January, 2018 Week 1 Reading Plans

Oh my God, it is the first week of January, 2018. Everyone panic with me, please. For this week, I am trying to balance the monthly reading challenges I have devised for the year. (Heh. Don’t be impressed. I am merely following other people on the journey). Here we go: My January, 2018 Week 1 Reading Plans are as follows.

mental health book bingo

My pals Inge and Wendy are two of the hosts for this readathon. There are different challenges in relation to mental health books. However, let me be honest with you: I am probably not going to get a bingo there. I am simply participating by reading the mental health books I have on my shelves.

From what I have gathered, it is a month-long readathon. Hopefully, I can manage to read a little bit every week (or, you know, I could just read a lot of those books in one week. Anything can happen).

My options include:

The Rest of Us Still Live Here by Patrick Ness
This book demands to be read, I say! I have only read one Ness book, and I loved it so much. Celebrating the average peeps, Ness showcases the perspectives of a variety of people. None of whom happen to be “superheroes”in the traditional sense.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold
Not sure what is the representation in this one, but I saw it on a Goodreads list that I will include here. 

It is kind of a stretch, but I can also give The Upside of Unrequited a try this week, too. Who knows.

kind of related

A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis is also what I am reading this week. I know. My progress is really sad thus far. This is not a reflection on the book itself, merely my mental health’s status as of late.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera


I have to wrap up Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At the End of the Lane. Also: I want to somehow put a dent on Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns. 


An Honest Update before the Fall into Fantasy To Be Read Pile: You may have
October of 2018 was a total dumpster fire. Nevertheless, I am determined to bounce back
I haven't been able to post on my blog for most of September. The world

Bullet Journaling and My 2018 Approach To It

Bullet journals are kind of a fashion statement for those who love organizing things. And, let me get on the record to say: I don’t organize things. I am messy, and moody, so it’s hard for me to predict what I can manage to do next.

But, I had started my bullet journal in August of 2017. I think it has helped me a lot, and I am sharing my experience with you today.

2017 lessons on bullet journals

I did not know much about bullet journals early on. Here is a nice link on what these journals’ functions are. Anyway, I have seen many posts on YouTube and Pinterest regarding ideas on how to set up a bullet journal. Essentially, I have been trying out different set up formats and pages.

My favorite way to use the journal is to track my daily activity, mood, and set up a list of the books I got for the month along with the ones I did read as well.

I found that my bullet journal has helped me look forward to my day a little better, for simple reasons. When I decorate my journal for the next day, I find myself decompressing before bed while working on them. Even the simple act of adding stickers, or changing the color of the pen would give me a little boost–I know, it sounds silly.

2018 ideas for my bullet journal

Part of the journal’s charm is to add awareness to one’s daily activities. I noticed that my days tend to be repetitious in terms of the individual tasks. As a result, a sense of hopelessness has been festering along the way.

So, I am thinking of changing my goals for each day. For instance, I always try to write a post on my blog each day, but, instead, it takes me all day, staring at a blank screen. Sometimes, I think I am really clever and attempt to multitask. Let me tell you something about me: I don’t get much done when I am trying to do more than one thing at a time. Therefore, I need to stop trying to go on YouTube, and write a post, while tweeting. It’s not working for me at all.

How does this relate to bullet journals? Well, I am thinking of using mine to also include reminders. Like, “Hey, if you finished this task, give yourself 10 minutes on YouTube.” For a while, I used to designate Pomodoros for each day, and that worked well. I am thinking of going back to that.

Another really neat use of bullet journals is that of trackers. I have slowly been integrating mood trackers, as someone who has a milder form of bipolar disorder (it’s called cyclothymia). I want to cross reference my journals, though. I keep a journal for therapy, and I am thinking of including a short description of how I am feeling, accompanied with why I think I feel that way.

