Clearly I Think Too Highly of Myself| A Look Back on my 2018 goals and setting myself up for 2019

Greetings readers!

Hehehehehehehehehe ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm welllll….uhhh let’s see, where do we begin?

Well, I, um made reading goals for 2018 last year. And the time has come to reflect on how I have done. And well, while I can say that I tried…if I tried my absolute best and hardest….that is another question.

The Old Goals and the Results

1. Read My Shelves

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Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Well…………………………………………………………………………..

This goal really sucked because I didn’t outline specific books I had in mind that I wanted to read, but now that I think clearly about it…I just didn’t get to any of them. No. That’s false, I just didn’t get to many.

Despite the two series rereads that I did (The Penderwicks and Ember Quartet (1-2)), the books that I read this year (that were not ARCs or review books) in total is 9 and the first 12 issues of the Fence comics.

Doesn’t seem that bad, right? But in reality I didn’t get to the books I really wanted to reads on my shelves.

Roshani Chokshi’s books — didn’t happen, but I practically own them all
V.E. Schwab — again I have her Shades of Magic trilogy and Vicious, but didn’t read them
The DC Icons series — own them all, all unread!
And more…

I really slacked with this goal for *reasons* and that must be rectified.

2. Read 25 debuts

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12 / 25 read debuts books of 2018

S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett
Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb
Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
Mirage by Somiaya Daud
Game of Secrets by Kim Foster
Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga
Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Lulu the Broadway Mouse by Jenna Gavigan

So like half of this goal was reached. I don’t know what I was thinking with the number 25 to be honest. Stupid past-Rendz.

3. Gain those 1000 followers

no way smh GIF

Current Follower count: 680

No. Didn’t happen. I am terrible at interacting, that is all on me.

I took several unannounced breaks. I didn’t blog hop weekly like I said I would. I tend to not comment on a lot of things, shame on me. And I was gonna host a giveaway and instead spent the money on myself, bigger shame on me.

4. Manage my book money “better”

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Total money spent: ~$230

This actually hurts my soul a little. Holy cannoli I spent over $200 on books this year alone. Yikes. I mean considering how many books I got for free (I love you my dearest Canadian publishers) this number is still little too high for me.

5. Expand My Genres

3 Thriller/Mystery: 2/3 – S.T.A.G.S., The Little Dog

3 Contemporary: 5/3 –Broken Beautiful Hearts, The Calculus of Change, A Prom to Remember, Save the Date, Tell Me No Lies

3 Historical Fiction: 3/3 – Blood and Sand, Game of Secrets, Kingdom of Ash and Soot

3 Romance: 1/3 – Crazy Rich Asians

Well, I at least surpassed my Contemporary goal which makes me very happy. As for the others…some of the books under those categories are a bit of a stretch. I really thought I would surpass the romance one, there have been some really intriguing ones that have been released this year, but alas fantasy seemed to topple my TBR again. (Which I am not upset about, but still)

Goals for 2019

1. Relax on the Requesting Game

This includes accepting solicited requests and actually requesting books for myself. I keep digging myself into holes that I have trouble getting out of.  And often it happens that I am no longer interested in reading the book I requested.

So for 2019, I will only be requesting books I actually, truly want to read and not just those I think I *may* want to read. This also means that I am not going to request so frequently so I have time to read what I have already received.

2. Read my ARCs on time

I have a track record of not reading books on time and it is getting bad. The amount of expired ARCs I have not read yet and other book requests is ridiculous. I really need to start making proper schedules and it all starts when I relax my requesting game.

3. Read My Shelves (But better)

I want to carve out time in the year and at least once a month to read the books I actually own. It probably won’t happen every month, but I want to at least try.

By the end of 2019, I should have read the following series on my shelves:

A Crown of Wishes and The Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi
Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
The DC Icons series
Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor
The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White

4. Get Involved

I’m not really going to focus on follower count this year, instead I am going to try to make actual friends on this world web. This definitely means more blog hopping from me and forcing myself to interact.

