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Again! Again! 2014 YA Audiobook Challenge

Who else likes audiobooks?

I do! A lot!

For the past two years I’ve participated in the YA Audiobook Challenge hosted by Jen at  Book and a Latte.

2014 YA Audiobook ChallengeThis is my favorite bookish challenge because I seriously LOVE audiobooks. Just ask my husband! I always have one going and I listen while driving, running, folding laundry etc… My husband knows I’m listening to a particularly good audiobook if I offer to do the dishes (it’s the chore I dislike the most!). hahaha

Last year I reached the “Rocking Out” level of the challenge because I was literally one audiobook short of my goal of 36. One! Ugghhhh The shame! hahaha If you’re interested, can see my 2013 YA Audiobook Challege Wrap Up here. I listened to so many awesome books in 2013!

This year I am participating again (of course!!!), and am shooting for the “Head Bang’n levelOver the course of 2014 I need to listen to 36+ audiobooks and review at least 24 of them.

I know I got this!

If you like audiobooks and young adult fiction, you should join us! Check out the Challenge Info Page to find out more and sign up.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2013

Hello there! Nice to see you again!

It’s Tuesday so you know that means it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday.  Every week I participate in Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by the wonderful people at The Broke and Bookish. Each week we combine our love for lists and all things bookish by creating a list based on an official theme. This week’s theme is Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013. We’ll see if I actually make 10 bookish goals…

1. GoodReads Challenge: I am participating in the 2013 GoodReads Reading Challenge this year and I have a goal of reading 80 books. I missed the same goal this year by 6 books so I’m going for it again! I hope to exceed my goal and read even more though.

2013audiobookchallenge32. Audiobook Challenge: I also plan of being a part of the 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge again this year,  If you’ve read my blog at all you probably know how much I love audiobooks so this one is super-duper easy for me! I’m going to attempt the Head Bang’n level where I have to listen to 36+ audiobooks, and review at least 24 of them. I got this.

3. Sunshine State Books: As usual I’ll read all 15 of the 2013-2014 Florida Sunshine State books after they’re released in May.  I partly have to so I can better promote them with my students but I also love being introduced to great middle grades lit every year.

4. Read from my own stack.  I have so many books on my shelves that I haven’t even touched yet.  My goal is to take out a good chunk of those this year as well.

Scheduling

See I actually did purchase a blogging planner!

5. Jane Austen Share: Get my husband to read Pride and Prejudice.  I have been trying for years.  He loves the movies, but has yet to read any of Jane Austen’s books.  This year it shall be done.

6. Scheduling: Get my BookTasty on a scheduling calendar.  I need to be better at organizing and running BookTasty this year and I already bought a little planner to help with this.  After I came home from the store, I immediately found a fun pen and got started on planning! Nerd alert!

7. Banners: Create new banners featuring my BookTasty Monster for my weekly posts.  My husband is my graphic designer so this is really another goal for him….

8. E-Galleys: To read more of the e-galleys I receive on NetGalley. I had a bunch this year, but only read a small portion of them.

Okay, so I didn’t actually make it to 10, but I don’t want to overdo it! I am believe these goals are realistic so I think I can accomplish them all this year! Do you have any bookish goals for 2013?

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Obsessive Behavior and Non Protests

Hello and a Happy Sunday to everyone!

As you can see,this is not a weekly In My Mailbox post. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme where book bloggers showcase and talk about the books they received during the past week and it is hosted by Kristi, The Story Siren. In light of recent news/events in the blogging community a lot of people have drawn a line in the sand and I‘d like to be incredibly clear as to my decision to no longer participate in In My Mailbox.

1. I was too obsessed. As a newish blogger I confess, I was mesmerized by the statistic graphs I saw when I participated in and linked up to a meme, specifically In My Mailbox. I was so obsessed with posting and linking up on Sunday morning, that it was my only focus as soon as I woke up. I even resulted to sneaking my cellphone during church and checking to see if The Story Siren’s post and linky was up. I admit to actually pretending to use the restroom in order to link up on time. Then once linked up, I would spend hours visiting other bloggers’ posts so they’d then return the favor and my stats would go up. I’ve realized that this is a bit on the obsessive side and I’m not proud of it. I needed to step away.

2. I am not protesting. Please understand, my decision is not a protest. This event just provided me with an opportunity to look at my own behavior and priorities. I do not condone plagiarism in any way. I cannot defend what The Story Siren did. However, I also do not condone bullying and people being overly mean. I do not defend their actions or words. My choice in ending my weekly participation in this meme is in no way me “picking a side”; it is purely personal. I am one hundred and ten percent fine with other bloggers who continue to participate in this meme. Likewise, I am also one hundred and ten percent fine with people who do choose not to follow The Story Siren. I’m all for bloggers (and people) making their own decisions based on their own personal convictions.

