Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Year in Books: 2015 Reading Stats & Survey

Goodreads inspired me to make a short post about my reading stats for this year, but then I remembered Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner makes a book survey at the end of every year, so this is a culmination of my Goodreads reading stats, the 2015 book survey, and some other stuff I threw in. P.S. I've deleted a lot of the questions from the original 2015 book survey (linked above) because they didn't apply to my reading year. Share your answers with me in the comments!

Book Data:
Number of Books Read:

5 stars - 12
4 stars - 15
3 stars - 12
2 stars - 3
1 star - 1

Number of Re-reads: 1
Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

   First book started in 2015:
Started with a bang with Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.

Last book finished in 2015:
And ended with a bang with Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Number of Pages Read: 

Shortest Book:
After the Bridge by Cassandra Clare

Longest Book:
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Average Book Length: 

Most Popular on GR: 
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Least Popular on GR:
Mussolin's Rome by Borden W. Painter, Jr.
Lol, no kidding.

My Average Rating:

My Most Read Genre:

Survey Questions | Books from 2015:

1. Favorite Book You Read:
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher and Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson - 
I'm sorry, I know it's supposed to be a singular answer 
but this is the worst question for a book addict!

2. Book You Didn't Love As Much As You Were Anticipating:
Confess by Colleen Hoover - Sad.

3. Book You Weren't Expecting To Enjoy As Much As You Did:
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves  - 
I could have put so many books under this category. SO MANY. But. 
Just goes to show.

4. Most Surprising Plot (Good or Bad):
Never Never: Part One by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher - Seriously. What just happened?

5. Favorite New Author You Discovered:
Tarryn Fisher - I'm kind of addicted to her writing. 
And her as a person. #PLN4LIFE

6. Most Unputdownable Book:
Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson - 
Seeing as how I read it basically in one sitting... 

7. Book You Read That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Titles and authors stated previously - I'm not trying to be unoriginal here, but I can't stop thinking about them!

8. Favorite Cover Of A Book You Read:
Because it is perfection.

9. Most Memorable Character:
Olivia from
The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher - She is somethin.

10. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book:
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.

11. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read:
"He stayed all winter." -Senna, Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

12. Best Book From A Genre You Don't Typically Read/Out Of Your Comfort Zone:
Straight up poetry! I never read poetry books, but this was nice!

13. OTP Of The Year (You Will Go Down With This Ship!)
Olivia & Caleb from
Love Me With Lies series by Tarryn Fisher - 
They're so awful to each other, yet, so right for each other.

14. Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
Chloe & Will from

A Matter of Fate series by Heather Lyons - 
The BEST platonic girl-boy relationship ever! Love them so much!

15. Best Book That You Read SOLELY Because Someone Recommended It/Pressured You To Read It:
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - I gave it 3 stars, 
but it was the only one someone convinced me to read. 
John Green made me do it. 

Survey Questions | Looking Ahead:

1. Top Books You Didn't Get To Read In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority In 2016:

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer
Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
Thief by Tarryn Fisher
You by Caroline Kepnes

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut):
On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher (Not yet covered)

3. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016:
Never Never: Part Three by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

4. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2016:
I hope to become more consistent with blogging! 
My 2016 Reading and Personal Goals will be up within the week :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson | Book Review

About the book: 

When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional. 

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special. 

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating. 

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out. 

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls. 

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.

Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
Pages: 121
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: June 29, 2014

My Rating: 
5 stars

Sale Alert: Puddle Jumping is 66% off it's original price until December 31, 2015 at 11:59PM! You need this beautiful story on your kindle (read my review for reassure) so seriously grab it now while it's on sale! Link to purchase on: Amazon Kindle
Spoiler-free Review:

"It begins with a boy. It begins with a boy and ends with a boy, but what story doesn't?"

After a slow reading year, fate has me ending 2015 with a bang. This incredible, heart-warming and -twisting bang of a story. Take one look at Puddle Jumping's official synopsis and you might have a guess as to what this book is about. A chapter into the story you might have a pretty good guess what makes Colton special. But you don't really know Lilly, Colton, and their stories until it all unravels...or blossoms or whatever you want to call it.

This story is so much more than just a love story, and yet, it's normalcy at its core. It's not a "disability" or a pity story and by no means is it romanticizing something that never should be. It's a story of the struggles and triumphs that come with the complexities of life and love. It's a story about how scary new waters are and no matter how ready you think you are, you cannot control the outcome. It's a story about people and understanding and not focusing on the differences.

