Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t

Hey all! I’ve fallen into a blogging (and reading) slump of sorts hence why I haven’t been that active on here these past few weeks, but I hope that you all are doing well and having a swell June so far. Anyway, today I thought I’d make a brief comeback by posting a Top Ten Tuesday post because I find that bookish memes are perfect remedies for blogging slumps. Plus, the last time I participated in a Top Ten Tuesday feature was… back in October 2016.

And in case you haven’t heard of Top Ten Tuesday before, it’s a weekly feature created by the team at The Broke and the Bookish where book bloggers can share a list of books that pertain to a theme or prompt. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t.” But because my TBR pile is sky high I’ll actually be including more than 10 series in mine… Don’t judge. XD

I haven’t read any Patrick Ness but of all the sci-fi series on my TBR list the Chaos Walking trilogy is my most anticipated one to read since the reviews on Goodreads promise that this series is nothing short of superb. I’ve also heard that it induces a rollercoaster of feels for readers, too.

To my great shock, I still haven’t started my copy of Lady Midnight. I preordered it back when it first came out in early 2016, but, unfortunately, I never made time for it. This is a big surprise to me since The Infernal Devices trilogy is my ALL TIME FAVORITE YA fantasy series. (Jem Carstairs is my bae.) And I loved The Mortal Instruments series when I read it as a teenager. (Believe it or not, I was Clary’s age then. Gee, time sure flies.) Anyway, I don’t plan to prolong returning to the shadowhunter world for much longer though. Lady Midnight is in my TBR pile for this summer!

I didn’t exactly love A Court of Thorns and Roses and I found A Court of Mist and Fury problematic but way more enjoyable than book 1 all the sex scenes aside. (You guys know that I’m quite a prude and can’t appreciate NA or graphic sex in books… Those explicit, mature romances just aren’t for me apparently.) I know that the Throne of Glass series is Sarah J. Maas’ YA fantasy series so I believe there should be a more mild romance with. Despite the polarizing opinions I’ve seen surfacing around the blogosphere about this series, I’m looking forward to reading it sometime soon.

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Summing It Up: May 2017

May was a marvelously restful month for me. On the 1st I took the last exam of my P1 year and started my summer soon after that. The rest of the month I (re)read a lot of Dessen (my favorite YA realistic fiction/contemporary author if you haven’t caught on by now), met up with some longtime friends, and relaxed. This is my last week of freedom, however, since I’ll be starting my summer community pharmacy rotation this approaching Monday, June 5th. I’m both nervous and excited but mostly thrilled since I was very lucky to get the site I wanted with this cycle. I won’t be working long hours as I thought I would so this may mean I’ll be around the blogosphere in June.

Anyway, I have lots of (different and kind of strange) favorites this month so let’s move on!

– What I Read –

I’m quite impressed with this reading month despite there being only 4 titles read. I’ve been meaning to have a true Dessen summer (where I reread some of Dessen’s old releases and review them) for years now. Also, in case you missed my review or only read the bold parts of that one, I mentioned that I was extremely thankful and happy that I was granted access to an eARC of Once and for All. I consider this a pivotal milestone in my blogging career. :’)

– May Blog Posts –

I daresay May wasn’t that shabby of a blogging month for me since I posted several reviews (mostly for blog tours but still) and even released a discussion post. Speaking of that Summer Says post… I just wanted to quickly thank you guys for the response towards it! I have to admit that my corner of the blogosphere has been a little dead since I’ve stopped interacting like I used to and a lot of my original friends are no longer blogging, but I am so grateful for those that read that post. You all are awesome! T_T

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Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on June 6, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Completed May 8, 2017

– this review is quite long; you can read the bold text to get the main idea and to avoid SPOILERS –

Being the daughter of a popular wedding planner, Louna has practically seen every type of wedding imaginable, some with hysterical brides, others couples with cold feet or misbehaved wedding guests, and not uncommonly all of the above sometimes. Witnessing the imperfect side of those in romantic relationships has made her somewhat cynical about happily ever afters and question if they even really exist. It doesn’t help that her first love ended tragically. So when Louna meets happy go lucky, serial dater Ambrose her heart by default knows to be wary of stepping into romance territory and she decides to keep him at arm’s length. But that isn’t going to stop Ambrose seeing as he’s finally met the girl that he really wants.

