Ten Of My Favorite Heroines Outside of Contemporary YA

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite Heroines

This was a Top Ten Tuesday topic back in 2012 and in 2010 so everything I pick is from books I’ve read after that post in 2012.

I read a lot of contemporary and could have really gone on and on about my favorite heroines but I figured I’d tell you some of my favorite outside of that genre  (fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, dystopian etc.)

best YA heroines

Celaena from Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: YOU GUYS. I love Celaena so much. She is so badass and her arc in the first 3 books is AWESOME. Plus I just love her personality!

Feyre from Sarah J. Maas’s A Court Of Thorns and Roses: Okay I KNOW THIS ISN’T OUT YET but I, in good conscience, NOT put Feyre on this list after book 1 of Sarah’s new series. Like she isn’t the kind of badass you are used to seeing. She doesn’t have special powers or badass assassin skills but life has dealt her a rough hand and she has learned to be TOUGH and smart and resourceful. I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

Clara from Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series: MAN, Clara goes through a lot in this series and I was just so attached to her.

Kestrel from Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse trilogy: OH MAN. Kestrel grows and learns a lot and I love that. She was realistically flawed and I LOVED THAT. I cannot wait to see what book 3 holds for her. I just love her so much!
Cinder from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series: I still need to read Cress but from Cinder & Scarlet….Cinder is one of my MOST favorite heroines ever.

Eleanor from Susan Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly trilogy: I haven’t read the final book yet but my heart just hurts for Eleanor a lot. The things revealed and that she goes through…she’s not afraid to make the hard choices. Plus I love her attitude!

Adelina from Marie Lu’s The Young Elites series: Adelina is NOT your typical heroine. She’s kind of a villain/kind of a hero and I love how complicated her personality is. She doesn’t always make me happy but I FEEL HER. I DO. I just can’t ever get her out of my head.

Aria from Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky series: I AM SO SAD THIS TRILOGY IS OVER. Aria grew so much in her journey and I just have such a place for her in my heart.

Lynn from Mindy McGinnis’s Not A Drop To Drink: What a smart girl and I couldn’t even imagine being in her situation! The strength she had just really impressed me and I wish more people would meet her!!
 

So tell me…who are some of your favorite heroines that I need to meet outside of my usual contemporary reading??

Ten Bookish Problems I Have In My Life

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Bookish Problems I Have In My Life

This list could have been easily a list of 50. I have many, many “problems” of the bookworm variety.

1. A TBR list longer than I can handle: I count my TBR list as the thing on Goodreads in which I add things I own/want to read/want to check out at some point. So it’s pretty MASSIVE. And it keeps growing and growing. You can learn more about my TBR list here. I’m so happy to have so many choices but pretty much HAVING such a huge TBR list means that I get overwhelmed by the “what to read next?” question because I HAVE TOO MANY OPTIONS and basically an indecision massacre happens every time. Jamie’s TBR: 1, Jamie: 0. You can read more on my recent musings about having too many choices.

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2. Not enough shelf space: There are books on books on books. My shelves are overcrowded.  I AM DROWNING IN BOOKS.There are piles that I try to discreetly hide. I’d LOVE to add more shelves but we’ve maxed out the space in this here one bedroom apartment.

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3. I am the worst at quitting books I’m not into: I’ve talked about this extensively throughout this past ~5 years but I am not good at putting down books when I’m not digging. I’ve tried to be better at it and I HAVE come a long way compared to back in the day but MAN…I wish I was easily able to just make that decision. Related Reading: Reasons Why I Stink At Quitting Books

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4. Being a mood reader is a pain in the ass sometimes: I’ve written about what it’s like to be a mood reader (the good, bad and the ugly!) but basically sometimes it is a pain because of meeting book club deadlines, not being able to choose what to read, library books I was excited about go back unread, I can’t keep a schedule, etc. etc.

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5. A very small book budget at this season in my life: This is a money problem really. I JUST WANT TO BUY ALL THE BOOKS SOMEONE GIVE ME A MONEY TREE. Although, apparently I’m a reformed book buyer? But who knows what I’d be if I had a book buying money tree!

 

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6. Being too addicted to the internet that I get distracted from my books: I’ve already admitted to being a VERY distracted reader these days thanks to my brain and technology. BUT REALLY. I would get far more reading done if I didn’t have all these DISTRACTIONS. I need to be better about focusing.

 

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7. This beloved hobby makes my butt hurt too much sometimes: OKAY FOR REAL THOUGH? I know it’s absurd that I wrote a whole POST on this a couple years ago but both of my hobbies (reading and blogging) require a lot of time sitting on my ass. And SOMETIMES IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s VERY hard to find the right position that will sustain long-term reading.

 

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8. Too short of a life span: SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME ON THIS EARTH. I need about 5 lifetimes (or more) to get through all the books I want to read!

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9.  Forgetting what happens in between series & also sucking at FINISHING series: Okay so this is two in one but I SUCK AT SERIES.  I am the wooooorst at remembering what happens in between series. (THANK GOD FOR RECAPTAINS.) But I also am the worst at following through and finishing series…even series I really like. My list of series I haven’t finished is AWFUL (I’ve finished a couple since).

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10. I always forget about the books on my Kindle: Out of sight, out of mind! I always go for the physical books when I pick what to read next and never think of all the poor books on my Kindle.

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So tell me some of your bookish problems!

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things…In Romances.

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: 10 things I like/dislike in romances in books

With Valentine’s Day coming up, what better time to talk about the things I love the MOST when it concerns romance in books. These things get me a-swoonin’ hardcore.

 

1. Banter: IS THERE NOTHING MORE DELIGHTFUL THAN SEXUAL TENSION LADEN BANTER?!? I love banter. It makes me giddy.The more banter the more I’ll be shipping it.

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2. Slow burn romance: You can take your instalove and give me slow burn romance ANY DAY. Omg the tension. The longing. The intensification of all those FEELS. The OMG-I-CAN’T-TAKE-IT-ANYMORE-PLEASE-JUMP-EACH-OTHERS-BONES feeling. I love a good whirlwind romance when done right but the slow burn always lights my heart on fire.

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3. The “I kind of hate you” turned “woah hey actually I WANT YOU”: Logan and Veronica anybody??? Also, I actually REALLY didn’t like Will when I first met him and now we are married all these years later so I have a soft spot. AND CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT HOW I SWEAR IT IS EVEN BETTER WHEN THEY FINALLY GET TOGETHER?? SO MUCH PASSION.

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4. The boy/girl next door or the “have known each other since we were wee ones” thang: Particularly if they are friends! I think of Lola and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins or Corey/Topanga from Boy Meets World. I love all that history they have. I think the reason I love this one so much is because throughout middle school and high school I had this weird “was never a romance but we always liked each other just not at the same time” thing with the boy across the street. It was kind of adorable when I think about all the flirting and hanging out that went on being neighbors/good friends but all that tension! We DID go to a homecoming dance together but that’s the furthest it went.

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5. Opposites attract (also opposite side of the tracks): If there was ONE way to categorize mine and Will’s relationship is this. We are the most opposites ever and it just WORKS somehow. I love seeing it in books whether it is because she’s the prom queen and he’s the nerd or the live on different sides of the tracks…I’m all over it. I love watching people get past what they think makes them so different.

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BONUS: OTPs that have to go through hell and back to finally be together!!! Because sometimes IT IS THAT HARD.

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BRB I CANNOT CONTAIN ALL MY LoVE feeeeeeels.

So tell me…what are some things you LOVE in your romances?

Ten YA Fantasy Novels This Fantasy Newb Needs To Read

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Have Read (or want to read) in X genre

I’m pretty new to the YA fantasy genre so there’s much schooling that needs to happen there so I wanted to talk about the 10 fantasy novels I feel like I need to read to start my fantasy education (I’ve read Sarah J. Maas, Marie Rutkoski, Leigh Bardugo and Rae Carson so no worries if you are wondering where they are). I’d love all you fantasy experts to weigh in and even add more suggestions!!

ten YA fantasy novels

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
The Demon King by Cinda Chima Williams
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Scarlet by AC. Gaughen
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

 

 

So tell me…what fantasy books are NOT on my list and should be in order to have a good YA fantasy diet? :P   Also tell me the ONE on here that I MUST read before the others!

Top Ten Books I Want To Read With My YA Book Club

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I Want To Read With My YA Book Club

I have a book club and I love it! We are a bunch of adult ladies who read and love YA. Pretty much this list is helping me narrow down my picks when it is my turn to pick the book for the month! We always have a mix of every genre because we are all very eclectic readers but my picks always tend to be contemporary YA (mostly because I feel like we always have our best conversations when we pick contemporary)!

TTT1YA book club book ideasbooks for a YA book club

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

This just looks like a fun one about friendship and college! Plus since we are all quite a few years out of college it would be fun to reminisce about this time!

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

My one non-contemporary pick. YAY. Looks like an interesting concept plus I have a feeling the technology aspect could be interesting to talk about!

Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs
Looks like a good coming of age story to read with people! Plus summer (geek) camp! Heard great stuff about this one!

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I’ve heard AMAZING things about this one. It tackles mental illness, I do know that, and I’ve heard it’s very thought-provoking.

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

I’ve heard this one is super thought-provoking and deals with slut-shaming which is always an interesting topic to talk about.

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Book club read Speechless by Hannah Harrington and enjoyed it so I’d LOVE to read this one because it’s been on my TBR for ages.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

I really enjoyed Nina LaCour’s most recent book and I’ve heard this book is AMAZING (will make you sob shhh don’t tell book club that. I’m notorious for liking to pick books that will make me cry).

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

This one has been on my TBR for forever and I’ve only heard excellent things!

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

I really like Jennifer Brown’s books and think they always have something to talk about! This one looks to be no exception!

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

I LOVED Courtney Summer’s Some Girls Are and I love how thought-provoking it was. Want to continue my Courtney Summers reading and it looks like a good book club pick!

 

 

So tell me…have you read any of these??? My pick for book club is coming up soooon so which one should be my pick??

Ten Series Starters In 2015 That Should Be On Your Radar

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: FREEBIE! So I decided to talk about some 2015 series starters that should be on your radar!

*I tried link to Goodreads but it was down….sorry!! Will link to books later*

A Court Of Thorns & RosesYOU NEED IT. It’s Sarah J. Maas so NO BRAINER. Also, I read it and it’s AWESOME. Seriously, great new fantasy and who would have thought I’d be into fae. OH BUT I AM. This series is going to kill me probably.

TTT2DANGEROUS HEIST! A GROUP OF OUTCASTS THROWN TOGETHER! MAGIC! You can have my monies, Leigh!!

TTT10 YA Sherlock….and Moriarty is a girl!!!

TTT9High fantasy! The main character is in the upper class but longs for the freedom of those who are less privileged so she can pursue her dreams!

TTT8Parallel versions of London! Magic! Smuggling of people to visit the different Londons. This book sounds ridiculously good.

TTT7It’s like part Veronica Mars and part Scandal…so basically that means WHOLLY BADASS.

TTT6WOOO new Susan Dennard! This is all I know: ” The series is set in a world where three empires rule and every member of the population is born with a magical skill set, known as a witchery.
Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries-long war is about to end, the balance of power will fall on the shoulders of two young women, who must accept their fate, and themselves, to survive
.”

TTT5I’ve heard great things about this one and I’m itching to start it soon! A princess of a conquered kingdom trying to save her enslaved people! MAGIC! SO MUCH GOOD SOUNDING STUFF JUST GO READ THE SUMMARY…you’ll see!!

TTT4A modern girl caught up in an ancient war! I love when paranormal worlds exist right under the nose of humans and, in this case, under the streets of NYC!

TTT3It is the start of a series of crime family fairy tale retellings. This one is a retelling of Princess & the Pea and the main character’s family is one of 3 families who control the black market of organ transplants.

 

 

So tell me…what first books in a series are coming out in 2015 that should be on MY radar? Are you excited about any of these? Is this the first time you are hearing of any of these?

Ten 2014 Releases I MEANT To Read But Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten 2014 Releases I Wished I Got To…But Didn’t

AHH this could be a list of at least 50 books. So many books I wanted to get to in 2014! BUT I did get to so many great 2014 release (see: here and here). But here are 10 that I had REALLY hoped to get to and didn’t. Hopefully this year I will make time for them! Tell me which ones I should focus on!

2014-YA-releases

A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray: This sounded like an awesome sci-fi book and start to a series. AND THAT COVER.
The Summer Of Letting Go by Gae Polisner: I picked this up early in the year at ALA and had full intentions of getting to it because it sounded like such a ME contemporary YA novel.
Prisoner of Night & Fog by Anne Blankman: I was so excited about this historical YA and heard good things!
The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi:This was one of my most anticipated debuts of 2014 and after Ginger loved it so much I really wanted to get to it. But alas.
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern: This one was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 but I FAIL.
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson: I’m actually planning to read this one this month! I’ve heard it’s an amaaaazing fantasy!
Something Real by Heather Demetrios:SO MANY GOOD THINGS I HEARD ABOUT THIS ONE!
The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson: I love Jodi’s Tiger Lily and so I was SO excited for this book!

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu: Jennifer wrote a really great post of reading recs for books about sexuality & slut-shaming on this blog and I was already to read her book right then but between my reading attention span being that of a gnat plus being a mood reader…somehow it didn’t happen.
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes: I wanted to save this one for when I needed a book that would make me smile and apparently I just wanted to be depressed the whole year (no not really but idk why I never got to this).

 

So tell me…have you read any of these? What’s one book you really wanted to get to in 2014 but didn’t??

15 YA Debuts I’m MOST Excited About!

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels Of 2015 (I have 15 haha)

So let’s get to it….in no particular order!

list of 2015 YA debut novelsteen novels new release 20152015 books debut

Mosquitoland by David Arnold: First, I love this cover. And I just need to meet Mim. Everything I’ve heard about this novel makes me especially anxious to have it in my hands!! Plus sounds like a promise of a road trip and some quirky characters? YES PLEASE THANKS.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE SINCE ADAM ANNOUNCED THE NEWS! Adam is a fabulous book person and I’ve already heard AMAZING things about his debut. Seems like a little bit of Eternal Sunshine vibe but I really love this sentence from the Goodreads that makes me even more excited about it – ” offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.” Sounds like it’s going to be a challenging and thought-provoking novel!

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon: The main character is literally ALLERGIC to the outside world. How intriguing is THAT? And then a boy moves next door and she knows she’s in trouble because she’s totally going to fall in love with him.
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia: Man, it got me instantly for fans of Wes Anderson & Silver Linings Playbook. I can’t help it. As Goodreads succinctly puts it, it tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion.

Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott: This has a bad teacher vibe but I’m very, very intrigued. Also this brings me back to when I had a mega crush on a teacher in high school (HE WAS YOUNG AND HIS BUTT LOOKED REALLY NICE IN HIS BANANA REPUBLIC PANTS) though acting on it would have never happened and I would have been appalled if he did.

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi: This looks like such a fun book about romance and friendship about a random, fun night that brings a group of friends together and an attempt to relive that night a year later when one of them, who abruptly left town, returns and tries to bring them all back together. It says for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti and it looks like a fun read!

We all Looked Up by Tommy Wallach: So I’ve been RIDICULOUSLY excited about this one since I met Tommy at a Blogger/Author Party at BEA 2014 and he told us about it. An asteroid is plummeting towards earth and all the main characters can do is make the most of the potential time they have left and wait to see what happens.
The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman: Hi, my name is Jamie and if you mention Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in marketing copy I WILL FORGET IT IS MARKETING COPY TO LURE ME IN AND I WILL BE LURED EASILY/SALIVATING LIKE A DOG. It’s one of my favorite movies!

The Conspiracy Of Us by Maggie Hall: Sort of like a YA Davinci Code which excites me!

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas: A re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty that shows what happens after the happily ever after!

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio: This one sounds so good! It’s about a teenage girl who suddenly finds out at a doctor’s appointment, after trying to have sex for the first time doesn’t go well, that she is actually intersex meaning she looks like a girl on the outside but actually has male anatomy inside. Trying to come to terms with this revelation is hard enough and gets complicated by this information being spread to the whole school.

 An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Oh man, I was instantly interested when it said it was set in a Rome-like world. YES PLEASE. Plus it’s fantasy which I’ve been getting more and more into. On Goodreads it says it is “about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom.

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez: I was sold when it said 13 Reasons Why meets Emily Dickinson’s poetry.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury: This sounds like an exciting new series! The main character is the Goddess embodied so she kills people with one touch and lives in the castle where she is the executioner of prisoners and is also supposed to marry the prince who is immune to her touch. Sounds action-packed with promise of a romance and kingdoms at war!

Inked by Eric Smith: This is not Eric’s first novel but it IS is first YA novel and I couldn’t be more excited about it! It sounds like quite the unique and exciting high fantasy novel!

 

<<Also, I should mention these two debuts I’ve ALREADY read and HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend — you can read a little about them here!>>

Simon vs the homo sapiens agendaMy Heart & Other Black Holes

 

So tell me…which debuts am I missing that you think I should ask to my TBR??

Best Of 2014: All Things Not Books!

The past two years I brought you the best of all things NOT books and it was fun so I figured I’d do it again! If you want to read all my best of books posts we’ve got:

End of Year Book Survey (my answers still to come)
Best 2014 Debuts
Best 2014 Releases (Non-Debuts)
Best Backlist Books I Read In 2014
Most Underrated Books Of 2014

 

So let’s get to this:

best music 2013

21 Favorite 2014 Albums

(in no particular order)

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Taylor Swift – 1989: I have a long history with Taylor Swift’s music (I saw her at a very small venue when her first album hit which is crazy for me to think about considering how she sells out arenas) and have loved her for a long time. I’ve been nervous about her full descent into pop but I have to say that this album is perfection and I’m so pleased with her new sound and am impressed with how she’s been able to reinvent herself and having a blast doing it!

Hozier — Hozier: This makes me incredibly happy. You see, in my 2013 roundup I named Hozier’s EP as a favorite of the year and I was SO hoping the whole album would be fantastic and IT WAS!!
Broods – Evergreen: If you follow my Monthly Rewinds you know that Broods got listened to a lot by me. Every time a new single was released after their first one (I think it was Mother & Father I don’t know), I fell in love more..and the whole album is just fantastic!
Milky Chance – Sadnecessary: I know everyone fell in love with Stolen Dance when it came out as a single (rightly so I love it tooo) but my introduction to them was first with the song Down By The River and THAT was my pick from the EP rather than Stolen Dance when I highlighted them in my June Rewind — apparently I can’t pick the song that will be the most popular. That and Flashed Junk Mind are just as excellent as is the rest of the album so you should listen to it!

Sir Sly – You Haunt Me: They were excellent live as well and I got Will into them so THAT was a win for me! My favorite songs from the album: Gold, Ghost, & You Haunt Me.
Bleachers – Strange Desire: Okay, so I was reading this music blog I love and in February of this year they mentioned this song called I Wanna Get Better and I LOVED It. Then I add them to my Spotify list and read their bio and OMG HE IS THE GUY FROM FUN!! I didn’t realize he had a new side project so pretty much I stalked them for new singles and every one was SO GOOD. The full album? AWESOME. To be honest, I like Bleachers much better than FUN at this point! Saddest day when they came to Philly to play and I WAS ON VACATION.
Thumpers – Galore: I loved the two singles Unkinder (A Tougher Love) & Sound of Screams when they came out and then I really got into Marvel, The Wilder Wise and Now We Are Sixteen.
Twin Forks – Twin Forks: This album is so fun! I first got into them after hearing the song Back To You on Reign and then I waited impatiently for the full album!
Vance Joy – Dream Your Life Away: I first heard Vance Joy’s single From Afar last year and I freaking loved it and then 2014 became the year of Vance Joy for me because I listened to his music like no other. Getting to see him live was a highlight of my year and I’m excited he is opening for Taylor Swift when I see her this year!! (Favorite songs besides From Afar: Riptide, Mess Is Mine, Wasted Time, First Time)
Wild Cub – Youth: Okay so apparently this was originally released in 2012 but was re-released with more songs this year (I just found hear it this year) and was no longer a self-titled album. It is a band that Keegan DeWitt ( who I love) formed and it’s got a very 80’s feel I’ve gotta say. Fave songs: Thunderclatter, Wild Light, Colour, Wishing Well.
NONONO – We Are Only What We Feel: Last year I fell in love with their single Pumpin Blood (the acoustic version is great too) and then I kind of forgot about them until Spotify let me know their album was released. I was pleasantly surprised actually!! Fave songs besides Pumpin Blood: Jungle, One Wish, Hungry Eyes
Banks – Goddess: I feel like I named her EP as one of my favorites in this post last year.  I actually almost forgot to put her on this year because so many of these songs were in my 2013 playlist. I had to double check and I was like oh right…her album came out THIS year. Favorite songs: Waiting Game, Beggin For Thread, Change, Drowning, This Is What It Feels Like

Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve: WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ALBUM!!! Her voice & those lyrics. I remember as soon as I heard Same Love by Macklemore I HAD to know who that voice was singing the “she keeps me warm” parts. Then I found out who she was and found out that that part was actually part of her song She Keeps Me Warm. And so I hit follow on Spotify and then this majestic album was released. Favorite songs: When You Sleep, Secrets, So Far Away & Wounded Animal.
Paul Otten – Welcome To Life: So I have a playlist called “FULL ALBUM, I NEED YOU” for all these artists I find that only have one or two songs and I’m dying for a full album. He pretty much was the reason I started this playlist despite having a backlist of music..I wanted his new stuff. Fave songs: I Got Your Back, I Can Wait, Who We Are, All the Stars (my all time fave song of his is Girl, You’re Alright but it’s not on this album)
The Colourist – The Colourist: This was another one on the “need a full album” playlist. I’ve featured them a lot on my Monthly recaps. Fave songs: Little Games, Tonight(Young Hearts), We Won’t Go Home, Wishing Well
Lucius – Wildewoman: I love their voices! Reminds me of a lot of the indiepop bands I used to love in college. Fave songs: Turn It Around, Tempest, Two Of Us On The Run, Until We Get There
MØ – No Mythologies To Follow: I actually found them originally because of their cover of Say You’ll Be There (yes the Spice Girls song) and then this album was delightful. Fave songs: Walk This Way, Never Wanna Know, Waste of Time, Slow Love

Jenny Lewis — The Voyager: Jenny Lewis is my queen. HS & College Jamie loved Rilo Kiley (RIP). More Adventurous was one of my favorite albums EVAH. I loved what she did with The Postal Service and also with The Watson Twins. Seriously, I cried when Will and I saw The Postal Service last year and I got to see my queen. LOVED this new album!
Bishop Allen – Time Flies: Their album Charmed School was my favorite when I heard it for the first time my freshman year in college. Almost 10 years later and I’m STILL smitten with these guys! Fave songs: Start Again, Skeleton Key, Crows, Why I Had To Go

Jukebox the Ghost – Jukebox the Ghost: I’ve liked them for a couple years now but I REALLY love this album. Fave songs: The Great Unknown, Postcard, Sound of A Broken Heart, Girl
Andrew McMahon – Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness: I first heard one of his songs on my local alternative radio station and became hooked! He’s coming here this winter and I want to see him! Fave songs: Cecilia and the Satellites , High Dive, Canyon Moon, Driving Through A Dream

 >>More choices on my Fave 2014 Albums<<

 

EPS/Singles I Loved:

The singles that Charles Williams has put out, Ryn Weaver’s Promises, Zella Day, Mighty Oaks EP, BØRNS EP, Eliza and the Bear EP, Little May EP, The Hunts EP, The new CVRCHES single!!!

Concerts I Went To:

I only went to two this year because MONEY but they were good ones.

1. Death Cab For Cutie — Will and I went to Atlantic City around Memorial Day and saw DCFC. They have been a favorite band of mine since high school (early 2000’s) and it was so nice to see them live again because the last time I did was college.

2. Radio 104.5 Block Party — Saw Grouplove, Sir Sly, Vance Joy, Wolf Gang, & Bricks + Mortar. This was so fun AND FREE…despite the fact it rained in the beginning so we were soaking wet for most of the show.


You can see more of my monthly music choices in my Monthly Rewinds

 

tv

Best shows I started watching this year (some long overdue & some new!) in addition to the shows I’m already watching (Parenthood, The Walking Dead, Revenge, The Voice, Nashville, Scandal etc.)

The 100: My favorite show out of EVERYTHING I watched this year and in a LONG time. The pilot is iffy and it took me a couple episodes to get OMG OBSESSED to the point I binge watched it all night and ignored Will! WATCH IT! Seriously..if you take ONE REC FROM ME…ONE…EVER…DO THIS!

How To Get Away With Murder: More Shonda Rhimes goodness (my Thursday night is all Shonda with Grey’s, Scandal and now this!). The storytelling is kind of jarring at first but it keeps me on the edge of my seat and Viola Davis is a BADASS. Thank you Shonda for all these kickass females you’ve given us!

The Killing: Will and I were late to this show and REALLY loved it!! I was really sad for it to end. REALLY SAD.

Sherlock: I watched the first season of Sherlock and REALLY loved it! Can’t wait to continue on!

Chasing Life: This show surprised me! It’s an ABC Family one and I just gave it a try thinking I probably wouldn’t love it but surprisingly got sooo attached to it!

 

movies

Begin Again: Oh this movie! SO GOOD SO GOOD. Mark Ruffalo and Kiera Knightly were perfection. It made my heart happy really. Will even liked it!
Short Term 12: I actually watched this after Rainbow Rowell recommended it and SHE WAS RIGHT. Very good film!
If I Stay: It was amazing to see this book come to life on the big screen! The music translated really well!
Veronica Mars movie: OMG! I was devastated when the show ended how it did. GRRRR. I have been waiting so long for this (and backed the project on Kickstarter) so Will got us special tickets to see it for a (belated) Valentine’s date! It was one of those experiences where I wanted to cry joyful tears (okay I did) from being reunited with characters who feel like family. OMG I AM CRYING NOW. LoVe forever!!

 

ee

 

In past years I had a whole beauty section because I bought more things because I’m a beauty addict. However, this year I again had to limit it to what I NEEDED and also I’m switching over a lot of my stuff to natural beauty products so I’m in transition right now trying to find favorites and finish up when I’m using now (props to Betty for being my on-call guru when I need help).

favorite things of 2014

Yoga with Adriene: I want to go to classes but no $$. So I found Adriene and, while I’m still VERY new to all this, I’m excited that I found her because she is PERFECT!

Fleece lined leggings (got mine from Forever 21): game changers

Aztec Secret Healing Clay: Love making masks with this!

Alima Pure: There’s a brand I really want to try that’s liquid which is what I normally use (I used Makeup Forever & Stila foundations previously) but it’s too much $$ for right now so I opted for this which is a lot like Bareminerals (which tbh I didn’t really love before) because it’s cheaper. Betty doesn’t approve of this one those because of the particles you can inhale ;)

Gelato fiasco torched marshmallow gelato: As I tweeted when I tasted it, I wish I could live in this gelato forever!

Nourish Organics face wash, Shea Butter & Face Lotion: Love this brand! Not the deodorant though. NOPE NOPE.

Trader Joe’s Treats:  Sea Salt Butter Scotch Chocolates // Dark Truffle Chocolate //Watermelon Cucumber Cooler — I LOVE FINDING NEW THINGS HERE. Always.

 

fave-blogs-2013

Here’s five blogs I loved and discovered this year!

1. Oh Sweet Basil

2. Oh My Veggies

3. Young Adventuress

4. The Nectar Collective

5. Dishing Up The Dirt

moments2013

 

1. BEA! Always love spending time with my friends and other bloggers in this community!

BEA-collage-1
2. Chopping six inches off my hair: I had been growing my hair out for as long as I can remember really and I just was really sick of it getting tangled and being a pain in the ass as it got longer. But I was so scared to chop it off for some unknown reason. But I finally did it and it was such a freeing feeling and a welcome change!

hairbeforeafter
3. My sister Angela getting married! I was Maid of Honor and it was so awesome to be part of that day because this is my little sister + I LOVE her now-husband. And Will and I watched their kids while they went away for their honeymoon and had so much fun spending times with the littles.

8937_10204007313597471_3649129177119325781_nstory of my life everyone smiling nicely and I’m a dork!

 

4. YA Runs A 5K — what a great group of bloggers and authors who joined together for this!

Bs6grBxCMAA5ijXWith Susan Dennard & Sarah J. Maas

5. Will getting a new job (ummm and winning Employee of the Quarter already…he would kill me if he knew I was bragging about him): It was such a good move for us — better job, more opportunities, more money. He’s learning a lot and it’s a good company so YAY! And he’s already making a good impression within the first year so that’s always good.

10690224_640304484222_8272314740322117474_nWill & I at his work Christmas party!

 

 

 

 

Tell me if you listened to/watched/used/did these things!! Also, I’m so down for other recs if you think there is something I’d like! Tell me what your best moments were!

Book-Related Goals/Resolutions For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Ten Bookish/Blogging Resolutions For 2015

I have one simple blogging resolution before I get to my readerly/bookish goals:

To keep focus on why I do this. I’m a pretty chill blogger about things — no strict schedule or feeling obligated to post if I don’t want to. I do what I want. Always. But 2014 was a hard year for me. I LOVED everything I did on the blog, felt creative and happy with what I’m putting out there. But I also really struggled. I don’t know what it is. I’ve been at this for almost 5 years and maybe this is a natural growing pain — the landscape has changed (good and bad and just DIFFERENT), a lot of my very best friends who I met when I started have since quit or have stepped back and that’s really hard for me, I’m desiring less to be part of a marketing plan, I wonder if I’m irrelevant these days, I’ve felt disconnected from the community (and have struggled to comment and read blogs — for many reasons I don’t have room to talk about here), I wonder what the future holds for this blog, etc. Some days I struggled to remember why I even did this. While there was great joy, there were some joyless days in my role as a blogger. I want to strip away EVERYTHING and really focus in on WHY I started this back in 2010 and keep my vision on that. Stop letting the distractions and the CRAP that can come with blogging affect me. I do this (and this was my entire reason for starting this) because I want a space to talk about books/being a reader and share what I’m reading and how I interacted with it. That’s pretty simple. All else should fall into place from there — no guilt, no obligations, no letting the blog dictate my reading, no falling into the trap that feels like I’m reading TO blog, etc. I need to re-find myself as a blogger I think as I go into year 5 of blogging and keeping it simple is where I need to be.

 

 

On to my other goals:

 

book-resolution-1

In 2014 I somewhat consciously and somewhat NOT read more books than usual from characters who don’t come from my background and I really enjoyed that. So in 2015 I want to be intentional about that and read 1 book a month featuring a character that is a different race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, etc than me. I really enjoyed the different perspectives and the shared ones of just being HUMANS in this crazy world. (LOOKING FOR RECS!)

reading-resolutions
Earlier this fall I talked about how in THEORY I like re-reading but outlined why I don’t do it more often and in that post I expressed that in 2015 I wanted to challenge myself to do this more. So, formally, here it is. My ten books I want to re-read list should prove to come in handy! Asheley told me how she LOVES doing re-reads via audiobooks so I’m thinking I’m going to try that route sometimes to help me with this goal!

TTT3
I am pretty sure that “finishing series” has been a resolution of mine every year and every year the list of series I am in the middle of GROWS. But in order to achieve this goal, until I hit the 8 finished series goal, I am NOT allowed to start a new series until I make progress in or finish a series. THIS IS GOING TO BE SO HARD.

TTT4

I need to seriously read books I’ve owned for a long time or get rid of them. That’s just how it needs to be. They have been collecting dust despite my desire to read them at SOME point. My book buying habits have drastically changed in ways because of THIS but before I used to buy A LOT of books at an alarming rate and still a lot of them sit.

ttt6
I used to read non-fiction A LOT more before I started blogging — memoirs, history books, travelogues, humor, etc. Always very random, random things too.  I love learning and I’ve been missing the non-fiction especially this year for some reason as I’ve been VERY heavy on fiction for the past 5 years or so. (LOOKING FOR RECS!)

ttt7

I used to be all about the audiobooks but in the past year or so stopped. I used to listen while I was on the treadmill, while driving and doing things around the house like hanging up and folding clothes. This will help me with my re-reads goal above. (LOOKING FOR GOOD AUDIOBOOK RECS)

ttt8
I have been too focused on hitting my Goodreads goal and so I have been ignoring the chunky books on my shelves. THERE, I ADMITTED IT. I can’t help it. It’s this dumb internal pressure that’s like MUST FINISH LOTS OF BOOKS. I want to read some chunksters this year.

TTT9

This gets overwhelming and I get lazy but, even if I wasn’t blogging, this is something I would want to do as a READER. I’m not really going to worry about doing it for SUPER popular books but I want to make sure I’m leaving reviews for smaller to midlist titles I love. This one is a pain in the butt but I REALLY do want to support the authors I love in the best ways I can & I truly believe this does help. TTT10

My resolution for 2014 was to get back INTO Youtube and I did that. I kind of dropped off here towards the last couple months of this year so I want to commit myself to making AT LEAST 2 videos per month. I’m hoping I’ll do more but I’d like to make this my minimum! Come follow my Youtube endeavors!

What are your bookish/blogging goals for 2015??

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