2017 Reading Challenges

Hosted by Somewhere Only We Know and Words Fueled by Love. I have so many series that I need to finish so I thought this challenge would definitely help me out. I want to push myself with this one so I am aiming for Level 2: 5 - 10.

The ones on my TBR:
1) Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes #3)
2) Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini (Worldwalker #3)
3) A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Shades of Magic #3)
4) Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore (Grim Reaper #2)

2017 Library Love Challenge
Hosted by Angel's Guilty Pleasures and Bea's Book Nook. The goal is to support our local libraries and I absolutely love my library. I go all the time so it's going to be awesome to work towards an actual challenge this year. My goal is Thrifty Reader: 24 Books.

Hosted by Novel Knight. The goal is to tackle our TBRs and read all those backlist books that seem to build up over time. You can read any book published before 2017. As a personal goal I want to reduce my TBR pile by 20 books, which is a lot but it would make me feel real happy. There is also a mini challenge where the houses compete for the Hogwarts cup. (I'm a Hufflepuff)

TBR (More to Come)
1) Stolen by Lucy Christopher
2) Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
3) Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
4) Cinder by Marissa Meyer
5) The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
6) Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
7) The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
8) Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
9) The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
10) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
11) The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (January 2017)
12) The Heir by Keira Cass

Hosted by Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and (un)Conventional Bookviews. Just because our TBR's are exploding we all still love new releases. These books have to be released and reviewed in 2017. My goal is Level 1: 1-30 books.

I will update this post if I join any new challenges or update my TBR's for any of them. I am currently planning on updating them during my Monthly Wrap-Up posts. Wish me luck!

Review: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Genre: Fantasy
Publication: October 4, 2011 by Disney Hyperion
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #2
Pages: 521 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

My Thoughts
This was a really fun book. I don't know if I would listen to it again on Audiobook, but it was an adventurous story. I did think this instalment in the Heroes of Olympus was a bit slower than The Lost Hero but it was helping to build up for the next books in the series. I am excited to continue on with this series.

With the audiobook, I did find that I got distracted frequently but that has everything to do with me and not the book. There are a lot of characters to keep track of from across the series that it does require some attention to keep everything straight. I did really like that some of the book took place in Canada, as a Canadian it's fun when it's included.

I am excited to read The Mark of Athena, I foresee it being much more action packed and I can't wait for all the characters to be in one place again. This was definitely a story building book, setting us up for the rest of the series, which I hope to continue with soon!

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Books of 2016

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
It's the end of 2016, and it's time to talk about our favourite books of the year. These are my favourite books that I read this year, it doesn't matter when they were published just that I read them in 2016. I am going to break them down by genre.


Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye {5 Stars} I am a biologist so this is right up my alley. I thought it might be boring for me since I know a lot of evolution already but Bill Nye keeps it extremely interesting and hilarious. If you want to learn about evolution this would be an excellent introduction. Review

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari {5 Stars} I am a huge Parks and Rec fan so naturally this was perfect for me. I loved the combination of science and Aziz's humour and the science of love is always super interesting. Review

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson {5 Stars} I related so much with Jenny's stories about anxiety and mental illness. I live everyday with my anxieties, but I also have the same sense of humour as Jenny and love look on the funny side of things. Review.


A Darker Shade of Magic & A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab {5 Stars} This world is just amazing. I found that I feel in love with it more the longer that I thought about both of these books. I love all the characters and I can't wait to read the last book in this series. Review | Review

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas {5 Stars} I don't think I have ever actually cared about characters like I did in this book. (Except probably HP). Also, I liked this one even more than the first book which is atypical for me. Can't wait for the next one. Review


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon {5 Stars} I really fell in love with this book at the beginning of this year. It was unique and the romance was adorable. The book even surprised me, which is something that doesn't happen all that often. Review

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon {5 Stars} Both of Yoon's books made my list this year, but that's because they were awesome. I loved the diverse characters and the issues that they we're dealing with. Plus, the romance melted and also broke my heart. Review

Graphic Novels / Comics

Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley {5 Stars} This was the first book I read this year and it blew me away. I absolutely fell in love with this story, and now I need to read Bryan Lee O'Malley's other books. Review

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson {5 Stars} I LOVED the characters in this story. Nimona has so many different layers and it has a really interesting take on the "villain" characters. The setting too was also incredibly interesting and the relationships are all fantastic. Review

Lumberjanes Vol 1: Beware the Kitten Holy {5 Stars} Another book where the characters did it for me. Everything about this story was absolutely quirky, colourful and funny. I want to go to summer camp now and get into all kinds of shenanigans.  Review

I Hate Fairyland Vol 1: Madly Ever After {5 Stars} This one is hilarious! I love that it's so colourful but then violent and full of foul language at the same time. The concept is hilarious, I highly recommend to all. Review 

Reviewing my 2016 Goals - How Did I Do?

2016 is soon to come to a close and we are all wrapping up our bookish resolutions and challenges for ourselves. It's that time of the year, I am going to look back at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2016 and see how many of them I was actually able to accomplish. I don't think it was super successful but I wasn't a complete bust. I feel like my reading tastes did change a bit during the year so some of the goals I set I ended up moving away from.  

1) Read 52 Books
DONE! I currently have read 68 books this year, and I am hoping to reach 70 before the end of the year. I can't believe I was actually able to read so much. I have hoping that I an squeeze 2 more book in to make it 70, but even if I don't this is the most books I have ever read in a single year.

2) Don't Be Afraid of Big Books
This is hard to quantify. However, I did read A LOT of fantasy this year so they typically tend to be on the larger side. I do think I could have tried to tackle more of my huge books this year but it's hard when you are in university and don't have a lot of dedicated reading time. 

3) Finish These Series
The Giver Quartet
Looking back now, it's unlikely that I will ever finish this series. I might try to read the next one but I am in no rush. I don't want to force myself through books I am not in the mood for.

I just didn't get to the rest of this series this year. I really want to and it's not for lack of excitement. It's just something that's hard to read while I am in school but I am determined to finish this series in 2017.

Heros of Olympus
Well, I just finished Son of Neptune so 2 books down. I definitely didn't get the chance to finish all 5 of them. I really enjoy Rick Riordan's books so I will definitely keep working away at this series. 2016 just want my year for it.

4) Start These Series
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
This is the only one from my original goals list that I actually started. I thought this book was okay, but I am interested to see where else the series can go. Hopefully, I can finish it in 2017.

These the the 3 that I didn't get to. I still own all of these so there isn't really a great reason I haven't read them yet. I am still very interested in Cinder and Shadow and Bone. They will hopefully get read next year. However, Legend is a bit iffy for me. I am just not in the mood for dystopian at the moment so I will have to wait to see if I ever get to it.

5) Read from More Genres
I definitely read a hell of a lot of fantasy this year. Opps. It's what I like, so why not enjoy it. However, I do think that I explored Nonfiction a bit, especially through audiobooks. I listened to about 8 Nonfiction/Memoires which is new for me. I also read a lot more graphic novels than last year. Next year I want to read more diversely but I am going to make myself specific goals that are more easily tracked.

Mid-Year Additions:
These are the books I added at my Goal Check In, in June. I have actually achieved some of these ones. They are just books I wanted to get to by the end of the year.

These are the 2 that I didn't get to. I have been anxiously waiting to read Secondhand Souls, it is sitting in my bag that I brought home for Christmas. I am still hoping that I get to it before the end of 2016. I just wasn't in the mood the read The Heir, the bad reviews have made me avoid it. However, I have been kind of missing The Selection and still want to read it. 

READ. I finished all these ones. Woohoo! I loved A Gathering of Shadows and The Heart of Betrayal were awesome. Crown of Midnight was pretty good too. 

So all-in-all, my goals weren't very good. Next year I want to make more specific goals that I can actually work towards and maybe actually read the books I put on my list. How did your 2016 goals go? Let me know :) 

Review: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Genre: Graphic Novel
Publication: September 13, 2016 by Graphix
Pages: 256 Pages
Source: Library Paperback
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake - and her own.

My Thoughts
I might not be exactly the target audience for this one, since it is a children's graphic novel. However, I definitely loved this story! (And so did my 10 year old cousin). I absolutely love ghosts, so a story that features many different ghosts was awesome. I really enjoyed the characters and how Maya, the little sister, had Cystic Fibrosis. I learned a lot of about CF from a campaign that is run at my university to raise money for research to fight it. So many children are affected with CF and other chronic illnesses that it's awesome they have a character like them in a book. Lots of thumbs ups for this book and if I had a kid I would most definitely be putting a copy of this book in their hands.

Review: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary
Publication: November 1, 2016 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 384 Pages
Source: Library Hardback
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary 
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book, which says a lot because I typically avoid YA Contemporary. I feel in love with Nicola Yoon's writing when I read Everything, Everything so I knew I had to pick this one up. I am still sitting on this book but I can definitely say it was pretty awesome.

I knew I would really love this book when I read the chapters told by "the universe". I loved the combination of science and fate. If you didn't already know, I am a biologist so science is kind of my thing so I loved that Natasha was into science. However, one of my small gripes was that Natasha was a bit too much of an objective thinker and couldn't believe in magic even a little. There will always be things we can't explain so why not believe in a little magic?

This book was definitely something I needed. It had a special kind of magic that I typically only see in movies. Yes, the romance is kind of far-fetched but I love to believe in love. You can always do with some heart melting romance to brighten you days. I definitely recommend this one.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Am Excited For In The First Half of 2017

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
Like most readers, I have a list of upcoming books that I am very excited for. I even reorganized my TBR shelves on Goodreads so that I have more than just one huge "Want to Read" list. Now I have a 2017 publication to read and sequels coming out in 2017 to read. So here are some of the books that are on these lists.