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What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on May 10, 2011
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 402
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Reread May 18, 2017

– SPOILER free –

Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.

For the past two years Mclean Sweet and her divorced father have been moving from town to town as he is a restaurant consultant. With each move Mclean sees it as a chance to reinvent herself and take up a different persona. As Liz, Eliza, and Beth she’s been many girls from preppy cheerleader to drama diva. But when Mclean and her father make a stop at Lakeview, she’s finds herself as just Mclean. But who is the real Mclean? After being separated from her true identity for so long, Mclean isn’t sure who she really is anymore. With What Happened to Goodbye Sarah Dessen weaves yet another story about youth and self discovery.

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Just Listen by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on April 6, 2006
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Reread May 9, 2017

– SPOILER free –

In everyone’s eyes Annabel Greene seems to appear as “the girl who has everything” for the fact that she plays the part of a well-liked, popular cheerleader in a television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store. Though in reality, she’s far from that role. At school, she’s shunned by her peers for shamefully stealing her best friend’s boyfriend behind her back at a party last summer. (Though, she didn’t.) At home, her parents are completely oblivious to Annabel’s friendless life seeing as they’re more preoccupied with her older sister who recently became anorexic. With the focus on Whitney, Annabel begins to bury a lot of her thoughts from her family and it becomes a habit. But then she meets Owen Armstrong, a truth-telling, music-obsessed guy. As if his blunt honesty was contagious, she finds that voicing what she really means comes out so easily when she’s with him. But with the help of her and Owen’s comfortable friendship, will she finally be able to finally face the events that happened the night that she and Sophie stopped being friends?

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Summer Says: How to Gain More Blog Traffic

I’ve been a total failure when it comes to this Summer Says discussion series, but here’s my attempt at reviving it once more anyway. Today let’s talk about some ways that can help one gain more blog traffic. And, yes, I am fully aware that this contradicts my entire “numbers aren’t important” spiel from the very first Summer Says post, but it would be a lie to say that it doesn’t cross my mind at all anymore, because it does-especially when a post does or, lately, doesn’t do particularly well.

But before I share anything, I should probably include why I’m qualified to give “advice” about this topic. Well, first, actually it’s debatable if I am, in the position to that is. (Which is why I put advice in quotations earlier.) Because I don’t really consider my blog to be that popular, but I can confidently say that I am happy with the amount of response I get towards my posts even if it is less compared to the more huge, interactive blogs out there. In addition, I have been blogging for about 2.5 years, which I guess can be deemed as a long time to some. But take this list with a grain of salt. View them as friendly suggestions that you can feel free to adopt or reject instead of reputable advice.

Also, with this post you’ll realize that I’ll be perhaps too truthful and kind of savage about some things (like how I actually don’t feel ashamed about unfollowing blogs). But I hope that this doesn’t make you view me differently as a person. Like with all my Summer Says posts, being honest with you guys is the utmost important thing to me.

Oh and one last thing, you guys already know that I struggle at keeping things pithy. So by no means do I expect you to read this entire monster of a post. You’ll be able to get the gist of things from the headers alone but I’ve even bolded the main parts of each section for emphasis to make it easier for you.

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The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Group Inc. on May 11, 2004
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Reread May 3, 2017

– SPOILER free –

I’d tried to hold myself apart, showing only what I wanted, doling out bits and pieces of who I was. But that only works for so long. Eventually, even the smallest fragments can’t help but make a whole.

After witnessing her father’s unexpected death, Macy has always sought to find control of her life by planning for the expected. She likes the certainty of knowing what will happen next. So when her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp, she decides to spend her summer subbing for him at his library job, studying for the SATs, and occasionally making small talk with her mother about anything but the traumatic loss of her father. But when she meets the dysfunctional team at Wish Catering, a group accustomed to chaos and surprises, after they cater at one of her mom’s parties she starts to feel compelled to breakaway from her steady and sheltered life. Because, perhaps, the key to truly living is not to dwell on the past or wait for the future, but instead embrace each moment of the present.

