2016 End of Year Book Survey

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This survey is hosted by The Perpetual Page Turner and is always so much better than the end of year posts I try to make up for myself. Though I originally wanted to not use the same book for more than one or two answers, I decided just to go with the most honest answer, despite how many recurrences. Fair warning: this survey could also be called The Red Rising Survey.

Number Of Books You Read: 136 (as of 12/26/16)
Number of Re-Reads: 19
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary

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1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

I gave five books 4.5 Stars and while I could narrow it down to maybe my top 2 or 3, I think I’ll just name the 5 – in order I read them.

1. Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

2. Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

3. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

4. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

5. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, et al.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

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The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. I really enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn, but the conclusion to the series just really underwhelmed me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

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The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I thought it would be really light and cutesy and was definitely surprised by the great character development and the major ups and downs they went through. It was a good surprise.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. While it could have *possibly* been because I read it the month before the final book came out, I’m totally taking credit for at least a couple people I know reading and loving it after I read/loved/hyped/talked endlessly about it. 🙂

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Ok, we all know the answer to this one. SorryNotSorry

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Started: Red Rising

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Sequel: Golden Son

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Ender: Morning Star

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Pierce Brown, obviously.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I’m a broken record and I know it. But I don’t really read sci-fi and the Red Rising trilogy is amazing.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Golden Son. The pace was so, so fast and there were so many surprises!

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Such a cute, quick read.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

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This Adventure Ends

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Kaz Brekker will always be one of my all-time favorite characters. I loved him just as much in Crooked Kingdom as I did in Six of Crows.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

There isn’t really a book that stands out for this one. Though I think I described Pierce Brown’s writing as both beautiful and brutal in one of my reviews.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. Though I haven’t been officially diagnosed, after reading this I am pretty positive I am OCD. I understand so many things about my life now that never made sense before. Mental Health Awareness, guys. It’s important!

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

Red Rising, yet again

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

I’m awful at these questions. I don’t have one.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest: The Crown & The Arrow by Renee Ahdieh – 9 pages

Longest: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – 698 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Golden Son. It had so, so many little twists and turns. I think the reason it was my favorite of the series is because it just continually surprised me when not many books can these days.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Lucy and Josh from The Hating Game.

Kaz and Inej from Crooked Kingdom

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Sloane and her friends from This Adventure Ends (though there is one romantic part to that, it focuses more on the friendship)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo and This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

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I had zero interest in My Lady Jane but all the hype made me read it and I LOVED it. I rarely agree with hype, but I really thought this one deserved it.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

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Garret Graham from The Deal. Even though he’s the kind of guy I usually hate in books – and in life.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Red Rising

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

My Lady Jane! So funny!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner made me ugly cry at a few parts.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

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I discovered Beth Kendrick’s Black Dog Bay series this year and it’s one of my favorite chick lit series ever.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I’m going to go with The Serpent King again.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

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Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

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The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter. Lucy’s behavior absolutely INFURIATED me.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

I love you all!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

I am usually very disappointed with how my reviews come out, but it always makes my day when someone says they want to read the book based on my review. So the most recent review where that happened is for My Lady Jane.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

The Elusive 5 Star Rating and Backing Myself into a Corner. I talked about my very strict rating system and how I’ve loosened up slightly from when I first started. But through the comments I also learned a lot about other reviewer’s rating criteria and as a result I am far less angry when I see 5 star reviews for books that I don’t think deserve it.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I went to 3 author events this year and they were all great (Linda Castillo, Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer)! I also got to finally meet my long-time-online-book-world-friend, Amanda!

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5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

Hmmm, I’m not really sure. I would probably go with getting my Six of Crows duology signed and meeting Leigh Bardugo (as stated above).

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

There seemed to be frequent reading slumps where NOTHING sounded good. Though I was often disappointed with the number of posts I had done at the end of most months, I am happy that I didn’t pressure myself to do posts I didn’t care about just to fill the days.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By views since I don’t know how to look it up by comments: Review: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) is the most viewed post of the year. The most viewed post that I actually wrote this year was my 3 Year Blogaversary Giveaway.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Any reviews, really. Even though I’m sure it reads like I just throw them together, reviews take me so long to write so when some of them – especially on books I really loved – get really low views, it’s sad.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Book Outlet! Though I wish they had more of the books that I was looking for, I got most of my Christmas book shopping done during their Black Friday sale. It’s definitely a site I will be re-visiting.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

The only challenge/goal I do is on Good Reads. I had reasons to go really conservative at 75 books, but as of 12/26/16 I’ve read 136 books (181% of my goal).

