Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Plan to Read on the Beach (or This Summer)

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It was created to allow the book community to share ten books every week in response to a chosen theme.

I had to participate in this week’s topic because I love summer related Top Ten Tuesday themes. 😉 In fact, I did last year’s equivalent to “beach reads”/”summer TBR” last summer. And the hilarious thing is that I didn’t read a single book from that supposed TBR pile. I’m not really surprised since I’m a big mood reader. That’s why I never make monthly or seasonal TBRs; I never would follow through, haha. However, I have a feeling I’ll work through this one closely because most of these titles are planned buddy reads and/or books I just have been dying to read for some time now.

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me-before-you-book-cover-jan-12-p122-1Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1 (1/2)
Published by Viking on December 31, 2012
Genres: [Adult] Contemporary, Chick Lit, Romance
Pages: 369
Format: Audiobook –> Paperback
Source: Audible –> Purchased

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4 Stars, Completed January 21, 2016

– to avoid major SPOILERS read bold text only –

Spending my last day as a teenager crying in the corner as I finished this wasn’t quite ideal. I was sporting the unbelievably puffy panda eyes look on my 20th birthday (which proved to not be that photogenic). But, more importantly, I hadn’t anticipated that I’d become a volunteer publicist for Me Before You. This happened because I was trying to explain to people the cause of my late night distress as well as convince them to read this moving story. Nevertheless, I am so glad I chose to read this British novel because beyond the emotional ride was a touching and enlightening story.

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

Lou Clark has led an ordinary and uneventful life until the moment she loses her job at the tea shop. From there, she seeks new work and she stumbles upon the opportunity of taking care of young, handsome and successful Will Traynor, who has become a quadriplegic after a recent motorcycle accident. Little does she know that this job, though sometimes unpleasant but often times rewarding, will forever change her view on life and how she plans to live it.

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The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

9780374384739_FC_n6GzO0HThe Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #3 (3/3)
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux on March 29, 2016
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 484
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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5 Stars, Completed April 3, 2016

– to avoid major SPOILERS read bold text only –

As he spoke, it occurred to her that maybe he, too, felt like two people, that maybe everybody does, and that it’s not a question of whether one’s damaged, but of how easily or not that damage is seen.

In the third and final installment to The Winner’s trilogy, war has begun and Arin is among his enemies hoping to forge an alliance against the empire to save his people, the Herrani. He still believes he’s fallen out of love with Kestrel and despises her for her evident cruelty and inhumanity. Meanwhile, Kestrel is in the freezing north as a prisoner paying for the grave mistake of betraying her people, the Valorians, by helping the Herrani before Arin left for the east. She only wishes that Arin knew what she had sacrificed for him. With the abundance of misunderstandings, increasingly intensifying war, and distance to separate them, there’s much more of a strain on Arin and Kestrel’s relationship than ever before.

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang

71GD5hIAmOLThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
Published by Hogarth on February 2, 2016
Genres: [Adult] Contemporary, Literary Fiction
Pages: 188
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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2 Stars, Completed March 20, 2016

– to avoid SPOILERS read the bold only –

A long bamboo stick strung with great blood-red gashes of meat, blood still dripping down. Try to push past but the meat, there’s no end to the meat, and no exit. Blood in my mouth, blood-soaked clothes sucked to my skin. 

I put this review off for the longest because, honestly, when I finished the book I never wanted to revisit it again. Dark, disturbing, and depressing would be how I’d describe Han Kang’s The Vegetarian in three words.

The Vegetarian is a split narrative between three characters related to the protagonist, Yeong-hye: her husband, brother-in-law, and sister. Yeong-hye’s husband’s perspective is straightforward and the most fast paced; her brother-in-law’s is disturbing and beyond creepy; and her sister’s is the only one told in the present tense and rather confusing. However, all three are allegorical reflections that allow readers to gain further insight on Yeong-hye’s behavior after an unsettling series of dreams she has that causes her to go vegan-not vegetarian (the translated title is misleading)-and how her family and Korean society reacts toward her drastic, manic changes.

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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible-Curtis-Sittenfeld-April-19Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Series: The Austen Project #4 (4/?)
Published by Random House on April 19, 2016
Genres: [Adult] Contemporary, Retelling
Pages: 492
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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3.5 Stars, Completed May 20, 2016

– SPOILER free –

My all time favorite classic (well tied with East of Eden) is Pride and Prejudice. I’ve rewatched the  2005 Keira Knightley film adaptation at least over a hundred times (no exaggeration-I’ve made my father, friends, and even acquaintances watch it with me). Don’t worry, I also adore the 1995 Jennifer Ehle BBC series (because, oh my, Colin Firth and his soaked shirt). And I’ve read all but one of Jane Austen’s work (I’ve can’t get through Emma for some reason). It may be obvious but I am one of Austen’s many superfans. Needless to say, I had extremely high expectations for this modern retelling and, thankfully, Eligible did an incredible job with satisfying those hopes (for the most part).