In addition, tracking reading time (in Pomodoros, for ease) sounds like a good idea, because I don’t regulate how often I read. Instead, I try to rely on my mood, which is not such a good idea. Anything that involves me sitting still for a long period of time intimidates me. I think scheduling a time for me to get off the Internet and read will help me disconnect.

Finally, I want to use my bullet journal as a practice in accepting imperfection. I tend to beat myself up for not drawing the perfect shape, or messing up the spelling of a word. For the new year, I want to embrace these flaws and carry on with my journal without ripping pages (that’s why the page numbers help me).


  Sometimes, when I talk to certain people, I see it clearly. Negativity. Like a
  As 2018 approaches, I am going to try challenging myself to read and comment

Reading Challenges for 2018


As 2018 approaches, I am going to try challenging myself to read and comment more often. This idea came from the lovely NovelKnight, who tweeted about 2018 challenges they will be participating in. SO. Being the entirely original peeps that I am, I am following suit. Let’s go!

Because of my anxiety, I don’t want to really talk about teams and sign up officially for any of this. (Surprise! I am breaking the rules already).

beat the backlist

I have learned that back-list books are books that are older than the current year. In other words, for 2018, I will have to be reading books published in the years prior. Here are some of the books I want to try to get to.

1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
3. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
4. The Siren by Kiera Cass
5. The Diviners by Libba Bray
6. Fairyland series by Cathrynne M. Valente (at least read the first one)
7. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series (at least read Soulless)
8. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali
9. Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
10. Rebel Mechanics  by Shanna Swendson
11. Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
12. Any Gaiman book

a series a month

I have many serious I want to try to read this year.  Here are some of them for my potential TBR.

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy
2. Seven Realms books (basically, I need to read as much Cinda Williams Chima as possible to catch up)
3. Mistborn first or second trilogy.
4. Legend trilogy by Marie Lu
5. Remnant Chronicles trilogy by Mary E. Pearson
6. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
7. Chaos Walking trilogy
8. Firebird trilogy by Claudia Grey
9. Fallen Kingdom by Morgan Rhodes
10. Shiver trilogy by Maggie Steifvater
11. Unspoken trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan
12. Half Bad trilogy by Sally Greene


The Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

commenting 365  challenge 

I am going to attempt to comment on more blogs and just make more friends, in general. From what I have noticed, I don’t comment enough, not even on my own blog do I reply to conversations. It’ll be hard to socialize on some days, I know (and part of this is to push me out of those cycles).



  Sometimes, when I talk to certain people, I see it clearly. Negativity. Like a
Bullet journals are kind of a fashion statement for those who love organizing things. And,

Top 5 Books I’m Wishing For in 2018

This week marks the final days of December, 2017. As such, Top 5 Wednesday is all about our top 5 books we wish for. Here are some of the themes I want more of.

5. Minority groups in historical settings

Right now, I am reading A Madness so Discreet, and all I am thinking about is how rare it is to discuss mental health in a historical setting. Not only is it a shunned topic, it is also not often discussed in a complicated manner in young adult literature. I am not sure why this is the case. Why do some people assume that all those who read YA are not capable of complex discussions. It just needs to change.

I want it to go beyond just mental illness. Intersectional identities existed throughout history. Talk about queen people with mental illness in a historical setting. And, as much as I love steam punk, I want authentic narratives. My favorite discussion was definitely in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Definitely want more well-researched historical fiction in 2018.

4. magical realism

Your home girl here loves a lot of magical realism. Basically, it feels like a good stepping stone between fantasy and contemporary fiction. There’s this je ne sais quoi factor to it. It’s like being in Neverland but not being totally sure of what is happening. Anna Marie McLemore is basically the leader on my boards of magical realism tallies. I adored her work (read all of it this year and the year past). So, here’s what I’d like: queer identities, minorities, disabled people in magical realism tales. Write about how awesome these characters are. Make them varied and complex, and messy. The messier, the better.

3. raw discussions of society as it stands

Part of the charm of stories lies in their potential social commentaries. The Hate U Give offered so much nuance and direct correlations from the text to the news.  It shed light on what it is like to live in such a disadvantaged position in the social structure of American communities.