Windwitch by Susan Dennard 
Expected Publication: January 10, 2017
I feel like this will be on a lot of people's list. I enjoyed Truthwitch last year and am excited to see where the series goes. January is fast approaching.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Expected Publication: February 21, 2017
This is probably my most anticipated release for the first part of the year. I loved the first 2 books and I am pumped to finish the series. Hopefully it doesn't crush me too much.

Bones Witch by Rin Chupeco
Expected Publication: March 7, 2017
I found this book at some point recently and I was hooked on the description. It seems magical and exciting, I will definitely be checking this out.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Expected Publication: January 31, 2017
I have been hearing about this book for awhile and just recently I added it to my TBR. The description finally hooked me.

First Blood by Elly Blake
Expected Publication: January 10, 2017
More Fantasy, can we tell what I like to read? The description kind of reminds me Snow Like Ashes (which is awesome) and the author is Canadian so I'd like to support. 

A List of Cages by Robin Roe
Expected Publication: January 10, 2017
I have heard so many amazing things about this book and by some insane miracle I got an ARC! I can't wait to read this book next.


Avenged by Amy Tintera
Expected Publication: May 2, 2017
Another sequel, Ruined was a pretty good book and another series that I want to see what else it can offer. 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Expected Publication: May 2, 2017
What can I say I am hooked. I will surely be picking this up right away. I need to know what happens with The Night Court and our favourite romance.

Flame in the Mist by Renee Adhieh
Expected Publication: May 2, 2017
Another one that will make a lot of lists. I enjoyed the Wrath and the Dawn so I am excited to see what else she is going to do. Plus, this sounds a bit like Mulan which makes me very excited.

Review: Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer

Genre: Non-fiction
Publication: October 16, 2007 by Broadway
Pages: 413 Pages
Source: Library Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary: 
The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.

When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.

Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.

Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop’s flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs.

My Thoughts 
Another tough book to write a review for. This book is the true story of an ex-FLDS member, therefore if you don't know about the awful things that have/do happened within that community then this book would be very shocking. I have however done a lot of reading and watching documentaries about the FLDS community and have heard parts of Carolyn's story before I read her book. But the things that she had to go through at the hands of the FLDS are absolutely atrocious.

This story follows her whole life and how the FLDS effected it, as well as how it changed as different people came into power within the community. It's hard to believe that communities like this even exist. Carolyn's story is inspiring, in that it can help to give people in desperate situation hope. She had to be incredibly courageous to escape the cult and fight for her right to her children.

I highly recommend this book if you are into cults or want to learn more about the FLDS in general. This is a courageous story and worth the read.

Top 10 Tuesday: Best New to Me Authors from 2016

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I have been blogging for nearly 2 years now but I still feel new to this community. Due to that, I feel like I haven't read that many authors (even though I totally have). Here are the authors that I read for the first time this year that I am excited to pick up more by them.

Author: Nicola Yoon
First Book I Read: Everything, Everything.

I feel in love with Everything, Everything when I read it. I just finished The Sun is Also a Star and I really enjoyed it as well. I am definitely planning on picking up any other book that Nicola Yoon writes. I am not typically a YA contemporary fan but when she does it I am hooked.

Author: V.E. Schwab
First Book I Read: A Darker Shade of Magic

The world in this book is amazing! I also read the second book in this series and it made me fall even more in love with it. This was my first time reading Schwab and I am definitely hooked. I currently have Vicious on my Christmas list and I am impatiently waiting for A Conjuring of Light to come out. I even started following her on Twitter.

Author: Marie Rutkoski
First Book I Read: The Winner's Curse

I may not have been absolutely blown away by The Winner's Curse but I am very intrigued to read the rest of this series. I enjoyed Marie Rutkoski writing and I am interested to see what else she may write. Hopefully, I will be able to continue this series sooner rather than later.

Author: Susan Dennard
First Book I Read: Truthwitch

This one is in the same boat as The Winner's Curse, it didn't blow my socks off but I am interested to see what this series can do. I found the magic super interesting, as well as the characters. She has another series out, but I don't know if that's exactly what I want to read right now. But we will see after I read Windwitch what I think.

Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
First Book I Read: Seconds

I loved, loved, loved, loved Seconds. It was the first book that I read this year, and it's in a close fight with the best books that I read this year. Immediately after reading I put Scott Pilgrim and Lost at Sea on my TBR. I am excited to read more by Bran Lee O'Malley. I am also excited to read his new series that he's doing called Snotgirl. This book just left such a good impression.

Author: Bill Nye
First Book I Read: Undeniable

I have always loved Bill Nye. I watched Bill Nye the Science Guy all my childhood and it definitely played a role in me wanting to go into the sciences. I listened to this on audiobook and hearing his voice educating me again. It inspired me and I really want to read his other book about Climate Change. Why did I wait so long to read them?

Who are the authors that are new to you this year? Let me know!