3. I’m not saying never. I may still post an In My Mailbox when I am particularly excited about a book or books I was gifted, bought or picked up from the library. But three weekly memes is just too much for me to handle and behave in a sane and reasonable manner! Those who can do it sanely – meme on! :)

Blah.

Okay, that’s enough explanation. I need to go clean my house, read, spend time with my husband and then later work on some reviews.

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A Game of Book Blogger Tag

Today I was tagged by Readinista , an awesome book blogger, to participate in a game of book bloggers’ tag! I’m always down for
fun surveys and questionnaires(in middle school my friends and I did tons of these things!). It sounds like a good way to connect with and get to know other book bloggers better! Below, you’ll find my answers to Readinista’s questions and underneath that you’ll find my questions for the bloggers I tag.

Hope you have fun reading and/or participating!

The Rules
1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post. (Ummm I didn’t tag 11)
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them

My Answers

1. Why did you start blogging?

I officially began my YA book blog in January 2011. So I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year now. I originally started because I needed an outlet in the middle of a lot of personal/family struggles/difficult times. I am a middle school Library Media Specialist who loves YA/MG fiction, and gets joy from helping people (especially teens) find books they love. It all made sense that a book blog was the thing to do :)

2. On average, how many books do you read in a month?

Hmmmm… I’ll have to estimate this one. Obviously it depends tons of factors but I guess I’d have to say, I read an average of four to five books
per month. Sometimes it more, but usually not less.

3. When do you read? (At night, during the day, commuting to work, etc)

I always have an audiobook or two
going at any given time, so I listen while driving to and from work, or while I’m
running. I honestly can’t run without an audiobook anymore and if I do it usually ends up being a really hard run for me. Other than audiobooks my reading takes place in the evening after work.

4. Do you have a favorite spot to read at home or do you read anywhere and everywhere?

It doesn’t really matter where as long as I’maying down while reading! If possible I’d be laying down 90% of my day! Most often this ends up being on the couch in our family room or on my bed. But it could be anywhere as long as I’m laying down!

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5. How frequently do you check your blog statistics? Do you check them everyday or do you not care about the number of hits on your site?

Ohhh, this just got serious… I must confess that I check my blog stats all the time! I check them at least five times a day (most likely more!). This makes me cringe in shame but maybe sharing my obsession will encourage others to acknowledge their own stat checking addictions. :)

6. Do you ever get tired of being a book blogger?

No, so far I really, really enjoy it! I
feel like it fits me well!

7. If you could live in a fictional world, what book world would you choose?

My nonYA choice is Jane Austen’s land of Pride and Prejudice! No doubt! Living in England, wearing Regency gowns, dancing with men like Colin Fir…I mean Mr. Darcy?! Yes please!

My YA/MG choice would be The Gallagher Girl Academy from the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter! I want to be friends with Cammie and her friends and traipse through the halls of the spy school thinking of pens that are really cameras or whatever it is girls in spy school do!

8. What fictional book characters do you most relate to or would like to be friends with?

Although I strongly believe that Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice) and I would be great friends, I feel like I relate most to Catherine Morland from
Audten’s Northanger Abbey. She is a
voracious reader, has an over active
imagination, and eventually marries a handsome young pastor; yup we’re a lot alike!!
And as I mentioned before I would totally be friends with Cammie an her friends from the Gallagher Girls series. They’re just so funny and loyal towards
each other, plus they love some
good old fashion shenanigans! :)

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9. Other than reading and blogging what do you do for fun?

When I’m not reading or blogging I am
wrangling middle schoolers, spending
time with my husband and our furry babies (dog and cat), watching British dramas, running, and getting coffee with my friends. That makes me
sound very popular and interesting doesn’t it?!

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10. Do your family and friends understand your reading and blogging hobbies or are they planning an intervention?

I think for the most part people get it. However, I’m sure there are those who
think I’m wasting my time reading “kid books” but they have no idea what they’re missing! Sometimes when I look into my husband’s eyes I see the intervention wheels turning, but he basically loves that I have a passion in books and blogging.

11. Freebie question – You choose what question you would like to answer (Yes I know this a cop out).

Okay my question is “who is your favorite fictional boyfriend?” Well, it’s funny you should ask *laughs lightheartedly* because I am pretty much convinced that Mr. Darcy “ardently admires and loves” me. I seriously swoon a little thinking of him. Le sigh…
Regarding YA? Hands down Will Herondale from Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. Who cares if he’s all dark and twisty inside… He’s Welsh, has an accent, and wears Victorian garb. It’s a done deal!! Are you sensing a British theme?!