While it felt rushed, a similar discussion was in The Sun is Also a Star. Yoon discussed the multi-faceted nature of being an American. She explores the dimensions of first love, heartbreak, hope, and loss.

Sometimes, I feel like we want social justice to be discussed in contemporaries, but we don’t see the power of symbolism. This Savage Song and its sequel had such an impact on myself as a person, because I was shaken by the way Schwab examined cruelty and humanity. What if your acts had a physical manifestation as a result? Something bold and strong, and it tracks you down?

2. genre mash up

The beauty of stories also is in the way they can be presented. I think that we need to start freshening things up. Try different ways of telling a story. Like Illuminae comes to mind. I enjoyed the way its authors included such a vast exploration of genre and story telling methods. They worked well for me, and I am looking forward to continue with stories like this.

Another mash up I really enjoyed is in Rebel Belle. It is the clash between a contemporary and a fight/action tale that really made the story memorable. Sometimes, you just need to read something amusing and different. What I am trying to say is that authors could perhaps try meshing various commonly used genres to get something completely different and unique.

 1. open ended conclusions

My favorite ending was the one in The Raven King, and I just want stories with inconclusive conclusions. You don’t have to spoon-feed me an ending. I can come up with my own assumptions about what happened to the characters after the main conflict is resolved–if it is resolved at all.

In other words, I want authors to treat readers as the intelligent people that they are. Nobody needs all stories to have a nicely wrapped up bow atop the ending. Totally fine with vagueness, too. Like, “Did this person live or no?” I think, in doing so, the stories become more about us and less about a dictated spelled-out series of actions. The coolest thing is when you read a story, and your understanding of what happened changes completely over time.

Just a thought.


I am having a particularly rough time existing, so I am taking advantage of post
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Top 10 Books I Can’t Wait to Get to in 2018

Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday. This week, the topic for my list is the Top 10 Books I Can’t Wait to Get to in 2018. As always, here is a link to the Broke and the Bookish, the folks who created Top 10 Tuesday.

Basically, in the upcoming year, I want to make a dent on the series that I have.

10. cinder by marissa Meyer

I know, I’m way behind on this train. Whenever I see mood boards inspired by the characters in this series, I feel things. No matter how often I see quotes from it, I get hopeful. So, my hope is that I read this series before the spring of 2018. Or at least start it by then.

9. the young elites by marie lu

Villains or anti-heroes are my jam. This is a story of a character descending (or ascending, it’s all about perspective) into villainy. I’m here for this, gosh darn it. I have high hopes for this trilogy.

8. gemina by amie kaufman and jay kristoff

I enjoyed the first book in this series, and I am going to move into Gemina land some time before Obsidio is out. I hope the new cast of characters is easy to like, just as Ezra and Kady were pleasant and humorous. What will AIDAN do this time?

7. caraval by stephanie garber

Judging by the polarized reviews about Caraval and The Night Circus, I am thinking of tackling this novel first. It sounds like it is easier to digest because it is not as hard to follow (so I have gathered, anyway). Besides, I am nervous about Night Circus because Julie and Sam were saying that it is a lot like Uprooted in terms of style.

And I did not like Uprooted. 


6. Strange the dreamer by laini taylor

I have her other trilogy, but I am going to slowly get through her books. Right now, I am thinking of starting with this book first. But, it’s also on my mind to try reading Karou’s story first, since I have read some of it before. Either way, I am going to read Laini Taylor’s work, gosh dang it.

5. cinda williams chima

I know. I keep mentioning that I want to read her stuff, but then I don’t follow through. 2018 is going to be the year I catch up on her stuff.

Speaking of which.

4. brandon sanderson

Listen. He broke my heart in one book. This is why I am hesitating, but I will try to get back into his stuff once more. His stories are good. I just need to gather up the courage to do this.

