Home       About Me       Review Index

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Stefanie's 2017 End of the Year Survey

Hey everyone,

It's 2018 and you know what that means; time for me to participate in one of my favourite blog posts of all time: the Year End Survey, which is hosted by Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner. I did this last year and it took me four hours to pick which book(s) I wanted to feature in each category. I've already challenged myself to not take that long again. 

So here we go! 

Number of Books Read: 248

Number of Re-Reads: 27

Genre You Read the Most From: Contemporary 

Best Book you Read in 2017 (well I always cheat here and pick one book from the major genres I read...because I can't pick just one!)

Best Young Adult: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Best Adult: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
Best Children's: Royal Crush by Meg Cabot


Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love but Didn't: 

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

I loved her first couple books, wasn't that much of a fan of Isla's tale, but I was so pumped for this one. It fell flat and I was actually severely disappointed. 

Most Surprising (in a good or bad way) Book You Read: 

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

For some reason I had this one originally shelved as DNF, but went back to it when I saw it at my library: and finished it within the day. I am officially in love with Laura Dave's writing and can't wait for her next book. 

Book You Pushed People To Read: 

I can't pick just one, because outside of blogging I work in a junior high library, so on a daily basis I'm getting students to read books outside their comfort zone and pushing books on them..ok well not pushing, but nicely suggesting them to try certain books. I did convince one of my friends to start reading the Harry Potter series, when she really wasn't that fond of reading. 

Best Series You Started? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017:

Best Series I Started: Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance
Best Sequel: Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Jenn McKinlay
Best Series Ender: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han


Favourite Author You Discovered in 2017:

Laura Dave

Best Book from a Genre You Don't Typically Read: 


Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

I normally don't read romances, but this one was hilarious! I'm tempted to continue with the rest of the series

Most Action Packed/ Thrilling/ Unputdownable Book: 

My entire re-read of the Harry Potter series, which I think I did in two and a half weeks (I really had no life that entire time)

Book you Read in 2017 That You Are Most Likely to Re-ReadNext Year: 

A New Model
by Ashley Graham and Rebecca Paley 

It's already in my shopping cart to purchase

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read: 

Most Memorable Character of 2017:

Can't really say I have one: I read a ton but one really doesn't stand out.

Most Beautifully Written Book: 

This I can't really answer, I don't know if one book I read would be considered the most beautifully written. 

Most Thought Provoking/ Life Changing Book:

Can't pick one again; I read a lot of books that really spoke to me when I read them and when I really needed them (after the pitfalls of online dating, ghosting, self confidence, all that drama), but to say they were beautifully written might be a stretch for most people, but for me these were what I needed! 


Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2017 to Read: 

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Favourite Passage/ Quote from a Book You Read: 

"You don't need anyone's permission or acceptance to go out there and do you. All you have to do is begin. The most beautiful thing in the world is someone living to their fullest potential." 

from Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling

Shortest and Longest Book You Read: 

Shortest: Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling (64 pages)
Longest: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (800 pages)

Book That Shocked You the Most: 

I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies by The Betches

This surprised me by being so honest, raw and downright funny, because every word in this book was right in your face brutally real. It made me laugh throughout as well, because it really was an eye-opener at times.

OTP Of the Year:

I really don't ship anyone, call me old, but I just don't get attached to characters like I used to.

Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship: 

from Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland 

Becca and Marisol's friendship; it was adorable! 

Favourite Book You've Read from an Author You've Read Previously: 

In This Moment by Karma Brown

Best Book You Read Based Solely on a Recommendation:  

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Newest Fictional Crush from a book you Read in 2017: 

from Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourne

Believe it or not I can answer this one! I actually fell for Wesley; his actions were just the best throughout the book and it was one of those moments that I was like why can't this be me.

Best 2017 Debut You Read:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Best Worldbuilding/ Most Vivid Setting: 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Book that Put a Smile on Your Face/ Most Fun to Read: 

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Harms

The short review I wrote on this on Goodreads even reads: Ended this book by having a smile on my face, that's how good it was. 

Book That Made You Cry: 

The Choices We Make by Karma Brown 

I BAWLED reading this. It was so emotional that I honestly couldn't keep it together, but I loved every page. It was a wonderful trip through my emotions. 

Hidden Gem of the Year:

Myths and Mistletoe by Tera Lynn Childs

Book That Crushed Your Soul:

Same as Book that Made me Cry

Most Unique Book You Read in 2017: 

Doing It by Hannah Witton 

Book That Made You the Most Mad: 

Mistress of All Evil by Serena Valentino 

New Favourite Book Blog You Discovered:

Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday

Favourite Review You Wrote in 2017:

The Myths and Mistletoe one, since Tera Lynn Childs is one of my all-time favourite authors

Best Discussion/ non-review post you had?

Probably the one where I talked about how much I loved Oliver Wood....

Best Event You Participated In: 

The campaign to review Maggie Hall's third book, and after reviewing it you got a signed bookplate (which happily sits in my copy of Ends of the World) and bookmark. 