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

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I’m not sure if it will be the first book I read, but I really need to read Twisted Palace by Erin Watt!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

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Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I can’t really think of anything. I always seem to be the last to find out about good debuts.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

There are a couple sequels I can think of, but neither are ones I’m super interested in.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Go to more author events!

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

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The Young Wives Club and Still Life are my two favorite 2017 releases I’ve read so far.

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The Jingle Bell Tag

Land of EnCRAFTment: Jingle Bell Shaker Box Invites!:

I saw this tag over on A Novel Glimpse and thought it looked fun, so I decided to steal it. Feel free to steal it yourself if your blog is in need of a little holiday book cheer.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. This was one of my favorite books of the year and probably my favorite cover of the year. I definitely need a copy to go on my shelf!

“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

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I’ve enjoyed so many books this year so to narrow it down I’m following Deanna’s example and picking my most recent most enjoyable read, which is My Lady Jane.

Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?

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I don’t know about my inner child, but reading the Backstage Pass series made me really nostalgic for the boy bands of my early teen years.

“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has  the most festive look to it?

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I’ve been really into holiday romances this year and I think Wrong Brother, Right Match by Jennifer Shirk is just like a Hallmark Christmas movie – even the cover of it – which is one of my favorite things about this time of year.

The Grinch | Your favorite villain…

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Joe from the You series by Caroline Kepnes is more an anti-hero than villain, but there is no denying this guy does totally villainous, messed up things. But I still root for him the whole time.

The Holiday | Name your favorite TWO couples…

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Kaz and Inej from Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom

Lucy and Josh from The Hating Game

What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

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Red Rising of course! Everyone needs to read this series!!

A Long Time Ago, in a Land Far, Far Away Book Tag

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I was tagged by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (check out her blog, she’s awesome!). Feel free to tag yourself if you would like to participate.

ONCE UPON A TIME

At least in western fairy-tales, once upon a time is the most common and well-known opening for a traditional fairytale. What book opening makes you feel nostalgic?

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I don’t think I entirely understand this question. So, I’m going with a book opening that has “once upon a time” with a twist. The Rose Society by Marie Lu.

“Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.”

IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY

Another common opening which speaks of far off places. What is a book set in a country completely unlike your own?

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo is set in Ketterdam. Yes, it’s fictional. But it’s kind of Russian inspired, right?

FROM MOUTH TO MOUTH

Our oldest fairy tales were told time and time again with no written record, told only in the spoken form. Everyone had their own version of the fairy tales. What is your favorite retelling?

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All of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer are really well done, but I think Cress (Rapunzel re-telling) is my favorite book of the series.

THROUGH THE GENERATIONS

Fairy tales are told to us as children and so are passed on through the years. What is a book that someone beloved passed on to you?

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I am usually the one that forces people to read books. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is one that I read and then bugged and bugged my sister to read. When she finally did she loved it,  so much she started working for one of the major HG fansites, and so then my parents and brother all decided to read it too.

A SPECIAL STORY

Fairy tales are a big part of our culture and say a lot about who we are as people. What is your favorite fairytale and what does it say about you?

My favorite Disney fairy tale movie is beauty and the beast because it's one of the rare times a prince gets saved:

Beauty and the Beast, like all good bookworms. Of course there is the relatable factor of Belle being a book lover. But I guess I also like the idea that physical attraction doesn’t play a role in them falling in love. And I never really realized it until I was searching for a picture to use and found the above one, but Belle is one of the most feminist characters which is cool.

AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

Fairy tales tend to have happy endings. What is a book you’ll love forever?

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is one of my new favorites.

Review: Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

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I don’t think there was a book out this year I have been anticipating more than Crooked Kingdom and I am so sad that it’s over! It wasn’t completely what I was expecting and not everything I wanted to happen happened, but it was, of course, so good!

Like Six of Crows, the story shifts between POVs in every chapter and this time Wylan’s perspective is included, too. In the first book, all I wanted was more Kaz, so when it took too long to get back to him I got a little antsy. This time I prepared myself for that and I ended up enjoying all the different perspectives a lot more.

I was kind of expecting a pretty fast pace, but the story-telling is similar to the first book, as well. There are bouts of action throughout, but there’s also a lot of time spent with character development. While I was expecting them to learn and grow (and they did), I was not expecting getting even more backstory on them. While it did throw the pacing off a little bit, I loved that there was still so much to learn about these characters, things that helped make them who they are. That said, I was happy when the pace did pick up during about the last third of the book and was full of the schemes and twists and surprises that were just so much fun to read. I also enjoyed seeing some cameos of characters from The Grisha series, including one of my all time favorite characters!

The romantic pairings all get their moments in the sun, as well. While this took up a small portion of the overall book, I can’t deny that I loved every bit of it and would’ve liked even more. At the book signing I went to someone asked Bardugo who her OTP (One True Pair, for those non-shipper enthusiasts out there) was in this series and she said, “you’ll see.” While I think there could be an argument made for each of the couples, I am convinced it’s Kaz and Inej (though they are also my OTP, so I may be biased). Like I said, there weren’t a lot of moments, but the characters made the most of them and it just made me so happy.

“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

The ending was not quite what I was expecting, either. It leaves some things open for possible spin-offs (Bardugo also said at the event I went to that she would be interested in writing more books in the Grisha universe, though not for a little while). We don’t get to see what everybody’s Happily Ever Afters look like. And perhaps not all of them get one.

Overall, Crooked Kingdom was a great end to the series, though I wish there were still more books to come! The characters are amazing and their stories were compelling. There were lots of fun twists. I love Kaz Brekker even more than I did after Six of Crows, which I didn’t think was quite possible. This is definitely one of my favorite series and I already can’t wait to re-read it.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4.5 Stars

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Ok, now I need to talk about some SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the book yet, please don’t read any further!

*SPOILERS * SPOILERS * SPOILERS *SPOILERS *SPOILERS

I mentioned above that maybe not everyone gets a Happily Ever After and it’s true. Matthias DIES!!!!!!!!!! I was so upset. I will never be one of those people that say characters need to die to keep things “realistic.” I don’t read fantasy for realism! I wanted them all to live! However, if one of them *had* to die, Matthias was really the only choice. His character arc was complete. He had learned the most, put his prejudice behind him. I feel like all the characters, despite how much they’ve grown over the course of the books, still have a lot of growing to do. Before Matthias dies he asks Nina to help the other Fjerdans see the error of their ways and we last see her board a ship to take his body back to his homeland for burial which I think sets things up for a Nina spin-off.

-Wylan’s mother is alive! I honestly kind of expected this since Wylan never went to the funeral (literally no mourners, no funerals) or saw her body. I did think it was a nice twist, though. Wylan grows up so much in this book and I loved seeing him get the upper hand over his dad! I also enjoyed watching his relationship with Jesper develop and loved Jesper’s growth throughout the story, as well.

-Kaz and Inej!!! I love them so hard! I liked that we got to see a little more of Kaz dealing with his PTSD and Inej admitting to how her time in the Menagerie messed her up, as well. I felt like it was kind of glossed over in the first book, but we really get to see the psychological and emotional ramifications of it here. I loved how they didn’t magically “fix” each other. And while a part of me really did want to see them ride off into the sunset together (maybe to Kaz’s farm property or on Inej’s boat), I’m actually really happy that neither of them gave up their future plans. While they won’t always be physically together, they’ll still be together. I debated between 4 and 4.5 stars for this book because the beginning did honestly drag a little bit for me, but my Kaz & Inej love decided to knock it up the extra 1/2 star.

-STURMHOND MAKES AN APPEARANCE!!! He’s one of my all time favorite characters and to see him with Kaz – my other all time favorite character – was amazing! How amazing would a Sturmhond & Kaz spin-off be?!?! Please, Bardugo, can you make that happen?

Trouble Makers Tour Stop with Leigh Bardugo

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As you all know by now, I absolutely love Six of Crows and have been eagerly anticipating Crooked Kingdom. When I found out Leigh Bardugo was going to be within about an hour of where I live I knew I wanted to go. But I was also really nervous about driving to the big city by myself. I had asked one of my favorite blog/internet friends, Amanda, if she was familiar with the area (we discovered once that we don’t live too far apart). She had never read anything by Bardugo before, but decided to give her a try and ended up loving both the Shadow and Bone series and Six of Crows and decided she wanted to go to the event, too. She even offered to meet me part way and drive us the rest of the way!

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Me and Amanda! (Not the best picture I’ve ever taken haha)

Though I’m super awkward by nature, it wasn’t really that awkward meeting Amanda for the first time (she may think differently, though, haha). We talked about books, of course. She’s so nice and it was so cool to finally meet someone in person that I’ve talked to for so long online.

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I got the Wylan card!

Ok, on to the main event. Leigh Bardugo is so cool and so funny! A guy who does pod casts for Overdrive moderated the event, asking Leigh questions and then helping field questions from the audience. There were not as many book spoilers as I was expecting/hoping for. But, she talked a lot about writing process and characters. I also learned that the moment she fell in love with Kaz from Six of Crows was during the “eyeball scene” on the boat – she thought it was romantic. That was also the moment Kaz really solidified himself in my heart (I even mention it’s a reason I loved him in my review haha).

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Overall, it was such a fun event! Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorites, so it was so cool to finally get to meet her and get my books signed. If you have the opportunity to go see her, I hope you do!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Books On My Fall TBR List.

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1. Yes, it’s on every list today, but I’m so excited for Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo! It’s out today, but I’m waiting until tomorrow to buy it when I go to a book signing!!

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2. Roseblood by A.G. Howard. I’ve had this on my TBR forever and I got approved for an ARC of it yesterday and I’m so excited! It’s a Phantom and the Opera re-telling and I don’t think I’ve ever read one of those before.

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3. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle. This is going to be the show that will fill the Pretty Little Liars void this spring on Freeform, so I thought I’d read it before then to see if I want to watch the show.

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4. The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter. I have been waiting for a new Will Trent book for-ev-er! And I have to wait a little while longer until my library hold comes in.

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5. The Power (Titan #2) by Jennifer Armentrout. This book has FINALLY came to the library so hopefully my hold will come in soon.

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6. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This book is getting amazing reviews.

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7. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. No, I do not expect this to be great, but I’m really excited to read it.

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8. Twisted Palace (The Royals #3) by Erin Watt. This series is the definition of Guilty Pleasure Read.

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9. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham. I love Lauren Graham (and Gilmore Girls).

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10. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Every friend I have on Good Reads that’s read this adores it. Yet another library wait list I’m crossing my fingers will come in soon.

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THIS FALL?

Pokémon Go Book Tag

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I was tagged by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (check her out, she’s awesome!). I’ve never played Pokémon or Pokémon Go (I don’t really get it, to be honest), but I love book tags!


Pokemon-Tag-01Starters

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I’m going to go with The Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin.

Pokemon-Tag02Pikachu

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Persuasion by Jane Austen. Every time I re-read this I love it just as much. The Letter!.

Pokemon-Tag-03-Zubat

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. While I did see this everywhere, it’s not why I lost interest. I just didn’t find it to be an interesting book. Even though I was so excited to get an eArc of it, I DNF-ed it.

Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto

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Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London. I absolutely love fake relationship stories and this is my favorite one I’ve read this year.

Pokemon-Tag-05-Snorlax

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The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I was just talking to someone at work about them and how she’s re-reading them and loves them, but the size of it just intimidates me so much!

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown. What is a book tag without a Red Rising mention? I could not stop thinking about this book when I was reading it (or after I finished).

Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen

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I’m going to go with Kami and Jared from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love them soooo much!

Pokemon-Tag08-Rapidash

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I read Paper Princess by Erin Watt in a day…and thought it was a little too “fire-hot” for YA…

Pokemon-Tag09-Eevee

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We are getting a Red Rising spin-off series AND a pre-quell comic book!!!

Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp

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The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. Even though the first book in the series didn’t quite live up to the hype, I fell in love with the series in the second book.

Pokemon-Tag12-Legendary

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The Dreamland series by E.J. Mellow. I’ve seen soooo many glowing reviews on it. I want to go to there.

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I would love to have a first edition of a Jane Austen book!

Pokemon-Tag10-Egg

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is getting a lot of hype lately.

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Pierce Brown. I will read anything he ever writes. This Adventure Ends also convinced me to make Emma Mills an auto-buy.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!!! This month!!!