3. neil gaiman

You know, the usual. I have some of his books, and I need to keep reading his work, because, dang. He is talented and he paints the most alluring yet haunting images in his stories. Heartbreak while in awe sounds like a perfect way to spend my time in 2018.

2.gail carriger

I have been collecting her books used for a while now, and I need to give her a shot. She just sounds like the cutest writer and her work seems charming and sweet. I am intrigued.

 1. rae carson

I have only read one of her books, and I had mixed feelings about it. But, I got her other books fairly cheap. I’m somewhat intimidated by her, however, I want to continue.

And all the trilogies that I have are also on my most exciting things to get through in 2018.

what about you?


Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than

BT: Festive Christmas Book Tag

I’m late to the party, but I thought of sharing a book tag to celebrate Christmas. This tag, which I have seen on Sam’s channel, is called the Festive Christmas Book Tag. Happy holidays!

1) A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

Lara Jean’s family sounds like the most fun family. We can bake together. I don’t know, I just see myself painting the girls’ nails. Their dad can fuss over us a little.

2) A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

I am kind of weird with gifts, because I worry a lot about having to buy something in return. Bookmarks sound a little more doable than the other bookish items. Hot dang, bookish merchandise is way too expensive.

3) A fictional character you think would make a perfect christmas elf?

Someone with a good sense of humor, but also kind of crude, sounds like a Christmas Elf to me. I’m thinking Kenji from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

4) Match a book to it’s perfect Christmas song.

“I’ll be Home for Christmas” sounds like the anthem to The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima. (which I have yet to read, I know).

5) Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

I actually don’t think of the Naughty List that way. Some of the coolest people commit acts of disobedience to get a point across. But, to answer the prompt, I would say Ursula Monkton from The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 

6) A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserve to be put on the nice list?


7) Red, Gold and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully christmasy feel to it.

Shiver series by Maggie Steifvater has winter-y vibes in general.

8) A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

A few books come to mind: Turtles All the Way Down tops the list in general.

I sound like a broken record, but I am trying to recover from this bout
My incredible friend Ely posted her answers to this Book Personality Challenge a few days
As I watched Marines' video of this tag, I felt that it would be a

Cramathon 2017 Participation: December Week 4 TBR



I was at a loss when it came to TBRs this week. Luckily, there is Cramathon going on this week. As the name suggests, this readathon involves cramming books as the year draws to an end. It runs from December 26 to January 2nd.

▸ A book with under 200 pages

The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman sounds like the way to go. I am not scared or intimidated (lies! I am scared of this dude’s writing, because he sounds absolutely brilliant).

▸ A book with LQBTQIA+ representation

Ash by Malinda Lo is calling to me. This is going to ease me into checking out more retellings on my TBR (I am looking at you, Cinder).

▸ Shortest book on your TBR

I have shorter books than this, but I am going with either We Are Okay by Nina LaCour OR Shades of Milk and Honey Mary Robinette Kowal.

▸ Book that has your favorite color on the cover

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrow of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton has to be one of my favorite looking covers I own. And, I understand that this is about favorite colors, but I am twisting it a bit. This color combination is excellent.

▸ A book that was gifted to you

Technically, all my books have been gifted to me by my mom. So, I was thinking of going with History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera.  It’s time for some heartbreak and reflection in general.

▸ One of the hosts’ favorite short books / a book a friend recommends

Vicious by VE Schwab was one of Inge’s favorites this year. I want to check it out. A sequel for this novel is in the making. I need to catch up.


▸ Read 7 books

I have two other books to (keep) reading this week: Three Dark Crowns and A Madness so Discreet. 

*Runs off screaming around the universe*


An Honest Update before the Fall into Fantasy To Be Read Pile: You may have
October of 2018 was a total dumpster fire. Nevertheless, I am determined to bounce back
I haven't been able to post on my blog for most of September. The world

Top 5 Characters on the Naughty List

Look at me going back a week just to use this Top 5 Wednesday topic. Before I get into the discussion and list, let me tell you that the link to this Goodreads group is right here. Once you click on the link, you’ll be able to see the topics and the moderators of Top 5 Wednesday.