Tags: Justin’s Book Blog, Lucy @ Reading Date, Reading Everywhere, Book Strings, Book Hounds, InklingsRead, The Lost Book Reports, The Corner Chair Seat, The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh.

My questions for you guys:

1. How long have you been blogging?
2. Why did you start book blogging?
3. Who are some of your favorite authors of all time and why?
4. What genre do you tend to prefer over others and why?
5. If you could live in a fictional world, what book world would you choose?
6. Is there a fictional character that you really relate to or could see yourself
being friends with?
7. Who is your best “book boyfriend”?
8. Share your favorite quote from
a fiction title and why you love it.
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
10. Describe your most memorable/significant book/reading related experience.
11. How do you spend your time when you’re not reading or blogging?

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End of the Year Book Survey 2011

The End of the Year Book Survey was created by Jaime at The Perpetual Page-Turner.  This is its second year, and my first year participating.  Boy, it took a lot of work, but it was fun to look back at my first year as a book blogger.  If you’re interested in participating, click on the image above and sign up!

Best Book You Read In 2011? 

I’m definitely picking two.  My favorite Young Adult title this year was Divergent by Veronica Roth (loving this dystopian romance trend!).  My favorite regular adult fiction (saying adult fiction sounds kinda dirty but I have to make the differentiation), was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.Divergent by Veronia Roth

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

I was pretty excited to read Vixen by Jillian Larkin because I love the “Roaring ’20s” (I’ve been a flapper for Halloween more than 3 times).  I was so disappointed though.  The writing just wasn’t that great and although I thought the story was fun I felt like I was reading a cheap romance novel.  Oh well!

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

I rarely read books with guy main characters because I prefer/relate to female characters (since I’m one).  But in an effort to be better adept at recommending “boy books” to my male students I read Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar and loved it!  Scott was a male main character/narrator who I completely identified with and I was very surprised by and impressed with the book!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

I think I have two for this one.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins most definitely.  My students hadn’t really heard much about it and we added it to the 8th grade summer reading list.  I’ve been asking those that didn’t do their summer reading, “Have you read The Hunger Games yet?” And they’ll respond with something like, “No but my friend/sister/brother has and they love it!”.  So I encourage them to read it as well! Also, I tell other adults about how they really need to read this series; it helps when there is a movie on its way.

Also, I think City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is the other title I’ve recommended most this year.  I have tons of girl students who have read the Twilight series and maybe the Vampire Academy series or the Vampire Kisses series, but they don’t know what to read next.  So I tell them how cool Clary and the Shadow Hunters are and how there are all sorts of supernatural creatures in this series, not just vampires.    They check it out and get hooked; my job is complete!

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I know the books have been out for a while, but I didn’t start reading them until this year; I love The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter!  I’ve only read two of these books so far, but they’re my escape to normal life (they’re spies but somehow I think this is normal) after reading too much supernatural or dystopian fiction.  This series is just so light and fun they leave me wishing I was a part of Cammie’s group of friends.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

Well, Stephanie Perkins isn’t really a new author, but I hadn’t really known who she was before reading Anna and the French Kiss. Lola and the Boy Next Door is in my TBR stack!   I also adore Veronica Roth and Divergent was awesome.  I can’t wait to read more of her writing in the future!

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher really wierded me out at first.I think it was because I couldn’t categorize its genre.  It’s a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, and dystopian fiction.  My mind was boggled and somewhere I found myself absolutely loving it.  I guess the librarian in my likes to classify and when I have trouble doing so it makes me uncomfortable.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

When I started the Clockwork Angel audiobook by Cassandra Clare I was completely enthralled and listened to it whenever it was socially acceptable to.  I even did dishes every day for like two weeks just so I could have an excuse to listen to it! (If you know me, you’ll know that I despise washing dishes!).  I was happy and my husband was happy (that he didn’t have to do the dishes!).

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.   Oh I have been waiting for more Will and Tessa (and Jem even though he’s not my favorite) since I finished Clockwork Angel in March.  I know it wasn’t a super long time to wait, but when one loves Will Herondale you require his presence more frequently.   :)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

The cover for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater gets me every time.  The icy blue of the trees and branches surrounding the title does make me feel that wintry chill.  It’s just so lovely.  But I also adore the cover of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George.  Period costumes are an automatic win for me. And I love how the girl’s gown is rustling as she walks (runs?).  So pretty!

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgeShiver by Maggie Stiefvater

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

Ruby Oliver from The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart is hilarious.  She’s so neurotic, loveable, sarcastic, funny, way overdramatic, smart, but also very self un-aware.  I love how complex her character is; I feel sorry for her and at the same time have no sympathy for her!  It takes great writing to get at all the character’s complexities.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Matched by Ally Condie.   How can a book with such a focus on words not be beautifully written?  Cassia and Ky cherish poetry and the written word so Condie takes this plot line and weaves it into the narration.  I mean for real: “So in the middle of all the noise, I point to the sky. I hope he understands what I mean, because I mean so many things: My heart will always fly his name. I won’t go gentle. I’ll find a way to soar like the angels in the stories and I will find him. And I know he understands as he looks straight at me, deep into my eyes. His lips move silently, and I know what he says: the words of a poem that only two people in the world know. Tears well up but I blink them away. Because if there is one moment in my life that I want to see clearly, this is it.” (from Matched by Ally Condie) So well done!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

This question is hard to answer.  All the books I’ve read leave an impact on me.  I guess I’d have to say The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I was so struck by the many different female relationships/friendships were displayed in this novel.  I also adore Stockett’s comment in the authors note about how just trying to understand each others stories is what causes change.  I love this because we’ll never fully understand every person’s personal experience in life, but its they trying to listen and understand that makes all the difference.  I think this is incredibly important.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

I waited years to read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  A student recommended it to in 2007 so I tried to start it but had trouble getting into the story, so I stopped.  But I realized I needed to read it if I was going to be a decent Media Specialist, so read it I did.  I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as good as everyone made it out to be. Oh well, I finally read it!

Matched by Ally Condie15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

“And I’ll tell her that I don’t want my life to be samples and scraps. A taste of everything but a meal of nothing.” -Cassia in Matched by Ally Condie.  I love the desire for more life expressed in this quote.  I want my life to be better than a “meal of nothing”.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

Maybe Rumors (Luxe #2) by Anna Godbersen.  There is so much going on in this series that I’d have to reread at least the previous book before I started the next! I read this one in July and don’t remember much about it at all!

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The scene in The Help  by Kathryn Stockett where Minnie is surprised by an axe wielding Johnny Foote!  I laughed and laughed so hard and I wanted to know where my friends were (in their reading) so we could talk and laugh about it!  I think I told my husband all about it even though he had no idea what I was talking about since he hadn’t read the book.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

This was my first year involved with book blogging but Heidi at the YA Bibliophile, has been so friendly and helpful! Like me, she is a middle school Media Specialist who love YA fiction—I feel like we’re very similar.   She was even my Broke and Bookish Secret Santa!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2010?

I think review I wrote on both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. It was me too excited to even try to hide my fan girl tendencies. It was a review full of gushing, but I loved it because I had fun writing it.


3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

I’m still a relatively new and small blog so I haven’t really had any discussions.  Maybe in 2012?!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Almost everyone had thoughts on the “Darkness Too Visible” editorial in the Wall Street Journal.  I didn’t share my opinion too much, but I was very intrigued to read everyone else’s thoughts.  It is an interesting topic and reading other opinions helped me think about both sides to the argument in ways I hadn’t before.

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

Well, I haven’t done too much of this, but my school did pay for me to attend the Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME) conference this year and I had so much fun!  FAME is full of school librarians (from all grade levels) learning more about our profession and sharing ideas and tips.  But there are also authors! (My personal favorite part!)  I got to meet Kiersten White, Roland Smith, Gordon Korman, James Preller, Jennifer Allison and more!  They were all so friendly and nice and even signed books for my students.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

I think the best moment of blogging for me this year was having authors like Roland Smith and David Lubar re posted my reviews of their books on Twitter or Facebook.  Such an honor to know they visited my little blog to begin with and liked what they saw enough to share with others.  Incredibly humbling!

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

My most viewed post was the book review I wrote for The Luxe by Anna Godbersen with 193 views.  It actually has double the amount of views any of my other posts have!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I really had fun posting about my top ten all time favorite teen fiction crushes. I mean, who doesn’t have some series love for boys in books?!  I guess not as many people as I had thought! haha

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

NetGalley all the way!  I kept wondering how book bloggers keep getting their hands on all of these ARCs!  Finally I got the courage to ask someone and Heidi and YA Bibliophile showed me the way of Net Galley!  It is a book blogger’s dream to request advanced copies and have the publisher just give them to you! Very cool!

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

Other than reading all fifteen Florida Sunshine State titles, nope.  Next year though! I’ll be participating in the Debut Authors Challenge 2012, hosted by The Story Siren.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson has been on my list for a while now and is one of my main priorities on 2012.  Also Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George are must reads in early 2012.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Insurgent by Veronica Roth, the sequel to Divergent. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Tris and Four! Also, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.  If Tessa doesn’t end up with Will, I’ll still love Cassandra Clare, but my head might esplode!! (yes, esplode!)


3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I’d like to get more readership and maybe even do a giveaway sometime this year.  The thought of a giveaway scares me; it suspect they are more work than they look!