2017 Review / 2018 Projection

Heeeeeeey. Long time, no blog! And no read…hence, the no blog.

I don’t think I mentioned it, but we moved…like, about 6 months ago. I have read very little since then. I think I’ve read 3.5 books since mid June….meaning, I read half of a book before we moved, the rest after we moved, plus 3 more. I’m certain they only happened because I was *SO CLOSE* to my Goodreads goal of 50 books, and I couldn’t just not make it. I read 51 books…the extra one only because it’s a book I’d read to my kids for school! haha

Anyways, thought I’d tell how my goals went this year (*spoiler* not so well), and what I plan to TRY and do for 2018.

My 2017 Goal Page ended up looking like this:

– Read 50 books | 51/50 *COMPLETED 7/28* 

– Complete 8 series (I actually completed a goal!!)
1 – Girl Online (1/3)
2 – Giver Quartet (4/4)
3 – Locke & Key (6/6)
4 – Just One Day (3/3)
5 – Lara Jean/To All the Boys (3/3)
6 – Double S Ranch (2/3)

– Book-to-Movie Challenge: Read 1 book/movie adaptation per month | 4/12
January     A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
ebruary     The Giver, by Lois Lowry
June     13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
October     Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard Atwater

– Read from my TBR Jar, at least 6 books: Draw 3 titles and do poll for which title to read that month:     One     Two     Three     Four     Five     Six    (…crash and burned…)

– Read new releases as they come out. One a month, “Newly Released” within the last 3 months.  (I did good…until close to moving time. Once I packed up my books, I didn’t buy new books, anymore.)
January    Home On the Range, by Ruth Logan Herne / Collapse, by RJ Infantino
February     Girl Online Going Solo, by Zoey Sugg
March      Caraval, by Stephanie Garber
April     The Roanoke Girls, by Amy Engel
May     Always and Forever Lara Jean, by Jenny Han / Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire / Peace in the Valley, by Ruth Logan Herne / Geekerella, by Ashley Poston

– Do not buy more than 5 books per month. (FAILED the first 5 months…but I think I’ve only bought about 6-8 books, total, since moving, so it may actually have averaged out. But I don’t have a count at the  moment.)
– Unhaul 35 books by August (initial goal, may be changed to 20 by end of April) (??? No idea if this evenpanned out or not…)

– Host the Big Winner Challenge
– Participate in 6 buddy reads. (Another crash and burn…)

So let’s see…I did complete 2 of 9 challenges I set for myself in 2017. For sure, failed 5, and I don’t know the results of the last 2, which isn’t a win, necessarily. haha

NEXT YEAR, for 2018, I’m gonna keep it simple. Gonna continue sticking with my Goodreads goal of 50 books (I may not reach it this year…). I’m not sure I’m going to add any other challenges…I think simply just reading is going to be a challenge in itself. I have an almost 2 year old, very independent and demanding toddler, and this is our first year homeschooling 4 older kids, which takes up a lot of my time, nowadays. I don’t even know if I’ll continue my Booktube channel right now (I haven’t posted anything there, either, since we moved…). So my only other goal is going to be keeping up here. I will be posting something over on my goal’s page to help keep me accountable. Maybe I’ll try making a *short* list of specific books I’d like to read this year, like I did in 2016.

If you’re still around, and still reading, I appreciate it!


Book Review: Peace in the Valley

SS3Title: Peace in the Valley

Author: Ruth Logan Herne

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Book in Series: 3 of 3

Pages: 337

My Rating: 3 stars

Trey Walker is a famous country musician. He seems to have everything he could want, but yet, he is somehow still not completely satisfied. When his adopted father falls seriously ill, he is willing to sacrifice everything to help him, by giving him a life worth living, the same way his father did for him as a child. Being back home on the ranch and in his small hometown settles his discontent a little bit, but what he doesn’t realize is that this whole situation may only be a stepping stone, that chance meetings, brought from this situation, may actually fulfill all his dreams.