5.dr. heedson from a madness so discreet by mindy mcginnis

I understand that medicine wasn’t as good as it is now (and even now, horrible things happen to mentally ill patients). However, this doctor was an absolute abomination to all medical professionals in all the lands, across time periods. He was just a horrific person, and I am not even done with the book yet, but goodness…he lacks understanding, compassion, and kindness that I find to be necessary for a physician to understand those who experience mental illness.

4. maura from born wicked by jessica spotswood

Now, granted, their society would deem the whole family to be on the naughty list (I mean, that would be the least of their worries, but okay). Maura, though, trusts Elena readily and actively seeks approval from her while breaking the rule Cate has set for their family. Sounds like Santa would not be pleased by either sister. Tess would be on the good list for sure, though.

3. Jessamyn Lovelace from the infernal devices by cassandra clare

Nope. I try to think of her as a complicated person. Even then, I still dislike her and would put her on the naught list. Please,Santa, do not send her any parasols or whatever it is she likes, because she gives Will and the gang such a hard time.

2. hailey from the hate u give by angie thomas

Oh, she makes me so angry. Santa doesn’t like racist people.

 1. micah bayar from the demon king by cinda williams chima

The things he does in this book are upsetting, okay? I don’t like what he and his father end up doing to the Queen and to her Heir. Heck no. Whatever, Raisa, I don’t care how “cute” he may be. To me, he will always be a creepy and frightening fellow. Do not like him. So, please, Santa, put him on the bad list for me.

I am having a particularly rough time existing, so I am taking advantage of post
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Top 10 Disappointing Reads of 2017

As the year’s end approaches, I want to reflect on what I have read. Some of these posts will probably upset someone. My intention is not to make anyone feel bad for liking these stories, however, I want to simply say that I was disappointed when I read them. Obviously, I recognize the talent that these writers have, because, for the most part, I see why people like these stories.

10. queens of geek by jen wilde

Why is it that books dealing with fandom do not take their readers seriously? I found this book to be very surface level in its attempts to be inclusive. No, you don’t get brownie points just by including an overweight character, or a bisexual character, or a story set in a fan convention. Books can have such an impact, and it makes me sad to see contemporaries not communicating about serious life experiences and perspectives.

9. uprooted by naomi novik

I know a lot of people like this book, but it was overly descriptive. Plus, I felt like the romance was verbally abusive. I wanted to get to know the Dragon better. The main friendship between the two girls was sweet, and I wish there was more of it, yet the story was bogged down with all the flowery descriptions. I can normally handle magical realism and fantasy, but this was over the top.

8. You know me well by david levithan and nina lacour

Hastily formed friendships are fine, but I at least wanted them to work on it throughout the story. I cannot even remember the characters’ names; that is how forgettable they were. Yes, we should have more inclusive and #ownvoices stories. But, no, we cannot just haphazardly create stories that have no depth. I mean, it’s okay if that’s what some people want to read, but I like a little bit of substance to contemporaries. Why do people not take contemporaries as opportunities to take a stroll in someone else’s shoes?

7. graceling by kristin cashore

Dull as all heck. This story is all about fighting, and then hunting things. Maybe I am just not a warrior type of person (very possible), however, the whole time, I was grasping for any kind of human connection between her and Po. Anything. Just show me why the heck are you attracted to each other.

6. the girl in the steel corset by kady cross

The point of steampunk is the contrast between conventions of a rather conservative society and technological advances that were not actually present at the time. I don’t understand how some random fellow gets to call the main character “sweetheart” even nowadays. Also: it has no rhyme or reason to the attraction between the main characters in this book either.

