Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Celebrating The Silver Words' Blogoversary | Whoa, Nostalgia

Heellooooo, everyone! Today is the blogoversary for The Silver Words! Eli asked if I would like to collaborate with him to celebrate, and I'm really happy to do so.☺

Before I get started on the topic . . .

The Silver Words is one of my favorite book blogs! Eli posts a lot of reviews. I love how well thought out they are and how he frequently offers an alternate book recommendations if the one he's reviewing wasn't that great. He also posts Monday Musts every week, which includes a must read, must hear, and must see recommendation that I'm always excited to check out. Along with those, he shares discussions (like the recent 2016 Reflection: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog), TTT lists, tags, and more. He's an awesome person and I'm really glad that he's one of my closest blogging friends. ☺ HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY, ELI!!

Onto the topic . . . 

Today, we're both sharing our favorite books that we read on our blogging career (so far) and possibly tying in how our blogging focus has changed. I'm not exactly sure how Eli will approach it (since we're posting separately), but I'll be focusing mostly why each book was a significant part of my blogging journey.  <------- Well, I tried. This post became wayyyyy more about my blogging focus and different blogging experiences I had than the actual books. 😂😂😂

I'm going to reach wayyy back to June 2013, when I have launched Reading is My Treasure (the original name of this blog). After checking Goodreads, it turns out that I had finished Storm the day before I started blogging, but it was the first book I posted a five star review for. It feels like a significant book of my blogging career because of that. 

Ohhhh, I haven't mentioned Justice in FOREVER. Before I decided to start blogging, I was really active in Goodreads groups and after I launched the blog, I believe that was helping me connect to indie authors (my memory isn't that great). I really liked to do author features for them and I occasionally included a review of their books. With Justice, I remember being SO EXCITED that I could share an interview with the author because I ended up LOVING her book. It was a really exciting and somewhat surreal experience because connecting with authors was so new to me.

As for Reality Boy, I think it was my first Netgalley read? As a blogger whose blog-related reading was mostly focused on review copies for a couple years, I have fond memories of the first few that I reviewed. :D I remember how passionate I felt about the book when I finished it and how happy I was with the review.

Ohh, man. 2014 was a great reading year! I could include a lot of titles, but I would like to write about my love for contemporary YA. Blogging helped my love for the genre grow even larger, I think. It was the genre that I was frequently drawn to and was the most passionate about. Writing reviews for those outstanding contemporary finds made me feel very satisfied. THE GUSHING. Sometimes, I would get SO into it. Faking Normal was by far my top favorite contemporary read of 2014 and is STILL one of my favorites. Tease was a read that lingered with me for a reaalllyyy long time and I was still thinking about it the next year. I have to include Anatomy of a Misfit because I remember feeling so surprised by that one, and feeling very good when I was writing about it.

I'll Give You the Sun is being included for a different reason: it was one of the first books (or the first--darn memory) I had read for an ARC tour. I don't participate in those anymore or do trades or ship books out, but this book marked one of my earliest experiences with mailing books. It's so much fun! Sending bookmail can sometimes be even more fun than receiving it. It feels kinda odd to reminisce about that in this post because it's not exactly a blogging thing--it IS, though. Blogging exposed me to sooooo many new experiences, including sending bookmail to fellow bloggers. I still haven't gotten a finished copy of I'll Give You the Sun, but it's one I must own one day.

I'm realizing that my blogging focus for 2014 and 2015 was all about experiencing new things. Maybe that was the intent back then, but as I'm thinking about it, the new and exciting aspects and possibilities of blogging was definitely what kept me motivated.

I knooowww, more contemporary. :D Trust me, I read a lot of fantastic speculative fiction, too, but contemporary just feels more significant when I'm thinking about blogging!

Romance. This was probably the year that I started getting much more comfortable with reading and reviewing romance books. I've always loved books with large focuses on romances and going on that romance journey with a book couple, but I haven't always been comfortable expressing that to other people. Being interested in the romance genre felt like something I shouldn't be interested in for some reason, but blogging made me much, much more comfortable with expressing how enjoyable I find romance to be. (Another blogging focus exposed: personal growth and overcoming challenges)

I believe Best Kind of Broken was one of the first books I read based on Holly's recommendation, and K.A. Tucker is an author she got me really into. I'm not sure how it played into my blogging focus at the time, but since that book, I've read soooooo many of Holly's book recs. It's really been one of my favorite experiences that blogging has enabled me to have! I've lost count of the times I've spam DMed her when reading her recs. :D Blogging has given me an easy way to connect with other bloggers and to talk about books with them. In 2016, one of my biggest blogging focuses was connecting more with other readers, and I'm very thankful that I started reading Holly's recs. I've started reading other friends' recs as well.

I had to include Second Position not just because the couple in that series still feels SO memorable, but also because it was one of the first books I reviewed for Sunday Street Team. (Back to the new experiences blogging focus.) That was April of 2015, which feels . . . very funny to think about. That feels like such a long time ago, and it feels like so much has changed since then.

I can run through these books quickly! Just watch:

Firsts - A book that I had so many thoughts on that I couldn't figure out how to edit and finalize the review, so I just posted my complete draft 7-8 months later. Ah, memories.

Girl in Pieces - Another Sunday Street Team book! It's one of the titles I'm the happiest that I had the chance to read through that team. (Sidenote: I recently resigned from the team, so the books I read for SST are giving me an extra dose of nostalgia at the moment.)

We Are the Ants - This is one I guest reviewed on! I haven't reviewed many books for that blog, but I really liked the experience of guest reviewing. :)

Double Life - The first S. Usher Evans book, and now she's one of my favorite authors to keep up with!

As for the blogging focus . . . er, this was the year things fell apart. The second half of 2015 was really where things started going downhill, and my focus in 2016 was to become happy with the blog again. I worked on changing the name to something I felt more comfortable with (Reading is My Treasure had never truly clicked with me as a title) and making other changes to mitigate the amount of self-doubt/negative self-perception/etc. that kept overwhelming me. It was a tumultuous year in terms of my mood and in that process, I lost my way (1000 points for your Hogwarts house if you get that Kpop reference) and now I have no idea what my blogging focus is.

Last Sentiments
I feel like I did a lot more reminiscing in this post than I expected. :D I miss the experiences I had in the first two-ish years of blogging! It was a ton of fun! Even though I don't have that same blogging spark now, I'm very happy that I currently have some great blogging friends that make me glad that I'm still blogging.☺

Eli is hosting a giveaway!!

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Time For Some Hidden Gems | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and a weekly meme where we simply make a top ten list for the week's topic.

Heyyy, I haven't done one of these in a long time. I missed this meme.

Ten Hidden Gems I've Read In The Past Year Or So

The Abyss Surrounds Us - This is one of those books that I used to think EVERYBODY knew about, though when I finally started reading it six months after its release, more people than I expected weren't familiar with the title. I saw some tweets asking about it and I immediately thought WHAT??!! I mean, there are sea monsters and pirates and an f/f romance and a kickass cover and oh so many awesome things, but it feels more like a hidden gem than it should.

S. Usher Evans' books - I really do adore her books! I love how there's variety in the stories and characters, but there's still a fun flavor than runs throughout everything I've read of hers. The Razia series is my personal favorite! It has one of the most memorable heroines I met in 2016, and I'm so impressed by that. Not a lot of characters stay with me this much for this long (since January 15th, 2016). Her Madion War Trilogy seems to be the most popular! And Spells & Sorcery is a super fun magic book. :)

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee - I accepted this to review on Reading Teen on a whim. I saw the cover and was intrigued by the title and then decided to just go for it. It turned out to be one of the most intense books I read last year. I remember feeling so caught up in the story. Many, many tears were shed. I must warn that it's a very dark read, though! (Kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder specifically.) I haven't seen much of anything said about this book, so it's definitely a hidden gem.

Unicorn Tracks - I lacked some connection to this book, but I really liked the cool, alternate world it was set in. I loved that it had some magical creatures (like unicorns) that I don't come across in as many of my reads as I want. Its world made the book feel unique.

Firsts - This is a book that I know a lot of people didn't like, and I wish more people loved it. Out of all the books I read in 2016, I think this one stuck with me the longest and made me think the most, partially because I do get why it would be a tough book to love. It left a LARGE impact on me, though I'm not exactly sure what that impact was. It just felt like the experience I had with this book was an important part of 2016 for me.

Anew - I feel like this is on a lot of people's TBRs/to-read shelves, but it's not high priority. I overlooked this for SO LONG and was really surprised when I finally read it. What stands out to me is how SHIPPABLE two of the characters were. I was able to get really into the romance! And the story. And its humor. Everything. I regret overlooking the series!

The Awesome - Ah, this book. The heroine had such a thin filter and I found it incredibly refreshing. I loved that she was one that readers could find as "crass" because, really, how often do we find heroines like that?? This book also has one of my favorite mother/daughter relationships because they were so open with each other despite all the tense moments they had.

Nameless - Aggghhhhadfkjasd, my memory on this is so bad and I'm really not happy about it. D: Anyway, I remember this one impressing me SO MUCH. I read it because a bunch of other bloggers were tweeting about how amazing it was. When I got around to reading it, I was sucked into the world and story. Unfortunately, I don't remember why, but it's still a hidden gem that I feel more people should give a chance.

What are some hidden gems you discovered in the past year or so? Have you read any of the books I mentinoed?

Happy reading! ~ Kaitlin ☺

Another Ice Breaker Post!

Hello again! I liked writing my last post (which was just to help me get reaquainted with blogging), so I'm going to continue it with more random books from my TBR. :)

Wuthering Heights is actually one of my current reads! I found a copy in my library's bookstore in December and since I've been in the classics collecting mood, I decided to buy it. It's not a book that I ever had a huge interest in reading, but I don't know...I just felt like having a copy. It kept staring at me, though. The cover caught my eye sooo many times before I got annoyed with it and decided to finally start reading it. 😂😂 Anyway, it's going slow, but I am liking it.
Oh, this diabolical book . . . I wasn't interested in it, but after it released, it started creeping up in my mind and pleading for attention. I'm curious about it for almost no reason. When it showed up on Overdrive, I was so excited and immediately placed a hold on it. Hopefully, I won't neglect this book as much as all my other library books because I really do want to read it soon.

I  might as well include Scythe since it's in the "readers also enjoyed" section of The Diabolic's Goodreads page. This was another book I put on hold the moment I found it on Overdrive! For the longest time, I wasn't even aware of the fact that Neal Shusterman was the author (even though his name is PRETTY BIG--something I really should've immediately noticed), so I used to only be slightly curious of this book. *shakes head at self* I should've known who the author was sooner. But I'm very, very excited to read this one. :)

Whhhhhyyyyyyyy haven't I continued this series, yet?? The first time I read this book was in 2011 or 2012 and yet I STILL haven't taken the time to figure out what happens next. *sighs*

I confuse myself sometimes.

Oh, look. Here's another series that I haven't continued since I read the first book years ago.

And another.

Moving on...

So, this isn't so random because I must read and review it before it releases on February 14th! This is a reminder to myself to get that done. :D Though I may completely suck at reviewing all my other review copies (*waves at the fall review pile that I didn't make any dent in*) and have gotten used to that, it's really important to me that I don't mess up with one directly from an author.


My blogging steam is running out already... So, here are some of the early 2017 releases that I'm excited for! :)

I'll try to write more the next time I do one of these posts! I'm not a fan of running out of steam/ideas so fast, but that's just my blogging mood lately. I'll probably keep up with random book lists for awhile so I can practice blogging.

Happy reading! ~ Kaitlin ☺

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Quick Ice Breaker Post

*awkwardly waves*


Whoa, this is a weird feeling. It's officially been one month since I've posted anything here. . . It's actually weirder than the previous times when I took so much time off from blogging because this time I didn't blog because I didn't even think about it. I haven't thought about what to post or about reviewing books or even really reading books. I haven't been on Twitter or Goodreads (SO WEIRD--I USED TO PLAY WITH MY SHELVES ALL THE TIME) or Litsy.

So, I've basically took a month off everything* book related and it feels a little rough to get myself back in that book mode. Please bear with me as I try to figure out how to do this blogging/book discussing thing again. :D And though I don't really believe in apologizing for doing whatever my mood guides me to, I am sorry that my posts have been soooooo spotty these past few months. And so non-book related. I'm tempted to post about music (or anime or K dramas) again since that's what I'm most passionate about right now, but I'm challenging myself to focus on books!

*I got a LOT of new books, oddly enough.

As a quick ice breaker, I thought it would be nice to share some random books I would like to read. I'm not necessarily saying I'll read them SOON, but they are books that have been popping up in my mind lately.

I got some manga as gifts from my best friend (totally appropriate since she's the one that got me into manga and anime) on my birthday and for Christmas and they are very high up on my TBR.  For one thing, I have to lend them to her so she can also read them. :D Toradora! is one of my favorite slice of life anime! It's . . . infectious. And. So. Adorable. I'm excited about Orange because it's a short series and the few episodes of the anime that I saw were pretty good. I think I actually cried or teared up by the end of the second episode, so even though I'm excited to read the manga, I'm also a bit nervous.

The Name of the Wind is another book high up on my TBR because of my best friend. I bought both it and the sequel on separate shopping trips with her and she keeps asking me if I've read it yet . . . It's one we're both very, very excited for! 

I WILL READ ANOTHER LIBBA BRAY BOOK THIS YEAR. I used to consider her one of my favorite authors because of the Gemma Doyle trilogy (my love for that series was STRONG about five, six years ago), but Going Bovine made me question myself. I tried it three times and it always managed to somehow feel like the most boring book ever despite all the weird things going on in the story. I would reallllyyy like to finally read another Libba Bray book so my last impression isn't of something I couldn't push through.

I've been a bit reluctant to pick this up since my relationship with romance books hasn't been strong for awhile, but I recently got an email saying that my library got A Hold on Me on Overdrive! (Yay for library books. ☺) I've been hoping they would get this because the sequel was available to put on hold before it even released. I was SO EXCITED to see it, but then remembered that I prefer reading books in order, even if it's a companion series. (I actually don't know if Pat Esden's series has companions or not. *avoiding description of sequel*)

Iron Cast seems like one of those super highly recommended books, though I have to admit that I'm not going into it knowing much...? (How am I just now realizing how little I know about it?) It's just one of those books that I'm willing to read based just on the general reaction from the blogging community. My Sister Rosa is a book I've been drawn to ever since I discovered it. "What if the most terrifying person you'd ever met was your ten-year old sister?" <-- I was hooked by this part of the synopsis. I haven't looked much further into the synopsis or reviews, but I'm hoping for a lot of psychological elements.


I ran out of steam for book talk. But hey, I wrote a decent amount about ones I really want to read! I may have to do this another time to get me more into the blogging mood. It was kinda fun to just write about random books on my TBR. :)

I really can't resist mentioning non-bookish stuff right now, so here's a quick run-through of some of the things I'm currently into or excited about.

Current . . .

Favorite Music: "Second Grade" by BTS (annnddd most of their other songs),"Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran,  "Highlight" by Seventeen
Shows: Attack on Titan rewatch, Gilmore Girls, My Little Monster
Reads: Othello, Days of Blood and Starlight
Anticipated Stuff: Debut of Dreamcatcher (Kpop girl group), A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix, SHERLOCK (I haven't seen the new episode yet)
State of mind: PLEASE DON'T SNOW AGAIN. PLEASE. (It's nice when it snows a lot for one day. It's not so nice when it snows three days straight and causes all sorts of problems.)

Happy reading! ~ Kaitlin ☺☺