My Thoughts:
First off, I am disappointed that the publisher only released this book as a mass market sized paperback, versus a trade paperback, which the first 2 books in the series were published with. Maybe a bit petty, but now my 3 books do not match in size! 😦

This last one was just okay. I felt it dragged on a bit. It was the longest book in the series, but I felt it had the least going on. Lots of details about the workings of fixing up a house/property, more than anything else. I understand that’s part of the love story, but it took up most of the book, before we get to the climax…which didn’t happen until the last quarter, and then quickly resolved.

Even in the resolving of the climax, there was a small twist, but with very little details. It simply resolved itself in order to complete the book.

There was a lot of talk about what was to happen in the climax, and talk about the characters feelings regarding that. So I felt is slightly repetitive, as they were discussed multiple times with generally the same ideas. So this book was a bit slower going for me, and lower rated.

I still enjoyed the book, especially that the romance wasn’t quickly rushed, as it slightly seemed in the first 2 books.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Book Review: Nora & Kettle

NKTitle: Nora & Kettle

Author: Lauren Nicholle Taylor

Release Date: February 29, 2016

Book in Series: 1 of 2

Pages: 355

My Rating: 2 stars

A teenage girl fights for life against an abusive father. A teenage boy fights for his life on the streets. What they do not realize is that they are more alike than they think.

My Thoughts:
I didn’t really care for this, and I am slightly disappointed by that. I felt the first quarter/third was a bit slow, I felt it lingered in the same spot, showing us the same things, telling us the same ideas. Until the 2 characters finally met, and things finally continued. I wish we had had just a little bit more, at the end, to confirm the outcome of one more character. I did like how all these characters unknowingly intermingled before their paths finally converged, it kept me reading to find out how they would finally come together.

I will not be reading the 2nd book of this series.

Book Review: The Roanoke Girls

raonokegirlsTitle: The Roanoke Girls

Author: Amy Engel

Release Date: March 7th, 2017

Pages: 279

My Rating: 4 stars

A teenage girl is sent to live with family she has never met before, after her mother commits suicide. She knows nothing of this family, or why her mother kept her from them…until she learns the secret and runs away, herself. But 11 years later, she’s called back when her cousin goes missing. The story flip flops between the 2 time periods, revealing secrets, and giving possible second chances.

My Thoughts:
This is one messed up book. But it sinks it’s hooks in and makes you want to finish it!

I had heard that the twist is revealed early on, but I do not think that as true. The synopsis does not elude to the themes running through, and that *is* presented early, but the possible answer to the mystery (ie. what I consider the twist?) is not really discovered until closer to the end. Though maybe I have my terminology confused as to what is considered a twist.

The running theme throughout the book though is pretty disturbing and I just do NOT understand it. I can’t explain without getting into spoiler-y discussions. Maybe I might do a book talk on it if anyone happens to be interested in my thoughts.

I did like the flashing back and forth to different time periods to tell the story, I think it worked really well. And the characters were gripping and rich, the plot not too slow, fast enough to grip you in, but not quite fast enough to rush through the book. It hits kinda home for me, as I grew up in a small town, and to imagine something like this happening…it’s completely foreseeable, but at the same time, I wonder how not everyone knows. Growing up, everyone knew everything about everything it seemed!

I don’t know whether to like or dislike this book, I didn’t like the end, cause I just can’t fathom it. I can’t decide to rate this 3.5 stars or 4, I have it listed at 4 for now.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Book Review: Caraval

caravalTitle: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Release Date: January 31, 2017

Book in Series: 1 of 2

Pages: 402

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Scarlet has always wanted to attend Caraval, a traveling magical game. However, her controlling father will not allow it. Then, she is kidnapped by the help of her sister and taken to Caraval, where she has to play the game to find her sister and get back home before her father figures out they’re missing. But Caraval is not all as it seems, as a game, to Scarlet, nor to us as readers.

My Thoughts:
Hmmm. Hm. Hm. Hm. Hm. Hmmmmmm.

All this time, I thought…meh. It’s okay. I don’t know how I’m going to like it. Then I get to the last chapter, and now I don’t know what to think!

This is NOT similar to Night Circus, IMO. It’s not a circus at all. It has very little details similar to the Night Circus. The similarities come with the feel that magic brings, it happens at night, and it supposedly travels, though I’m not sure how this…”game”(?)…would travel anywhere.

I don’t know what to think about the comparison to Night Circus, more than I feel like we miss out on that feeling that would make this novel seem similar to the Night Circus. I think the magic, and all the details of this game that would make this feel like the Night Circus, we do not get to see. There’s lots of magic and amazingness that happens throughout the game, and we see a very few instances of our main character experiencing this the first night of Caraval, but then I feel like, by continuing to follow her story and plotline, it gets all left in the background, more than anything. Not only that, but then, by the end, nothing is as it seems…to our character, nor to us. I’m still just a bit confused, since I was very curious to find out what was going on by the end and may have sped-read a bit to get there.

Am I happy with the ending? I mean, I guess so. It all turns out in a happy ending, mostly. But then, I’m still kept guessing a bit…which I guess is a good thing, since there will be a book 2.

January 2017 | Reading Wrap-up & Book Haul


Title: Back in the Saddle

Author: Ruth Logan Herne

Book in Series: 1 of 3

Pages: 320

My Rating: 4 stars








Title: Home on the Range

Author: Ruth Logan Herne

Book in Series: 2 of 3

Pages: 298

My Rating: 4.25 stars

My Review






kneedeep1Title: Knee Deep

Author: Jolene Perry

Book in Series: 1 of 2

Pages: 278

My Rating: 3.5 stars









kneedeep2Title: Sunk, Shawn’s Story

Author: Jolene Perry

Book in Series: 2 of 2

Pages: 40

My Rating: 3 stars









collapseTitle: Collapse

Author: RJ Infantino

Book in Series: 1 of ?

Pages: 282

My Rating: 3 stars









fallingrainTitle: Falling for Rain

Author: Meadow Taylor

Pages: 160

My Rating: 2.5 stars










girl6e1Title: The Girl in 6E

Author: A.R. Torre

Book in Series: 1 of 3

Pages: 352

My Rating: 4.5 stars








5Title: The Night Circus

Author: Erin Morgenstern

Pages: 490

My Rating: 5 stars










Books I added to my shelves this month:

Book Review | Home on the Range

homeontherangeTitle: Home on the Range

Author: Ruth Logan Herne

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Book in Series: 2 of 3

Pages: 298

My Rating: 4.25 stars

Nick works hard helping to run his family’s ranch, while also being a single dad. Things get even harder when his daughter starts having a hard time at school, his ex-wife shows up unexpectedly, and disaster strikes the town. He struggles trying to juggle everything, while also trying to show his father he can handle taking over the ranch.

My Review:
I didn’t realize this was the 2nd book in a series, when I received it, so I had to go out and get the first book, and read it, so that I could read this. Technically, it’s said that you can read this one without having read the first one, but I think it’s better to have read the first, plus it would spoil some of the first book, if you did want to go back and read that one.

I liked how this one dealt with certain relationship aspects, I feel they were done better than the first one, and at least somewhat more realistic. This one does contain “instalove,” but it is at least a bit more reserved. While it seems not *SO* instantaneous, it still is very quick and, I feel, not quite a realistic timeline, for the end result.

I am very much enjoying this series, otherwise, though. It’s a quick, easy read, and I’m loving the ranch setting, and big family aspect. There is decent character growth for the protagonist and at least one child, secondary character. However, the other children, secondary characters I feel could be more realistic, as no child is always so good around people 100% of the time, as portrayed in these novels.

These are part of a Christian fiction series, but the religious aspects are not super heavy. There are a couple references to Bible verses, and some themes running through, and they attend church.

I meant to have posted a review much earlier. I thought I had, only to come look for it and not be able to find it! Oops. I am looking forward to getting the 3rd book in the series, which comes out in early May.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”