5. the song of achilles by madeline miller

Again, this is a favorite among the book blogging community. I just did not like the romance, or the main characters. Most importantly, I did not like the way women were treated by the writer. Why can’t we see the validity in their perspective? I want feminist Greek men, for crying out loud. Surely they existed. I mean, since you are creating goddesses and divine prophecies, you can squeeze in a chapter or two from the women’s perspective.

4. fire study by maria v. snyder

I adored the first two books. Look, I care about Yelena’s potential self that could have kicked so much butt–and gotten her butt kicked several times. People who are naturally good fighters, good at magic, and they have the coolest boyfriend in the land irk me okay?

No, I don’t want to talk about it.

Actually, wait. I can articulate. I like characters to slowly become infatuated with each other. But, no. the love interest is just like, “I love you!” And, he never shuts up about it in consequent books. Bleurgh. He only serves the purpose of whatever Yelena wants. No, no! That’s not okay. He was a bad-ass. Come on, Snyder. Why did you do that.

3. timekeeper by tara sim

It was an okay read. Judging by the reviews, I was expecting fireworks and celebratory trumpets playing the whole time while I read it. Nope. Underdeveloped romance, no sense of society or world development, and most of all, the most infuriating of all a tofu of blandness for a main character. What makes Danny, Colton, Cassie, Daphne, or Luke memorable? Matthias, with his unclear purpose, could have added depth to the narrative, but no. We don’t get to see his point of view at all.

2. the school for good and evil by soman chianani

Girls who like to look pretty are villains basically. Also: everyone must be paired with someone else.


1. the wrath and the dawn by renee ahdieh

Shahrzad: “Oh, I will get vengeance.”

Khalid: *smizes*

Shahrzad: “I love him! No more vengeance.”

Me: o.O

Slumps, of all kinds, are the worst. It doesn't matter if you can do your
Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay. Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books
For this week's Top 10 Tuesday, I am twisting the prompt a bit. Rather than

Reader’s Crossing Continued (Week 3 of December 2017 TBR)


We’re now beginning our third week of December, 2017. I am slowly making my way through the Reader’s Crossing challenge, so here is my continued attempts to participate. Okay. So, I made it through most of the cute challenges. I now will cross into Cool territory.


I am first in need of finishing up a middle grade novel, and I am still debating if I’m in the mood to read some contemporary.  My current contemporary stash has some nice contenders: The Upside of Unrequited and the final Lara Jean novel are leading the race to my TBR.


I don’t have an unread book written by a celebrity. So, what I am thinking of doing is reading Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. This book deals with celebrity culture and televised competitions. That, and it is a fresh take on a classic.

Another option is to read the second Selection novel, The Elite, as it deals with a royal family and televised competition to be married into that family.

award winner

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake won a couple awards.  I want to see if it is a fun read. Definitely intrigued by it, especially now that I have read Born Wicked which had a nice take on sisters.

Hopefully, it’ll go by fast, because I read some mixed reviews on this one.

recommended reads

So, this is a bit of a cheat, because I have certain books I want to get to. The cool thing is that we have this Goodreads thing where people share their favorites.

Inge liked Vicious this year, and I have it on my TBR. It is about villains, and this is winter time with gloomy weather. That is one option. I am hesitant to read this one, because that’s the last Schwab book I have that is unread, and I am not really too keen on her Archived books. So.

EDIT: My sister also voted for this one, because, “the cover is pretty.”

set in your country

I am very doubtful that I’ll get to this one, but let’s brainstorm together. Adam Silvera has written two unread books on my shelves. The other contender for this challenge is A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. It’s a thriller/mystery novel set in the United States. I’ll have to weigh the options here, because I may be in the mood to cry (Silvera books would then be more appealing) or be curious (McGinnis book would win then).


This is kind of the general list of books I am hoping to get to this week. What are your reading plans for the week?

An Honest Update before the Fall into Fantasy To Be Read Pile: You may have
October of 2018 was a total dumpster fire. Nevertheless, I am determined to bounce back
I haven't been able to post on my blog for most of September. The world