5. Make a trademark blog feature and keep up with it

I really want to bring something to this blog to make it more enticing and exciting. My creative well has been dull these past months so now I need to amp my game up and bring something new and exciting to this blog. Any ideas are welcome XD

6. Connections. Connections. Connections.

I also want to build stronger connections with the publishers I am already engaged with. This traces back to interaction, what seems to be the theme of these goals. I have one publisher in particular that I am looking to reach out to. Hopefully they say yes!


I am going to play 2019 by ear. There are so many fantastic books coming that are literally going to knock my socks off and I couldn’t be more excited. Seriously, this year is going to rock the book world and I couldn’t be more happier.

While I may have not met many of my 2018 goals, I am still so proud of how much I was able to accomplish. The amount of publishers I’ve reached out to, the books I have read and the work I have done.

Above all, I want to thank each and every one of you who have made this past year even more special. I hope to get to know you all a lot more this new year.

Let me know what you think! Did you meet your 2018 goals? Are you making any 2019 goals? What was your favourite moment from this past year (book or non-book related!)? What book(s) are you most excited for this 2019?!

Happy reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

~ Rendz

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The Bookish Feels | Books That Make Me Gush

Greetings readers!

It’s that lull time between the holidays. After the high and rush of Christmas comes the anticipation of the New Years party and adventures and here I am trying to blog which I have had a terrible time keeping up with while on vacation!

So I figured I would try my luck with this blog feature again so that you all don’t get bored of my repetitive blog theme. And yet this is the continuation of a post I did waayyyy back in August.

Better late than never, right?

If you want to check out the last one, it was Books that Make Me Mad! It was a strong start, so I hope you all enjoy this one too!

Books that Make Me Gush are not the same as books that I genuinely enjoy. I am sure many of you feel the same. In order for a book to make me gush, it has to be something extra special. It has to have the amazing characters, the epic plot and then something a little bit more that just makes me crumble in feels!!!!!!!!!!!

The Fluffy Gush

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The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

I wrote an entire blog post on why this series means the world to me, if you are interested in reading the long version I will link it here. But if you just need the short summary, the thing that makes me gush the most is the sister relationship. The sisters are all very different, with different goals in life and passions, but they all have this love for each other that I admire so much. Their love for one another and their whole dynamic is just so precious. My heart sings whenever I think about this series!

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The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I don’t talk about this book enough!!!!! I absolutely loooooovvvveeeddd this book! It’s a quite romance with manners and a dash of telekinetic powers! It is honestly just so so so great. I can’t even find a better way to explain it. The characters are all so fun to follow, Nina is so relatable, Valerie is a total witch–but like I also liked her!!!–and Hector is a noob, but his redemption *clutches chest*. But I’ll be honest the star of the book is Nina and she goes through such a lovely transformation and is so fiercely passionate! If you want to read outside your genre and try romance for a change, I definitely recommend this book if your want a more gentle love story!

Read My Review

The Beautiful Ones

The Epic Gush

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Do I really need to explain this???? Like?? If you are reading this blog for the first time maybe you do not know, but I ADORE this series. Like I am creepily obsessed with it and its characters and it’s not healthy but I don’t care!! This science fictions, fairy tale retelling mashup was perfect in my eyes and I can talk your ear off about it any day!!!

You can read my in-depth, super gif-filled rants about each book by clicking on the links!

A Moment of Fangirling: Cinder

A Moment of Fangirling: Scarlet

A Moment of Fangirling: Cress

A Moment of Fangirling: Winter

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This series is just everything. I mean it is on the list and it is not even complete yet. We have one book more to go which is a long ways off from being published, but like I am so so so so in love with everything about it. The characters are incredibly well crafted: see Laia of Serra, my Queen and one of the first fantasy characters I actually felt embodied my kind of personality! See also Elias Veturius: One of my book husbands. The world in this book, the politics, the MAGIC….everything, everything, EVERYTHING about this series makes me quicker with excitement!

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The Narnia Gush

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Self-explanatory. I mean…hello? Magical worlds found in magical wardrobes that lead to magical adventures that leads to being ruler of magical kingdoms?????????? Yes, please. Thank you very much. I will be honest the movies might be a little more influential on me than the books (is that a horrible thing to say? Oh well!), but I just love the story so much! They are definitely not perfect, but there are definitely golden moments to be had!

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The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

I mean a book about the lives of siblings after living in a Narnia-like world for so many years????????????????????????? I have been waiting for this my whole life and I when I got to read it earlier this year I absolutely fell in love!!!!!!!!!!!! The characters and the emotions….I still think about it to this day and wonder about how things might be going for our dear sisters Ev and Phil after their adventures. It had so much goodness on its own and on top of that it had Narnia goodness!!!!!!!!

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I could add so many other gush-inducing books, but I must save some for other Bookish Feel posts!

Let me know what you think! What books make you completely gush? What feeling would you like to see me express in one of these posts? 

Happy reading (and gushing!)

~ Rendz

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Grim Lovelies | Review

Greetings readers!!

I read this book in record time…I think? It was done only in commutes to and from school. And I did it in less than one week so I think that is a record. Now…I think I might have hyped myself a little too much for this one. But I mean…Paris. Monsters. Magic. How can that go wrong….well it can…

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies, #1)

Pub Date: Oct 2nd, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Price: $24.99 CAD
ISBN: 9781328809186
Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


What I Liked What I found MEH:

The Magic:

The magic was cool. I liked the whisper aspect and the hierarchy of creatures. I liked the dynamic between the different levels of creature and it created the perfect element of drama and suspense. The goblins were definitely my favourite!

Characters:

I didn’t connect with any of the characters, its not that I disliked them but there was no substance to any of them. Anouk was okay. I mean she only had one year of full human life with a dark bleak animal past that is not really explored in the book until like the end. Everyone else was really flat. None of them were really piqued my interest, except maybe for Cricket because her sass was fun. Everyone else was literally so static and didn’t get much development throughout the novel.

The romance was the most meh–of all the mehs:

Anouk and Plain-Ass Beau honestly had no chemistry, I am sorry. Their little school girl/boy crushes turned into love in the span of like a chapter. Nothing about either of them really made this relationship work for me. And I think the author is trying to put some next-level love triangle thing and…I’m not up for it. Unless the other guy turns out to be something more interesting than Beau, but from what I’ve read so far he is missing a few screws…

The Plot:

It was fine. I liked the time crunch and I liked the antics of the adventures, but it was not exciting…I mean there were “suspenseful” moments and yet I felt nothing. Throughout this whole book I just flipped and flipped, but never felt any true, deep emotions for what has been happening to the characters.

The Ending:

The ending was…okay? Like I don’t know…it just feels like book 2 will be a completely different thing from book 1…? It was a little predictable and I am not necessarily intrigued by what it has to offer.

What I Disliked:

There was nothing I necessarily disliked, it’s more that I disliked that fact that I found the whole book to be so meh!!!! I needed something in this book to exaggerating, explosive, crazy and maybe then I wouldn’t find it to be so meeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhh.

Oh I did dislike that the only French used in this book was for swear words and they were so awkwardly placed interrupting the flow. I mean I think I expected a lot more French than just the repeated vas te faire foutre.


Overall, it was okay. I did have some fun while reading this book, I will not lie. But I had no real attachment to this story. I could have gone my whole life without reading it and I think I would have been content! (Is that too harsh??) It’s fine, it’s just not anything overly exciting or new and the characters did not shine for me which is like the worst case for me!

Rating: 2.75-3 / 5 Stars

Recommend: It’s really up to you. If you don’t mind a more–I guess–plot driven novel.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this yet? What did you think? Have you ever expected too much from a book?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

Is this a recap, a wrap-up, a where am I now? | Hi again…It’s been a while and it is nice to be back.