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Summing It Up: April 2017

Hello! You guys thought I was gone for good, huh?

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve last posted anything, which is quite an abnormally long hiatus for me. Anyhow, it’s nice to be back and I hope to get into the groove of things since I’m out for summer now. (YAY!)

Speaking of summer vacation… yes, that’s right! Exams are over. I took my last one early morning Monday so I’m officially a P2 now. (I took a celebratory photo. It isn’t a great picture… but I kind of like how candid it looks. Plus, you can tell I was genuinely relieved that I was done with the semester because of my huge, gummy smile, lol.)

Since April was a crazy month in that school consumed my life (more than usual), let me just warn you all that very little of this post is bookish related. When I had free time, I rarely did any real reading. Instead, I indulged in mostly manga and shows, which you’ll see soon.

– What I Read –

A Silent Voice (full manga series) | Anonymous Noise (full manga series) | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

It may not seem like a lot but I actually read the entire series for both A Silent Voice, which had seven volumes alone, and Anonymous Noise. But I’m kind of particular with how I include manga/graphic novels towards my annual Goodreads reading challenge. I only count them if I finish the entire series (or however many volumes that are available in English if its ongoing). And I only count 1 volume regardless of how many I read to complete the series. It just feels like cheating otherwise? I don’t know. I’m weird with this sort of thing, I guess.

– April Blog Posts –

I had planned to make an effort on working on some book reviews and scheduling them but, alas, the only post I ended up publishing was previous month’s recap.

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Summing It Up: March 2017

Last month was like the calm before the storm. My spring break was early March, and it was wonderful even though I did hole myself at home away from humanity watching Asian dramas for the majority of that week. (It may seem pitiful to some but that was my ideal vacation. #embracetheintrovertlife) In regards to my academics everything went smoothly and was the usual.

(However, this month, April, is going to be quite horrific since I’ll be swamped with exams after exams after exams. Then finals. In fact, my prescription filling compentency exam and Top 300 Rx Drugs final is this approaching Tuesday, which I’m not looking forward to but it’s unavoidable so I’m just going to put my warrior paint on. (LOL, my unease shows because I’m saying ridiculous stuff now.) I also will have several presentations, one of them on tobacco cessation, which will be interesting. But more on all that later when it actually is April.)

Back to March… though everything with school was normal, I had a friend that went through a really tough time and was admitted to the hospital. Subsequently our entire circle of friends weren’t in the best mental state for a while because we were worried about her. Good news is that my friend is on the mend! But that scare really opened my eyes to how crucial it is for one to lead a well balanced life. Guys, seriously, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves and relieve as much stress as you can amongst your busy schedules. Remember that your health always comes first.

– What I Read –

Not exactly an impressive reading month, but considering what was going on I’m not too upset about reading three books-especially since two were mini bricks of books. Pachinko is adult fiction. It was nice to finally delve into something non-YA for a change. A Conjuring of Light was a thrilling ride; it proved that Victoria Schwab can do no wrong. And It gave me ALL THE FEELS. Thankfully, I buddy read this with Lois at My Midnight Musing so I had a partner to vent all my feelings. Windfall was a refreshing contemporary that I enjoyed. I was actually part of the blog tour, so feel free to check out my tour stop post if you’re interested.

– March Blog Posts –

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Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Delacorte Press on May 2, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 432
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Completed March 22, 2017

– minor SPOILERS ahead –

windfall
/ˈwin(d)fôl/
noun

a piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck and especially not after she experienced the worst kind when she lost her parents nine years ago. But as a joke she decides to buy a lottery ticket as an eighteenth birthday present for her best friend that she has secretly loved for years, Teddy. To their utter disbelief, he wins $140 million and, suddenly, everything changes. Teddy’s newfound wealth will put an unexpected strain on their friendship; their once effortless understanding and dependence of one another after having grown up in tough circumstances together dissipates completely as they argue more and more. Thus, the money begins to feel more like a curse than a windfall. As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice will discover more about herself and what she wants from life in moments she least expects.

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