Top Ten Goals For 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I’m not sure if I’m a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions. On one hand, I know how slim the chances are that we keep them, but on the other hand I do like to think that each new year brings with it lots of possibilities and potential for change. That being said, here are 10 things I would like to accomplish in the new year:

Bookish

1. Read 75 books. I don’t think it’s necessary to assign yourself a quantitative goal when it comes to books, but I’ve been reading less recently. I’d really like something to push me to take the time to read more and watch less TV. I remember years when I’ve read 100, but this past year I barely hit 50.

2. Read more adult fiction. I don’t have this goal because I think I should be reading “adult” books and not YA. I just realized that because I love YA so much, I’ve been missing out on so many great books. I don’t have time to read everything but I want to carve out a bit more time to explore other things.

3. Read more classics. I can’t stand pretentious readers. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves in life. There is no single right way to be a reader. Personally, I would like to add more classics to my reading list this coming year. I think history is important and classics are literary history to me.

4. Read more fantasy. I have always loved fantasy. From Harry Potter to Tamora Pierce, fantasy was my genre of choice as a kid. I don’t want to stop exploring new worlds. I love contemporary YA so much that I sometimes forget to keep my reading options open. Specifically this year, I want to finish the Grisha trilogy, take the Throne of Glass plunge, and find out why everyone loves the Mistborn trilogy.

Blogging

5. Be more consistent. I’ve only been blogging for under a month and already I’ve had issues with posting consistently. Between celebrating the holidays with my family, getting over a cold and working constantly, I didn’t have much free time. I want to work on anticipating this and having posts ready ahead of time so I can still share new content during busy times. I already know this will be the most difficult thing for me.

6. Post more reviews. Posting reviews is difficult because you can only post as many as the number of books you read. And then of course there are books you read that are basically a big “meh” and what do you write then? I want to work more on articulating my thoughts. This ties back to goal #5 in that I want to consistently offer new posts.

7. Be creative. I’ll take vague goals for 100 please, Alex. What does this even mean? I’ve always struggled with my lack of creativity. I look at people with artistic talent and imaginative minds and I’m jealous. I don’t consider myself to be among those people, unless you count a relentless imagination for generating terrible scenarios. My one talent in life. There are a lot of bloggers out there, which means a lot of posts have been written and many opinions shared. I want to try to come up with original and interesting content.

Personal

8. Study. I’ve recently gone back to school after a little break. I’m trying to find out what it is I want to do as a career and taking my time to make the right decision this time around. I want to make myself proud with my work. I don’t want to have as many regrets as I do from the first time I went to university. I don’t want to keep thinking “I should have” or “If only I had” and instead I want those thoughts to begin with “I’m so glad I…” because really only I am responsible for my successes or failures. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this, and some days it’s still a work in progress.

9. Work out more. The irony of wanting to be more creative and then having the most typical resolution possible has not escaped me, don’t you worry. I’ve had a hard time convincing myself to work out since I started a retail job where I’m on my feet for hours every day. In 2015, I want to get back to how active I used to be. I’ve never been that consistent, or at least I was very consistent for several months until I wasn’t at all. I want this to be the year that changes finally.

10. Be more adventurous. I’ve never been a very outgoing person, though I’m WAY less shy than I used to be. Even from five years ago, I feel like I’ve really grown as a person. Still, I want to push myself to try new things. I may not be as shy, but I’m still extremely self-conscious. I want to make myself do things even when there’s a very good chance I’ll end up embarrassing myself. I haven’t come up with a concrete list of things yet, but you recognize those moments even when you’re in them. Your first instinct is to say no, and instead I want to force myself to say yes.

 

There you have it! My goals for 2015. I’m sure I won’t be able to keep all of them, but I look forward to reading these again in a year, and seeing how I did.

What are your goals for the new year? Do you believe in resolutions at all? Leave me a comment below.

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This is a list of new (to me) authors that I first read this past year. Some of them were just making their literary debuts while others had been around for a while and I was just slow to catch on.

 Emery Lord

I’d actually been anticipating her debut from the time the synopsis was released. Right away I knew it would be my type of book, and I was so right.  What I loved about Open Road Summer was that she took the harder road and made the story about Reagan and not Lilah, the country star. It’s not about the perky singer, instead it’s about the prickly best friend and that’s what made the book. That way she was able to focus more on the character of Reagan, and not wholly on the glamour of the celebrity lifestyle. This is what makes a book stay with you.

Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life actually came out in 2013 and I immediately heard great things, but for some reason I was slow to pick it up. Once I finally read it, I was blown away. If I had to compare it to anything it would be my favourite Sarah Dessen novels with a cute romance, fun side characters and emotional depth. I’m so glad I discovered Leila Sales’ work this past year.

Katie Finn

This is where I start to cheat a little bit. For those of you that don’t know, Katie Finn is actually Morgan Matson, author of some of my all time favourite books. HOWEVER this was my first official book by Katie Finn. This is the book you read after the last one tore your heart to pieces. It’s a completely different vibe from a MM book, basically all fun and shenanigans. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

Heather Demetrios

I’m actually the last person you’ll ever find watching that show Infinity Kids and Counting or whatever the latest iteration is (no judgment I promise, you should see what I DO watch) but I was completely hooked when I read Heather’s Something Real. I loved how it brought us into all the drama behind the camera, because no matter what we see on tv, there’s always another story. I can’t wait to read more from her.

Tahereh Mafi

Yes I’m the last person to read the Shatter Me series. I wanted to wait until all the books were out, and even then it seemingly took me forever. I’d already been stalking Tahereh and her amazing style on twitter for over a year beforehand. Her writing style is very different. It can be fractured and overly-metaphorical, but in the end it’s what made me love her. Once I got used to it, it was essential to my reading experience. Every emotion was multiplied by a thousand. I loved her entire series.

Kasie West

This past year I read both The Distance Between Us and On the Fence with the former being my favourite of the two. I haven’t picked up anything from her Pivot Point series but I know I will. Kasie really knows how to write character dynamics. The Distance Between Us was full of tension and amazing banter. I can’t wait to see how she adds those elements to a book with a more structured plot like Pivot Point.

Laini Taylor

After hearing overwhelmingly positive things about Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I was in. Again though, I waited for the entire series to be released. I haven’t yet read the last two books in the series, but I plan on doing a complete read-through at some point next year. I loved the intricacies of her writing with the world she crafted. It was so different and refreshing from anything I’d read recently.

Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different was just one of those books that makes you go AWWW. I love a book with a good hook. Also apparently a good rhyme. Throw me a concept like “love story told from the perspective of everyone around the couple” and I’m there. She managed to give all her characters such different voices. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Laura Buzo

Originally titled Good Oil in Australia, Laura’s Love and Other Perishable Items was a great read. I’ve rarely been disappointed by Aussie YA. It more consistently has a grittier, less glamorous take on life than you’ll find in other branches of YA. You get two distinct POVs and two completely different character arcs which is always a sign of a good author.

Suzanne Young

This past year I finally picked up The Program and really liked it. I liked the characters, I liked the concept. Now, I was not the biggest fan of The Treatment. To me, it’s as if they were written by separate authors and the second one wasn’t given any clues as to what book one was about. Still, I’ve become a big fan of Suzanne Young as a writer and will definitely be reading Just Like Fate.

How about you guys? Which authors did you discover this past year and absolutely love? Any of them on my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This is a list of the books I’m most excited to read next year. It also happens to be my first real post on my brand-new blog so it should also give you a better idea of what I like to read and what you’ll be seeing on here in the future. If you want to know more about any of these books, just click on the covers and it’ll bring you straight to the Goodreads page.

I was here

January 27th

 

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is one of my absolute favourite authors and I’m just so grateful I only have to wait another two months for it to come out. This book just gets to me. We’ve all had people in our lives who’ve made choices we can’t understand. This book is going to make me cry. I can’t wait.

 

I'll Meet You There

February 3rd

 

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

My friend Tiff basically forced Heather’s Something Real on me, not that I needed much convincing. I was already in as soon as I read the synopsis. What I love about the premise of this one is that it seems like we’re getting a fully realized male character with a complicated story of his own.

 

The Start of Me and You

March 31st

 

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

My friend Briana sent me Emery Lord’s debut Open Road Summer for my birthday back in May and it was seriously amazing. This new one sounds exactly like my kind of book, and with a nerdy love interest to boot. Don’t mind if I do.

 

 

All the Rage

April 14th

 

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

I’ve been reading her books for years and I’ve yet to be disappointed. She likes to tackle difficult subjects and they’re always culturally relevant (yes, even the zombies) but none moreso than this book. This book is quintessential Courtney Summers. It’s the book I always wanted her to write and didn’t even realize until this very second. Basically I need it yesterday.

 

Things We Know by Heart

April 21st

 

Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

1. That cover needs to get on my shelves right now

2. A story of loss and healing and a guarantee that tears will be shed

3. This book now please

 

Saint Anything

May 5th

 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Even I will admit that her latest books have not been great for me, but I always hold out hope that her next book will give me the same feeling I had when I first read The Truth About Forever. I love the way she crafts second families for her characters and those people are always the standouts for me so this one looks promising!

 

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

June 2nd

 

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

2 cups Little Mermaid, 1 tablespoon of bad boy with a heart of gold and a pinch of Pirate Regatta (I don’t know what that is but I like it) and I am all in.

 

 

The Devil You Know

June 2nd

 

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

Trish can do no wrong for me. It doesn’t sound like something I’d typically read, but neither did Something Like Normal, and that blew me away. Cannot wait.

 

 

Emmy & Oliver

June 23rd

 

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Audrey, Wait! was a hilarious surprise for me when I read it last year. I can’t wait to see what Robin does with this one since it looks a bit more serious in tone. I love the idea of two people rediscovering each other after being apart for so long.

 

Tonight the Streets Are Ours

September 15th

 

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

If you haven’t already read This Song Will Save Your Life then all I can say is READ IT NOW because it was such a breath of fresh air. As good as I thought it would be, it was even better. I’m expecting big things from this one because I already love the title and the cover.

 

 

Now this is the part where I cheat and add two bonus books! The first is a novella sequel and the second is my most-anticipated 2015 fantasy since I went a little overboard with the contemporary on here.

 

Please Remain Calm

January 20th

 

Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

I could not leave this one off the list. This Is Not a Test is my favourite Courtney Summers novel. It’s a book about zombies and it’s also a book that has nothing to do with zombies. My only complaint is that this won’t be a full-length novel.

 

The Orphan Queen

March 10th

 

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

I know it’s not obvious from this list, but I LOVE fantasy. I’m a huge fan of Tamora Pierce, and I love me some Kristin Cashore and Leigh Bardugo. I haven’t read any Jodi Meadows yet (though I do own Incarnate!) but the premise of this one has struck me right in my Tortall-loving heart.

 

 

What are your most anticipated books of 2015? I’m sure I’ve missed 2 or 3 or 20 that I also can’t wait for so leave a comment and let me know what you can’t wait to read next year.