"When you love someone, their differences fall away. 
I don't look at him and see anything but him."

Puddle Jumping hit me right where I needed it and then some. I needed the honesty, the raw pain and love it delivered. I needed the doses of selflessness, understanding, and reality that changed my heart on the topic of disability, and without being too forward, I would say others need these things too. By no means would I say I was prejudice or ignorant on this topic, nor am I implying that anyone else is, but the realness of this story put my prior understanding into even greater focus. Before, there was pity in my heart. Now, there is none. I look at this story and there's no "Oh, good for them" or "Bless her heart" about it. I look at Lilly and Colton and love this story for exactly what it is. As the Amber L. Johnson summed up, "It's a true story about a girl falling for a boy. Nothing more. Nothing less."

Although Puddle Jumping is her most well-read book, Amber L. Johnson isn't as well-known or highly-raved as so many of our favorite authors. So if you're hesitant about reading this book you haven't heard of from an author you're not familiar with, please let me reassure you: you need this book in your life. If you can't end 2015 with this incredible story, please start 2016 with it. It's a quick read (121 pages), which is not enough as much as it's just right. By any means, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie | Updated Book Review

Official Synopsis 

Life sucks for orphans Callum Tate and Harper Bailey. Kicked out of their foster homes because they suffer the 'eighteen disease' with nothing but a hundred dollar check from the government and a pat on the back, they're forced to rely on a system that failed them miserably. So they sit. They sit inside Social Services, waiting for their social workers to call their names and offer them the miracle they know will never come but they sit anyway because they have nowhere else to go, no other options on their very literal and figurative empty plates. But as they sit, they notice the other. Although captivated, they each come to the conclusion that life is complicated enough without throwing in a boiling tension that can't ever be acted upon because they're both too busy thinking about where their next meal will come from but when their names are called and both are placed on a year long waiting list for permanent housing, suddenly relying on each other seems like a very viable plan B. And, oh, how lovely Plan B's can be. Well, except for the psycho from Harper's past that haunts her and, oh, yeah, there's the little issue that neither of them knows they're in love with the other. Needless to say, Callum & Harper's life just got a bit more complicated. “One day, you and I are gonna’ wake up and be alright. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day. One day. I promise you.” - Callum Tate

Pages: 256
Published by: Fisher Amelie
Genre: mature YA/NA romance

My rating for Callum & Harper (The Sleepless, #1):

This is a story about what lengths someone will go to for love and the romance of this novel was one that tore me in half with how much I simultaneously hated and loved it. Eventually, my love for these characters and their relationship came out on top of the frustrations I had, but I'll first discuss my distaste. Callum and Harper grew to love each other super (at times eye-rollingly) quickly. Instalove at its finest. Here were two eighteen year olds, just released from the State's custody with next to nothing in life, and their attraction, trust, safety, and belonging to each other was just as bizarre as it was immediate. I was able to overlook this by keeping an open mind (because if there is such a thing as love at first sight, this duo is the epitome of it), but as the story continued and they fell harder for each other, they both made the same unbelievably ridiculous decision, which snowballed into one big lie where neither person was 100% happy. And this lasted years. This was unfathomably frustrating because if someone in real life had been in this situation, all they could have (probably would have) done is tell one little truth and all would be swell.

Another downfall had to do with Callum and Harper's values and faith. Although I admired how these often neglected topics in YA literature were discussed, these conversations seemed out of character. Callum and Harper had really crappy lives before they met. No one cared enough about them to even introduce or influence any sort of faith in their lives so I find it hard to believe that they would be so optimistic and faithful about the cards they had been dealt.

"I loved her so much I could barely see straight. I wanted her so much I could barely breathe straight. I needed her so much I could barely think straight."

In spite of the negatives, I'm thrilled I was able to work through my frustrations because Callum & Harper has become my guilty pleasure instalove. They are sweet as honey, perfect as peach, delightful as a dandelion, bright as the sun, and all those lovely metaphors wrapped into one. The unconditional love they had and showed each other was incredible. It was a such a joy to read about the small aspects of their relationship such as their daily encounters, time spent with great friends, and their efforts to build a life together. Their love filled this book and my heart. Sometimes their ridiculous snowballing decisions I previously mentioned wasn't such a bad thing either because it urged me to keep reading and wishing for a HEA. I couldn't get enough of them and their story amounted to a feel-good tale. In fact, according to my original review, the ending was so "frighteningly wonderful" I "literally sunk OUT OF MY CHAIR and onto the FLOOR". So yes, I think I was quite able to overlook its faults and love it for everything else.
"One day, you and I are gonna wake up and be alright. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day. One day. I promise you."
Recommended for readers who like: Fisher Amelie, instalove, love at first sight, angst, sweet relationships, not entirely realistic tales.
Sexual content: Medium - mature thoughts/feelings; the end is less conservative. I would recommend to 16+. 