Greetings readers!

Hiya, how is it going? What have you been up to? It has been like two weeks since I have been on here and I feel like I have missed soooooo much. (Trust me I have a lot of blog hopping to do and it will happen soon). Right now I guess I would wrap up what I got done before I headed into exam season and what has happened since then. Obviously skipping over my exam shenanigans.

SO WHAT REALLY HAS HAPPENED?

I honestly don’t know. It’s all kind of like a blur to me…..thank goodness for Goodreads and social media that keeps me on track. XD

This is going to be a combination of of November and December until today and I will be highlighting a Holiday TBR that is most definitely far too ambitious but I am going to try anyways!

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What Rendz Read from November to December (18th)

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I am in love! This is an Adult fantasy series you definitely do not want to miss! My Full Review

Empire of Sand

Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George
Adorable! So cute! So much fun! Perfect for Anne fans! Mini-Review

The Magician’s Secret by Zachary Hyman
So magical and imaginative! Perfect for the reader with a wild mind! Mini-Review

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
I will be honest, this book was a tad over-hyped! More than a little boring in places and I just honestly feel very meh about it! Full review to come!

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna
This was super great! I had such a great time reading and I flew through this!! Full review to come!

A Mark Unwilling by Candace Wondrak
Not my cup of tea at all! I had so many problems with this and just nope, nope, nope! Full Goodreads review!

Fence (issues #1-12) by C. S. Pacat
So much fun. Hilarious! Hoopla truly blessed me these comics!


The Haul

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer (Indigo purchase)

HCC Frenzy ARCs
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillipe
Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

Hachette Book Group Canada
Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Raincoast Books
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Black Friday Book Outlet Book Haul!
(I splurged and I may have some regrets, but not really!)
The Beautiful Ones by SIlvia Moreno-Garcia
City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
The Last Namsara by Kristin Ciccarelli
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George
Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
A Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic) by Anna Meriano

Featured Posts of the Month!

For those still looking for some holiday picks!

Perfect Picture Books to get this Holiday Season from Tundra Books! | A Double Dose of Anne & a Magical Secret!

Perfect Picture Books to get this Holiday Season from Tundra Books!

Let’s Be Honest, I’m Never Gonna Read These Books!

Let's Be Honest I'm Never Gonna Read These Books!

Other Going-Ons

I MEAN BESIDES STUDYING……………..HAVE I REALLY BEEN UP TO ANYTHING??

THE FAN ART BRAIN HAS BEEN TINGLING!

There are things coming people. I mean…I haven’t started anything yet, but I have lots of ideas and I cannot wait to start!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE LION KING TEASER TRAILER HAPPENED

I mean….if they do an exact replica of the original movie only with a different type of animation, I am not exactly complaining….!

I WATCHED THE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES 1985 SULLIVAN ADAPTATION (AGAIN)

It’s just so, so great! I feel like watching it again!

TBR

It’s ambitious. It’s not gonna get done. It’s totally over the top. But A girl can dream!

The Grisha Trilogy & The Language of Thorns
I was actually planning a giant Leigh Bardugo reread in preparation of King of Scars (but I do not think I will be getting to SoC and CK before January)

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
Unfortunately. I am tired of having to be so cautious of spoilers and I might as well get it over with. I am trying to keep an open mind while reading, but I make no promises.

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Phillipe

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

The Sisters of Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Truthwitch & Windwitch by Susan Dennard
If I read these, my sister will read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir!!! She is sitting beside me right now judging me, but I am putting it in writing to cement this promise.

I am lucky if I even finish that monstrous Maas novel in the next two weeks. But a girl can try!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I will do a Holiday Wrap-Up at the beginning of January to let you know about my progress! The new year has so many amazing books coming and I was lucky enough to get my hands on some ARCs that just make 2019 even more exciting!!!!!

Let me know what you have been up to! I promise to visit your blogs as soon as I can!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz