in the picture of my shirt! So here it is. Oh and the official A Little Life Instagram actually reposted my photo on their account. 🙂

Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life is an alternating present and past reflection of the lives of four friends that graduate from a prestigious New England college from their mid-twenties into their fifties. There is handsome Willem, a struggling actor hoping to make it big someday; JB, a confident and sometimes callous painter wanting entry to the distinctive art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a recognized firm; and brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a talented litigator only intimidating in court. Each yearn for their breakthrough into society and discovery of their place in life. It seems that early on, Jude is the only one that has settled into a successful, adult lifestyle. It’s also evident that he’s the centerpiece that anchors their friendship, but as the readers read and our cast ages, readers learn how Jude increasingly becomes a broken man unable to overcome the unspeakable trauma his mind and body has endured. Will love and friendship heal him or will he forever be haunted by these scars and demons of the past?

I could spend days discussing this book and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful qualities, from the quintessential flawed characters, captivating  writing, LGBTQ+ and ethnic diversity mentions, tasteful musical and art influences, to the New York City backdrop, but all of this would be meaningless to go into detail unless you’ve read this yourself. (Please message me if you have and would like to discuss it. I need a friend to vent my fictional woes!) So instead I’d like to focus on the key points that made this book so meaningful to me.

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The Book Courtship Tag

Book Courtship Tag

Hi! Tomorrow is Valentine’s day! Any of you doing anything special? If not, be my valentine! 😉 I don’t have many plans tomorrow… I may be baking some chocolate chip cookies since I haven’t done that in years. I’m still going strong with the Decembers sweets ban overall… but my dad loves cookies, so yeah, tomorrow’s batch is for him probably, haha.

Anyway, this Saturday (Saturdays have become my tackling the old tag/awards day) I thought it’d be fitting to complete The Book Courtship Tag. I was tagged by my lovely blogger buddy, Erika at Erika at Bookventureland in early October 2015. Thank you!

Note: This is a 2015 tag, meaning I was first tagged in 2015. I’m just trying to go through all the awards and tags from my 2015 queue. But I am an tag/award free blog in that I won’t be doing any more tags/awards after I go through the 2015 drafts. Sorry for the confusion!

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?
This was a total book cover buy because I already own it electronically. But the embossing and typography is so beautiful. And the spine is so gorgeous (it looks like one of those vintage classics you see at old bookstores). ❤ Plus, I found this in the bargain section of my local bookstore. It was like $5 for hardcover so I couldn’t resist.

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Almost Midnight by C.C. Hunter

AlmostMidnight2Almost Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Series: Shadow Falls: After Dark (Anthology)
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on February 2, 2016
Genres: [YA] Paranormal
Pages: 407
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Completed February 7, 2016

– SPOILERS ahead –

Almost Midnight is a collection of all the short stories C.C. Hunter has previously published as ebook novellas and companions for both the original series, Shadow Falls, and the spinoff, Shadow Falls: After Dark. The only new addition that readers have not had a chance to purchase and read was “Fierce.” (Actually, I believe it’s an Almost Midnight special so you can’t purchase it on its own.) Like most anthologies I’ve reviewed so far, I’ll be reviewing each short story on it’s own and the overall rating will reflect the average between the five novellas.

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Summing It Up: January 2016

Summing It Up January

Clever, right? I’m quite enjoying the many variations of my name for this blog. First “Summer Says” (my bookish discussion series that has kind of been revived recently) and now this? “Summer you’re such cheesy dumpling.” Yes, I know.

Anyway, this isn’t really a new blog series or anything. But rather a post that summarizes what I’ve been doing in the last month, both bookish-wise and just normal, personal/academic-wise. Of course, feel free to skip the personal stuff if you’re only here for books. I totally understand. Anyway, I thought this would be helpful for those that missed a post on Xingsings, wanted to learn more about me, or just happened to be fangirling/fanboying over the same things I have been (then we can talk and fangirl/fanboy together!). I think these posts are usually called “Monthly Wrap Ups,” “Month in Review,” “Monthly Favorites,” or sometimes more uniquely “Spotlight Saturdays,” which is a meme hosted by Josie at Josie’s Book Corner, posts.

Anyway, here goes!

January Blog Posts*

*in publication order, not by favoritism

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The Coffee Book Tag

Coffee Book Tag

I was tagged by Shelumiel at Bookish and Awesome to do The Coffee Book Tag back in June and I’m finally getting around to posting it. This tag will sort of be like the Burrito Bowl Book Tag where I didn’t exactly eat burrito bowls (the vegetarian ones aren’t that fun) but could still relate to the bookish questions. I don’t usually drink coffee unless it’s sugared up. Some evidence:


(The middle photo is hot chocolate by the way.) But I haven’t had one of these in a while. After my first cavity in 2015… I’ve completely given up on sweets believe it or not. So yeah! Now, I’ve returned to my bout of excessive tea drinking. I already glanced at the questions and noticed there were some for people that appreciate tea. Hurrah. Oh and before I forget… Thank you for the tag, Shelumiel! (I hope you’ve been enjoying your travels with work.)

Note: This is a 2015 tag, meaning I was first tagged in 2015. I’m just trying to go through all the awards and tags from my 2015 queue. But I am an tag/award free blog in that I won’t be doing any more tags/awards after I go through the 2015 drafts. Sorry for the confusion!

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Summer Says: The Cons to Requesting and Reviewing ARCs That No One Really Tells You


I really hope I don’t come off as a spoiled blogger by sharing this. Because, don’t get me wrong, I’m really thankful for the books I’ve received or when I’m granted access to a book. But, lately, I’ve only been reading ARCs and I feel like those are the only ones I’ve been reviewing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but there are some cons in doing this (or just requesting so many ARCs in general).

So I thought this would make a perfect discussion post to create (if you haven’t noticed by now, I don’t release these often because I need to feel really strongly about something personally before I can get inspiration; to the folks that churn these discussion posts at a frequent rate, teach me your ways). Anyway, I’m curious to see what you guys think of this topic. Please, feel free to join in the discussion!

And by the way, at the end of last year, I released a comprehensive guide to how approach requesting ARCs and addressed general questions I thought new bloggers or bloggers that weren’t as familiar with ARC (Advance Reader Copies) requesting would have. If this seems like something you’re interested in and missed that post, you can check that out here.

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