Find everything Fisher Amelie and her novels HERE!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Favorite Music | Fall 2015 Semester

In the midst of the semester I realized the songs I've been listening to these past couple months have been swiftly changing as I discover new songs. I'm one of those people who listens the crap out of a song for a good couple weeks. sometimes a month or two, and then drops it cold, but if a year goes by and I listen to it again, my love for it reawakens. My feelings and memories from that time wash over me and whether they're positive or negative, these instant flashbacks are one of my favorite ways of remembering my past. Does anyone else associate music with time like that? Anyway, because there have been so many tunes running through my head this semester, I haven't gotten sick of them as quickly. Most of these songs I can firmly say are still on my playlist. Also, when I relive the moments these songs will later erect, I'm going to think, "Wow. You were really on a pop grind."


Zara Larsson Talented singer, surprisingly young, and catchy pop. The first of her songs I liked was Uncover, but She's Not Me is it. I'm surprised she's not bigger in the USA.


Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift Drop what you are holding! Drop it! Pause what you are doing because I can say that, for the first time, I willingly listen to a Taylor Swift song. And not just listen to, but sing along. I know. We're all floored alongside that book you just dropped. I don't a solid explanation for this one. Something about the melodic quality to her voice during the chorus. It makes me feel light.

Same Old Love - Selena Gomez Big fan of Selena Gomez as a person since I was a youngin. She's been through so much and she's handled it all with such a grace and resilience in the public eye. This whole album is a breakthrough for her and I could definitely feel it. Same Old Love is one of the catchier pop songs on her album, but as of November, the playfulness of Hands to Myself can't keep the smile at bay. (See album work below.)

Flaws - Vancouver Sleep Clinic Vancouver Sleep Clinic is my new obsesh. It's filling the same void that Bon Iver does so if you're a massive Bon Iver fan...

The Weekend - The Hills Absofuckinglute guilty pleasure. Am yet, I'm not even guilty.  (Couldn't locate video to insert.)

Missed - Ella Henderson One-clicked (is that a iTunes term too? Just amazon kindle? Okay.) this soul shredding beauty and belted nonstop with Miss Henderson for days. Sorry roommates.

A While - Gabrielle Aplin Beautiful vocal arrangements. That is what I look for most in a song and this delivers 100 percent. And this LIVE recording? Gorgeous. Or in my roommate's words, depressing.

What Do You Mean - Justin Bieber
Like the rest of the world, I've felt the ever unexpected foot tap and heart flutter at the new JB music. Unlike pockets around the world, my newfound love is unapologetic. (See album work below.)



Wild - Troye Sivan All of his songs are gold, but this was the first of his songs that really honed me in. Although I've known of Troye and his YouTube channel for the past few years, I never was a devote fan or even knew of his music pursuits. I'm happy his music has been spotlighted to share with the rest of the world!

I Found - Amber Run My calm side.

Tough Love - Jessie Ware Never heard of her before, but this single is catchy.

Dark Star Album - Jaymes Young Merely stumbled across this guy, but he became my go-to when I spent long hours in the computer lab on my graphic design projects. That might be why when I listen to it now, I have a distaste for some of the songs... I still enjoy Moondust, Parachute, and Northern Lights.



Cinematic Orchestra - To Build A Home After being introduced to this as one of the pieces in my performing RSO's fall show, I cried, fell in love, and cried some more. That's how it goes.

I'll Show You - Justin Bieber I mean, have you HEARD him sing LIVE? I could have listened to his vocal harp strings all day long. I'll Show You, Sorry, Children, The Feeling... they're all on the table for me and they've been the center of my playlist since he started dropping new singles.

Colors - Halsey Halsey is a bit trendy now, but eh, what can I say? I'm digging her crass and word play. Color is my song when I wake up, when I need some lulling to the soul, when I am trying to forget that I'm running for twenty minutes straight...

Selena Gomez This month I purchased tickets for her Revival tour so November was all about the Gomez pre-game.


Thank the earth and everyone on it for music because I truly would have lost my sanity this semester without it. What have you been addicted to? - Holly