2018 Reading & Writing Goals

Happy 2018! I know it’s the middle of January now but it’s been a crazy time. The end of 2017 happened a little faster than I was expecting but all of the posts from that time are finally up. Things may get a little crazy due to personal life but I’m hoping to get a lot of reading and writing accomplished this year.


Reading Goals

1. Read 80 Books Again.
2. Read 1 Classic per month (12 total)
3. Read 1 book from my childhood per month
4. Read 1 new children’s book per month
5. Finish books (9 total) from 2017 (Afterparty, Crank, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooms, Slice of Cherry, Quidditch Through the Ages, Harry A History, & Raging Star).
6. Every quarter (4 months), Read 1 Nonfiction Book.
7. Every quarter (4 months), Read 1 True Crime Novel
8. Participate in more Read-a-thons & Buddy/Group Reads
9. Try to “shop” from my owned books & the library
10. Finish/Make progress with more series


Writing Goals

1. Edit Our Reasons

2. Querying/Publishing Investigating

3. Participate in more Twitter events like #PitMad, PitchMadness, Pitch Wars, etc.

4. Edit The Birthday Bash

5. Edit Evil in the Walls

6. Edit So Much Rage

7. Write a new Horror novel

8. Work on CHALTS

9. Work on Karen’s Not Home

10. Get published


What are your goals for 2018? I’m really going to try and accomplish as many of these as life allows.



Books in December 2017

For 2017, I challenged myself to read 80 books. In December, I read six.

One of my reads was an ebook of Lucky Day by Barry Lyga


New Favorites: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See & Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga.

Classic: Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Least Liked: Smashed by Koren Zalickas


I actually liked everything that I read this month, though I did struggle a bit with Smashed. Overall I ended up liking everything, including that.


One of my favorite reads for the month.

My favorite read for the month and one of my top favorites for 2017.

My classic read for the month. It was nutty but I really enjoyed it.



What did you read in December and what were your favorites?


Last Quarter Haul & 2017 UnHaul


I haven’t shared any of my book hauls since right after my birthday so I figured I would do that before I forget. Since 2017 was the year I began my journey toward de-cluttering and becoming more of a minimalist, I decided I would also share my book unhaul for the year on here as well.

Quarterly Haul

At the end of September, I went to a book signing for Stephanie Perkins since she wasn’t too far from me. I bought a copy of her newest release, There’s Someone Inside Your House, at the bookstore and got her to sign my paperback copy of Anna and the French Kiss. I read and loved There’s Someone Inside Your House in October.

I also got a copy of Knee-High Lies by Dawn Ford from a Goodreads Giveaway at the end of the month. I read and enjoyed that in November.


I was very good in October–I didn’t buy any books! A friend did send me Bazaar of Bad Dreams, though. In November, I could’t help but get The Conspiracy of Us and The Secret Circle: The Hunt when I found both at Dollar Tree. I bought The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because my library didn’t have a good version of it and I needed it for my November classic.

December is where I got in trouble (as usual). First I ordered this Jaws book that has been on my Amazon wishlist forever as an early Christmas present to myself since it was almost out of stock. I do not regret this purchase at all! I also plan to read it in 2018.


While I was Christmas shopping at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, I found a treasure cove in the Books section and couldn’t help myself–I nabbed The Diabolic, Rebel of the Sands, & Alex Approximately. I ordered Daughter of Smoke and Bone from AbeBooks because I really wanted that edition and it was for a great price.

I needed Alice Through the Looking Glass for my December classic read because my library didn’t have a copy so I ordered that, A Million Christmas Cats: Festive Felines to Color, and Torn Away from BookOutlet.

I found The Couple Next Door at my library’s outlet store. Quidditch Through the Ages came from Amazon because I had plans to read it in December. Sadly that didn’t happen but I had good intentions! I plan to try to get to most of these in 2018.


I returned to Ollie’s about a week later for some drinks and they’d gotten more books. Yep. I got this lovely edition of The Borrowers, Amber House, The Glittering Court, and Girl on the Train for steals. There was a sale for When Dimple Met Rishi on Amazon so I went ahead and ordered that as well. I plan to get to some of these in 2018.

For Christmas, my husband got me this beautiful illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I plan on reading this soon.

I assumed that would be it but no, there’s two more books! I ordered The Library of Souls because I follow the author on Booktube and want to get to his book in 2018. My friend sent me her extra copy of Truth or Dare.

So overall, I acquired 24 books over the last quarter.   I’ve read/used 5 of them so far and plan to read at least 9 of the rest for sure in 2018.


2017 UnHaul

For the next part, I decided to go back and see just how many books I’ve acquired this year and compare it with how many books I have decided to declutter. Some books have already been hauled off but there are a few bags in my car and apartment waiting to be taken off to be donated or exchanged for used book credit.


In 2017, I acquired 106 books. That may seem like a lot but it is still a lot less than last year. I’m proud of myself for mostly buying books that I would read immediately or in the near future. While I still failed with that for some books, I am going to strive to read more from my own collection and the library for 2018.


So, onto the unhaul. These are from the beginning of the year to the end. I have always gotten rid of books that I didn’t enjoy, but this year I decided there was no use in holding onto books that I liked but didn’t love and/or would never re-read. Here’s all of the books that I decluttered:


So not counting a couple of books that were being replaced for better editions, I decluttered 90 books! There might even be a few more that I forgot to take photos of. So even through I brought a ton of books in, I am proud at how many I was able to part with.

Hopefully I can continue to do this moving forward. I still have trouble parting with books that I haven’t read yet, even if they have been sitting there for years. The only way I have been able to declutter unread books is if I lose interest or they are part of a series I have no intention on finishing (such as those Private books). But as I plan to read more from my collection in 2018, hopefully that means more will be decluttered as well.


Let me know if you enjoyed the unhaul segment or not. I have been loving them on Booktube and they help keep me accountable and inspire me to declutter one of the hardest areas of my life so I hope that mine will help inspire one of you.


There is one more 2017 post coming up (Book Pics) and then I promise to you that everything will be moving forward. Happy 2018!


2017 Classics & Series Ranked

I thought it might be fun to rank the classics and series that I planned to read in 2017. Was somewhat surprised by the results at the end. The numbers are ranked from best to worst.



1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
3. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
4. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
7. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
8. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
9. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
10. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
11. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
12. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath



1. Casteel series by V.C. Andrews (re-read)

2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (re-read)

3. The Jasper Dent trilogy by Barry Lyga

4. The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood

5. The Selection series by Kiera Cass

6. The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

Since I still have one book to go in the Dust Land trilogy by Moira Young, I decided not to count it. The Jasper Dent series was my favorite new series for 2017!


Thankfully I didn’t hate any of these–all were at least 3 stars. Did you enjoy any of these books? Did you not? Let me know in the comments below.



Most Disappointing Reads of 2017

2017 was a great reading year but there were still a few disappointments that I wanted to talk about briefly.


This beauty came in my first Owl Crate with a signed bookplate and letter from the author. It’s a Phantom in the Opera re-telling set at a boarding school. It sounded right up my alley but sadly I ended up DNFing it at the halfway mark. The plot was boring and the main characters were difficult to connect to. This is probably my biggest disappointment.


I originally wanted to read this one because someone compared the plot of my book, Evil in the Walls, to this. I’m always down for a haunted hotel story and I almost DNFed this one because the plot was boring and none of the characters were likable, let alone interesting.

But then, just when I was ready to give up, it started getting better. The plot began to move at a better pace and got interesting. I still didn’t much like the characters but the story was interesting enough to keep me going. The book wasn’t very creepy, the romance was bad insta-love, and I guessed the plot twist a mile away. When I finished this book, I wanted to rant about it because it had such potential.



I didn’t understand the hype for this book and had a hard time connecting with the character, even though I found her both likable and interesting for the most part. The entire time I read this, I felt like I was missing something very important. While I still ended up liking this, it didn’t blow me away like I was expecting so it was still a huge disappointment.


This is probably a very unpopular opinion, but this book just didn’t live up to the hype for me. It ended up being OK but I wanted to love it. The plot was interesting enough but I couldn’t connect to the characters, felt their “romance” was unrealistic and full of insta-love, and while I at times found the multiple POVs interesting, it also drew focus away from the main characters in a jarring kind of way. I still have hope for Everything, Everything.

This is one that I thought would be really cool but ended up being kind of meh. It’s a shame because the plot sounded interesting and the cover looks cool. There’s also this jewel beneath the dust jacket on the hardcover:

But sadly the book didn’t live up to my expectations. I liked that it was told in journal entries, newspaper clippings, and video explanations. It started off decent but I felt like this book tried to go into too many directions and wasn’t 100% sure what it really wanted to be.

This is another one that mostly takes place at a boarding school but part of it is also set at a mental institution–two of my favorite settings. I couldn’t connect to the characters and the main character’s voice wasn’t very strong. I also ended up guessing the twist because it seemed pretty obvious. Overall, a total disappointment.


I was really excited for this one because I got caught up in the hype and while I did really enjoy it (3.5 star rating), I still felt really disappointed with this one. Although I did like the world building and understood that it had to be built, the plot moved like molasses. And while I did really enjoy the characters, I didn’t seem to connect to them as deeply as everyone else seemed to.

I do plan on reading the sequel, which is said to be even better, but I’m keeping my expectations low. Maybe the sequel will change my mind on this duology but I still felt very disappointed that I didn’t love it as much as everyone else.


So that’s my disappointing reads for 2017. Which books disappointed you in 2017?


2017 End of Year Survey

Hey guys, I saw this neat survey/tag on BooksandLaLa’s Booktube channel and decided it would be fun. To see her video, go here.


1. How Many Books Did You Read?

Technically 85.5 because I only read half of one book.


2. Did You Meet Your Reading Goal?

Yes, my goal was 80.


3. Longest Book You Read:

Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix (870 pages).


4. Shortest Book You Read:

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola (40 pages)


5. Favorite Book Published in 2017:

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar


6. Favorite Book Not Published in 2017:

Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga


7. A Book That Lived Up to the Hype:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


8. A Book That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype:

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon


9. Favorite & Least Favorite Character:

Favorite: Alex Cross from The Female of the Species OR Cath from Fangirl

Least Favorite: Audrey from Hotel Ruby


10. Favorite Couple/New OTP:

Cath & Levi from Fangirl


11. A Book That Felt Like An Accomplishment:

Dracula by Bram Stoker, because I had a very hard time reading this as a child (obviously) and wanted to read it again for a long time but kept putting it off. Now it’s one of my favorite classics.


12. A Book You Pushed the Most People to Read:

Tie between The Female of the Species & The Hate That U Give


13. Best Writing:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See


14. Favorite Cover:

Illustrated Deluxe Harry Potter & The Philospher’s Stone


15. Most Shocking Moment:

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis


16. Made You Cry:

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz


17. Made You Laugh:

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


18. Author You Discovered:

Even though he co-wrote Sleeping Beauties with his dad, I see a lot of potential in Owen King.


19. Guilty Pleasure Read:

I don’t really believe in the “Guilty Pleasures” concept but I guess the Pretty Little Liars books I read (4) would fit.


20. Favorite Re-Read:

Dark Angel by V.C. Andrews


21. Most Read Genre:



22. Favorite Debut:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


23. Favorite Adaptation:

Mr. Mercedes (TV show)


If you want to join in, please do and leave me your link to your blog post, Youtube video, or feel free to answer in the comments below! 2017 was a really great reading year!


My Top Reads in 2017

2017 was a great reading year. There were only a handful of books that I didn’t enjoy. Here are my top favorites for 2017! Keep in mind that these weren’t necessarily published in 2017, just books that I read during that year.


Favorite Fantasy:

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas



Favorite Contemporary:


The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis


Favorite Debut:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas




Favorite Middle Grade:


Ban This Book by Alan Gratz


Favorite Sequel:

Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga


Favorite Horror:

Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar


Favorite Graphic Novel:

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

Favorite Classic:

Dracula by Bram Stoker


Favorite Historical Fiction:


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See


Favorite Harry Potter:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling


Favorite Re-Read:

Dark Angel by V.C. Andrews


What were your top reads of 2017?