Best Moment of Blogging:

Unofficially celebrating my first year of blogging on here!

Most Challenging Thing About Blogging:

Attempting to learn HTML coding and stuff like that. Turns out: I suck at it, as I expected; good thing I never went into computer science. Then again I could use it. 

Most Popular Post This Year: 

My review of Girl Online. 

Post You Wish Got a Little More Love: 

I don't have one; honestly I'm happy if only one person were to look up one of of posts!

Best Bookish Discovery:

Finding out I had enough Harry Potter books and collectibles to have a fully dedicated Harry Potter bookshelf in my apartment. 

Did You Complete Your Reading Challenges/ Goals you Set for Yourself:

Yes to the reading challenge. My goal to re-read one book a week full short, by about half but I at least got to push myself to re-read more and realize that I really do need to pick up the slack when it comes to re-reads. 

One Book You Didn't Get To in 2017, but will be a Priority in 2018: 

The Regulars by Georgia Clarke

Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2018 (Non Debut): 

The Sweetest Kind of Fate by Crystal Cestari

2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating 

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Series Ending/ Sequel You Are Most Anticipating

Royal Crown by Meg Cabot

One Thing You Hope to Accomplish Or Do in Your Reading/ Blogging Life

Knock off more from my TBR list, instead of what I usually do and add way too many instead of getting that backlist tackled. 


Honestly it always feels good to do these! Gets me excited about the New Year and all the time for books I have. I hope everyone had a great New Years and I hope you all have a great 2018!! 


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sara's Top Five Worst/Most Disappointing Reads of 2017

Hi Friends, it's been a minute since I've had time to sit down and blog. As you may know from my October wrap up- I got a second job with Chapters for the Christmas season and I have been working non-stop, sometimes only getting an evening or two off a week. I am exhausted, but completely love it. I love working at a bookstore and Chapters was such a fun space to be in during the holiday season.

Anyways,  I am coming at you today with a short list of my worst and most disappointing reads of 2017. I have five books of each category to share with you today. So I hope you enjoy.

A small disclaimer- These are books that I just did not connect with. There were things in them that I did not enjoy. If you enjoyed them- that's great. Please do not think I am personally attacking you, I am not. I just get a bit nit picky at times. 

The Most Disappointing

 The next five books are not books I necessarily disliked, but I was just expecting to or thought I would love. Some of the novels listed are ones I still rated 4+ stars.

1) The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner - I enjoyed this book. But I didn't LOVE it. A very good friend of mine loves it, and gifted the first four books to me for my birthday. I enjoyed the story and I really liked Gen, but it was a bit slow and took me longer than I expected to finish. However, I fully plan on continuing with the series. I am curious about why so many people are loving it.

2) We Are Okay by Nina LaCour- Based on the synopsis given to use, I fully expected this one to be a five start read for me, but no. I thought the whole thing was a bit slow, and uneventful. There were things I enjoyed but they weren't really flushed out, and I think that's largely due to the length of the story- it's short book at 256 pages.

3) Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo- I read both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom this past year. I really enjoyed Six of Crows and was super eager to get to Crooked Kingdom, I was expecting big things- but, it all fell a bit short. The end was a bit dull, and the overall story was so unmemorable. I was hugely disappointed. I think I still rated it 4 stars, but I couldn't tell you what actually happened in this story, other than, the ending was weak. 

4) Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauran - This one is SO sad for me. I generally love all things Christina Lauren, however this one was SO boring, and kind of ridiculous. The characters were flat and uninteresting and the conflict was kind of stupid. This actually might be my biggest disappointment of the year.

5) A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab - This book/series is SUPER hyped, and I was sure I was going to love it. But again, it was a bit slow in the beginning, it took me a few tries to finally get into it. I am not sure if Schwab is for me, I seem to regularly struggle with her stuff- but I keep trying.

The Worst 

Again, just because I didn't like these books doesn't meant you were wrong to, or that I was wrong not to. There was just something that I didn't click with.

1) The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson - I could have really liked this one. But, one of the characters does something which kind of bugged me and kind of ruined the whole story. I was super irritated after that. I can't say much more beyond that, as this is a pretty twisted read and I don't want to spoil it for you. I am pretty sure I pushed this one of two or three of my co-workers who enjoyed it, and didn't have the same hangups as I did. 

2) A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro - This was just not for me. I hated Charlotte, I just could not handle her. I thought her drug use was ridiculous and just stupid. I found the mystery incredibly immature. I hated this, I am surprised I even got through it.

3) An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson - Blah, this book was terrible. There was not plot, there was insta-love that didn't make sense. One minute he hated her and then the next he was risking his life and his legacy for her. Give me a break.  This book had such potential- the premise was great, and there were a couple of fun quirky bits. But, oh well- this was just not good for me.