Eligible begins with Chip Bingley, Harvard graduate and practicing physician, as the talk of the town in the city of Cincinnati after folks learn that Chip will soon join the staff at Christ Hospital. He was the most recent bachelor on the reality TV show, “Eligible” (very similar to The Bachelor), but ended up choosing neither of the last two remaining women, meaning in Mrs. Bennet’s book he’s available for one of her girls. Also moving to Cincy for work is Chip’s best friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Stanford graduate and a neurosurgeon positioned at the stroke center. Jane Bennet is a sweet yoga instructor about to reach forty, and her younger sister, Liz Bennet, is a writer for the prominent feminist magazine, Mascara. Like Pride and Prejudice, Liz and Darcy find themselves involved in an unexpected romance despite their unfavorable first impressions. To find happiness together Darcy must move past his pride and Liz her prejudice.

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Summer Days and Summer Nights by Various Authors

Summer Days GIFSummer Days and Summer Nights by Various Authors (Edited by Stephanie Perkins)
Published by St. Martin’s Press on May 17, 2016
Genres: [Young Adult] Anthology
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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3 Stars, Completed May 17, 2016

– minor SPOILERS ahead –

The fantastic thing about anthologies is that there’s always going to be a short story for everyone. I really enjoyed Stephanie Perkins’ last project with My True Love Gave to Me last winter (my review), so I couldn’t pass up the chance to read Summer Days and Summer Nights. Plus, it’s been a slumpy summer in the reading department for me lately, so what better way than get back into the reading groove with this assortment of sweet, seasonally appropriate romances? Plus, I have to confess I tend to gravitate towards all books with titles that share my name, haha.

Like my review for MTLGtM, I’ll be reviewing each story on its own, in depth, and doing a short summary for the overall anthology at the end.

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Summer Says: The Things That Make (Book) Blogging So Worthwhile

Don't Deny It-3

If you haven’t already read Liam’s heartfelt discussion post from the other day, I suggest you go take a look (I’ll link it here). In his post, he discusses the struggle that most bloggers have in common: finding the balance between blogging and juggling real life.

Naturally, I left a Summer bomb on his post but afterwards I was still feeling really inspired. So I decided to create a draft, which essentially became the post I’m sharing today: “The Things That Makes (Book) Blogging So Worthwhile”

I don’t think any of us can deny that blogging takes time, effort, and energy. Your blog is what you want it to be. With that being said, it can be stressful. There have certainly been times in the past where I’ve felt overwhelmed and pressured with releasing content for Xingsings. (You guys may even recognize these moments of weakness with posts like my Semihiatus From Ten Tuesday, first Summer Says discussion, and Hate Comments posts.) I do get bogged down; and I have definitely experienced those anxieties and insecurities. Anyway, my point is that I created this post to share a few reasons why I never stopped blogging even when it was tough. In my opinion, there are so many rewarding aspects that are attached to blogging.

I hope you guys can find it somewhat relatable!

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Book Haul: January – May 2016

janfebmaraprmay2016haul

Oh gosh, this is going to be a MONSTER book haul. I kept putting off making this post because I was dreading having to face how many books (and bookmarks) I actually accumulated in less than half a year. But it’s finally here! And I’m sort of excited to show you guys what I’ve hauled in the past few months. But I’m going to warn you all now that this is going to be a massive haul and hence very long post. I’ll try to refrain from writing too much. 😛

(All of the books will have links to Goodreads. The bookmarks will not have links because they tend to get sold out and restocked at a frequent rate (therefore the links change too much). But they are all created and sold by Happy Hello Art on Etsy. I’ll make sure to have what they’re called on the site they’re sold in parentheses under the photo. So if they’re still in stock on the site you should be able to purchase them if you’re interested. And feel free to click the photos to enlarge and get a better look! 😀 )

Here goes!


Book Outlet

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Summing It Up: April 2016

summing it up_ april 2016

Hello, friends! As most of you know, April was such a hectic month for me. I rarely take real breaks from the blogosphere but I just didn’t have enough time to devote my efforts to my blog or visit other blogs. I started studying for my finals the second week of April and school just dominated my life for a while. But it’s all over now, so I’m officially back! I’ll be catching up by replying to comments and blog hopping soon! Probably not today though since, after this post, I’m going out to eat with my friends to celebrate finals finally being over. 🙂

(And I want to say a quick thank you for those that wished me luck on my exams! Several of you even direct messaged on my other social media accounts, and I’m so touched. My exams went well. Thank you! T.T)

But how have you guys been? What were your Aprils like? I’m so happy to be back and able to catch up with what everyone’s been up to!

Anyway, onto a recap of what my month has been aside from academics… XD

APRIL BLOG POSTS*

*in publication order, not by favoritism

*I’ve decided to not cross post all of my reviews from my Goodreads anymore. Just because some of them are more school related and probably not as relevant to share on here.

Such a shame that I only posted three posts in April (technically two since one was just March’s Summing It Up), but I guess it’s all about priorities, lol. I was able to fit in some reading though-even if they were mostly for school. 😅

FAVORITES

Hehe, no surprise, this was certainly my favorite book of the month. Even though I only posted three posts on the blog, I was still reading a lot and this happened to be the golden read!

Even though I only posted three posts on the blog, I was still reading a lot and, no surprise, The Winner’s Kiss was certainly my favorite book of the month. I’ll be writing a review for that one sometime soon (hopefully)!

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