4) Confess by Colleen Hoover - So, I waffle with all of CoHo's books. Some I really enjoy and others I can't stand. This was a can't stand. I didn't like the insta-love or how easily things wrapped in the end. According to what I wrote on Goodreads upon my completion of this book, I found it boring and angsty.

5) All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood- This book. The overall rating of this book on Goodreads is 4.1 stars. How? Why? I get controversial topics. I even enjoy reading them, but they have to have a point. I felt like this book had no point- it was edgy and odd, but had no point to make. I have a pretty lengthy review here on the blog for you- if you're interested.

Well, there you have it. My not so great reads of the year. Do you agree or disagree with my choices, tell me about it. 

Stay tuned, because up next will be my best and most surprising reads of the year. 

~Happy Reading Everyone

Monday, December 18, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: Myths and Mistletoe by Tera Lynn Childs

The Best Things Come in Fours
Four holidays to celebrate the season. Four worlds to explore. Four lives about to change. Four stories that prove magic is real.

Of Solstice Dreaming

A Mythmas Carol

Snow Falling on Serfopoula

New Year, New Mermaid

Slip into a world of myths, mermaids, and magic for a collection of holiday stories sure to warm the coldest heart!

A copy was provided by the author for an honest review

Hi everyone,

I can't believe it's almost December; as I type this I can happily say I've bought all my Christmas presents (except one) and am getting ready to shop for my Secret Santa at work; the best part is shopping for my Secret Santa is like shopping for myself so that'll be a lot of fun. 

I'm fully in gear reading my favorite holiday/ winter themed reads and I even found a couple new ones I hadn't heard of, plus a couple of the cozy mysteries I read have holiday ones, excited to dive in! My favorite of all though was when I heard one of my all-time favorite authors Tera Lynn Childs announced a new short story collection, all featuring holiday stories!! Forgive My Fins is in my top ten favorite books of all time and having the chance to go back into the world was the best part! 

The best part was this collection had each story in chronological order, starting from Christmas Eve to ending off the fourth story on New Years. This collection also had the main characters in these stories be the supporting characters from their main series which they are from (if that makes any sense). It was nice to see their worlds from their perspectives, when you normally saw them from another's first person perspective. 

The collection starts off with Of Solstice Dreaming:

Winnie Price has spent years dreaming of the magical Winter Solstice celebration in the fae realm. This is the year she will finally get to attend. But when things don’t go according to plan, will her dream still come true?

This was probably my least favorite of them, as the Darkly Fae series wasn't my favorite TLC series, but it still felt great in this collection. Winnie was a fun character and while her story might not have been my favorite, I enjoyed being back in the world. 

Next we get A Mythmas Carol: 

Christmas has never brought anything but trouble for Gretchen Sharpe. She’d rather spend the holidays hunting down mythological monsters than fighting over mashed potatoes. Can three sentimental hunts change her mind?

This was my third favorite of the four; I loved Gretchen in this one. She still had the kick butt attitude and softness for monsters she had in the Medusa Girls series. Her interaction with Sillus melted my little Grinch heart; there was something between the two of them that was so cute and heartwarming I loved it. This one also had A Christmas Carol feel to it and the ending was so cute. 

This was followed up with Snow Falling on Serfopoula: 

The Haloa festival is supposed to be a time of hope, but Adara Spencer hasn’t been feeling particularly hopeful. Until a surprise island snowfall brings three surprise visitors to her door with a surprise invitation.

How long has it been since I've been to The Academy in the Greece islands since Goddess Boot Camp got released; this was the first TLC series I read and the one that made me fall in love with her writing. I still remember being on holiday and going into a Barnes and Noble in San Diego and randomly seeing the cover and thinking this was going to be a great book, boy was I ever correct! 

This story is from Adara's perspective and I can't say I really liked her in the series, in this book I really felt for her; her mother is gone and spending the holidays without her has been tough. I liked how the special surprise made her realize just how lucky she is to be who she is and connect with the people in her life. I also got the feels reading this one and I can't complain, the snow part got to me too living in a Winter Wonderland six months of the year. 

We end the collection with New Year, New Mermaid

Marina Borealis knows having a crush on your best friend is the worst. Especially when he doesn’t feel the same way. Especially on New Year’s Eve. Will she spend another year unrequited, or will everything change before the shell drops?

I wish I could be a mermaid! I loved this one and this was my favorite of the collection. While I miss Lily and Quince, this one was fun having Marina as our main character. I felt so much for Marina and having an unrequited crush (those are the worst!), while I haven't had a crush on a friend, there's nothing to make you feel really single as seeing all those happy couples on New Years Eve (am I right!?). 

If anything I almost wish this one was longer! I would have been perfectly alright with this one being a full length novel! More romance, more underwater adventure! 

I can see myself reading this collection yearly and it'll have a nice place with my other yearly reads for the holidays! I'm actually hoping it gets published in paperback/ hardcover, so I can add it to my other TLC books. This has just reestablished TLC as an auto-buy author for me and I can't wait to see what she releases next!! 

5 out of 5 stars! 

Until my next review,


"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl