2015 Reading Tracker Year in Review

After realizing that 2015 was the first year I did a reading tracker for every month. So I thought it was a good time to look back at my reading habits for the year. (This doesn’t count picture books and the ARC numbers are not the most accurate.)


  • Read: 9
  • Bought: 5
  • Gifted: 2
  • ARCs: 4


  • Read: 4
  • Bought: 0
  • Gifted: 5
  • ARCs: 5


  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 3
  • Gifted: 4
  • ARCs: 5


  • Read: 12
  • Bought: 0
  • Gifted: 5
  • ARCs: 6


  • Read: 9
  • Bought: 2
  • Gifted: 3
  • ARCs: 8


  • Read: 13
  • Bought: 1
  • Gifted: 7
  • ARCs: 11 (these are outside of BEA stuff which I tracked in a separate post)


  • Read: 12
  • Bought: 2
  • Gifted: 3
  • ARCs: 2


  • Read: 12
  • Bought: 0
  • Gifted: 4
  • ARCs: 6


  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 1
  • Gifted: 3
  • ARCs: 7


  • Read: 9
  • Bought: 1
  • Gifted: 1
  • ARCs: 3


  • Read: 15
  • Bought: 0
  • Gifted: 4
  • ARCs: 4


  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 0
  • Gifted: 6 (hiiiii Christmas)
  • ARCs: 1

So let’s break down yearly totals now:

  • Read: 125
  • Bought: 23
  • Gifted: 47
  • ARCs: 62

Reading 125 books sounds about in line with what I’d expect after factoring in all of the picture books and novellas I looked at this year.

Basically my yearly totals for books I acquired mirror what happened at BEA 2015 on a larger scale: I have access to a lot of books. I do not keep all of them and I often don’t read all of them.

I bought 23 book which is good in that it’s just under two books a month. On the other hand I would say more than half of these books have since been given away or regifted often without being read. Part of the problem was looking at Book Outlet at the beginning of the year and impulse buying some titles there. I also bought some books at signings when I really didn’t have to (although I don’t regret that in most cases especially for a magical Holly Black signing I went to with Nicole in January). When I was younger I wasn’t allowed to buy books until I read them and knew I wanted them forever. I still have a lot of those books on my shelves or plan to re-buy some of my favorites that I gave away. One of my big goals for the new year is to buy fewer books. I will still buy at least one book at a signing but I’m going to try to either make it a book that will be a gift or a book I really know I want and not one I want just to force an author interaction.

I was gifted 47 books in 2015. This includes some random gifts from friends, books received from the OTSP Secret Sister project, and also books I traded. I have kept almost all of the gifts (giving away some after reading as I found better homes for them). But 100% of the books I traded for were given away–again often unread. Partly that happened because I got completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of books I had in my house in the middle of the year. Partly it’s because, again, the books were acquired on an impulse. Since I work in a library, I am going to be aware that I don’t have to own a book to read it.

Which brings me to ARCs. Factoring in BEA, books I could snag from giveaway shelves at work, books I requested as a librarian rather than a blogger and my lousy tracking of this category,  I think 62 is actually a really low number here. Next year I want to better track the ARCs I receive that are unsolicited vs. requested but for my own sanity I will probably still end up low-balling and only track books I receive specifically for this blog. However because of the books that I have received essentially for free I feel better about the books that I gave away unread so my other goal is to be more mindful of books I’m requesting.

Chick Lit Wednesday will be back after the holidays!

I’m taking off the next two weeks because of the holidays except for some seasonal posts (like my Top Ten and End of Year Survey!).

Check back in the new year for regularly scheduled posting!

Chick Lit Wednesday will be back after the holidays!

I’m taking off the next two weeks because of the holidays except for some seasonal posts (like my Top Ten and End of Year Survey!).

Check back in the new year for regularly scheduled posting!

Uprooted: A Review

Uprooted by Naomi NovikAgnieszka has always known her best friend Kasia would be taken by the Dragon on the next choosing day. Everyone in their valley knows that the Dragon will choose beautiful, smart, kind Kasia to serve him for the next ten years.

The Dragon won’t eat Kasia–wizard’s don’t do that–and he won’t hurt her. People whisper about what the Dragon must do to the girls–what any man would do with a girl locked away for ten years–despite every girl’s denials. Either way, she’ll be ruined. When her service ends, she’ll never call the valley home again.

Except that isn’t what happens at the choosing. Instead, Agnieszka finds herself whisked away to the Dragon’s tower. In exchange for her service the Dragon will continue to protect the valley from the enchanted Wood that plagues them with strange creatures and the threat of encroachment.

But the Wood is changing; the creatures are growing bolder. With secrets and strange revelations at every turn it will take everything Agnieszka and the Dragon have together to fight what’s coming for them in Uprooted (2015) by Naomi Novik.

Find it on Bookshop.

Uprooted is a standalone fantasy novel. This review includes a lot of critical analysis and it will have spoilers from here on out.

Continue reading Uprooted: A Review

Week in Review: December 20

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

This week was a fun blend of posts I knew were coming (unpopular opinions tag, anyone?), posts I barely remember scheduling (everything else), and my best of 2015 list. I call it a “top ten” but I actually have a top fifteen. Plus four honorable mentions. They are, for me, the best of the best. What were your bookish favorites this year?

This week I’m buddy reading Froi of the Exiles with Sajda. I don’t do a lot of buddy reading usually but it has been a lot of fun having someone to OMG with and discuss the book with while reading. I’ve actually been lucky to do a lot of group readings because I was also working through Mock Printz titles and discussing with several coworkers as I read. Also super relieved this 600 page monster is proving to be a fairly fast read. I’d been worried!

I’ve also been trying to declutter my social media by unfollowing blogs that aren’t active or relevant to my interests and generally streamlining so I’m following people I know and talk to and can better keep track of without getting overwhelmed.

I forgot to share this last week so here is a belated picture of the centerpiece from my cookie swap–the gingerbread house that my mom and I put together:


This week marks the start of my staycation for the holidays. In fact, as you read this I’ll be getting ready to exchange Christmas gifts with Nicole. I’m pretty excited!

If you want to see how my month in reading is shaking out be sure to check out my December Reading Tracker.

How was your week?

Last Stop on Market Street: A Picture Book Review

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian RobinsonEvery Sunday after church, CJ and his grandmother get on the bus and ride it across town. None of CJ’s friends do this. On the ride CJ wonders why they don’t have a car like his friend Colby. Or an iPod like other boys on the bus. CJ wonders why they have to ride the bus all the way to the dirty part of town. Grandma answers each question thoughtfully as she reminds CJ that sometimes a journey is more important than the destination in Last Stop on Market Street (2015) by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson.

Last Stop on Market Street is de la Peña’s first picture book.

Brightly colored illustrations from Robinson make this book pop from the cover through to the last page. Robinson’s bold, blocky style helps pictures pop–even from a distance if reading this to a group–and draws the reader’s eye across each spread.

De la Peña has an ear for dialogue which comes across in CJ’s authentic conversations with his grandmother wondering about all the cool (to CJ) things that they lack. While I was surprised to see CJ’s diction was never corrected when he asked “how come we don’t got a car?” it did feel like a real kid talking throughout the story.

CJ’s grandmother reminds him to be grateful for little things (like an exciting bus, a guitarist on the bus who plays a song, and so on) while the pair rides across town to their final destination–a soup kitchen where CJ and his grandmother volunteer.

Last Stop on Market Street is a fun story with enough text (and surprises) to make it a great choice for older picture book readers. Discussion points and Robinson’s artwork also make it a great choice to read to a group. Hopefully the first of many picture books to come from de la Peña!

Linktastic! Thoughtful Pop Culture Articles Edition

Remember how I forgot I had about a million links saved to read on Twitter? Well I’m still chipping away at that. Today I give you some pop culture-y links.

Greta and the Goblin King: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe JacobsAfter four long years in trapped in the world of Mylena, seventeen-year-old Greta has become an expert at hiding her humanity. She has to if she wants to survive. Human’s aren’t welcome on Mylena where goblins, sprites, ghouls and other creatures all blame humans for ruining leaving their world in perpetual winter.

Work as a bounty hunter in Mylena is not easy. Especially for a human pretending to be something she’s not. But it gives Greta access to the caves that she knows transported her to Mylena when she tried to save her brother from a fire all those years ago.

Keeping a low profile in Mylena is simple until Greta catches the attention of a strange young man who appears in her dreams. It becomes impossible when that same young man turns out to be Isaac, the new goblin king.

When Greta’s secret threatens to come out, it becomes obvious that Greta is part of someone’s plan to open a new portal out of Mylena. The only problems are Greta doesn’t know where that someone is and she doesn’t know who she can trust in Greta and the Goblin King (2012) by Chloe Jacobs.

Greta and the Goblin King is Jacobs’ first novel and the start of her Mylena Chronicles trilogy.

This book is an incredibly loose retelling of the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel” in that Greta sort of sounds like Gretel, there is a fire, and Greta has a brother. In some sense this could be an alternate version of the fairy tale or even a continuation but again these connections are loose enough that it’s easier to just call Greta and the Goblin King a unique fantasy.

Greta is a tough-talking heroine who relies on herself and no one else. She does not tolerate fools, posers, or anyone who might underestimate her. Consequently she is also brusque and rash throughout the novel as her pride often prevents Greta from asking for the help she obviously (desperately) needs.

Isaac, by contrast, is remarkably level-headed despite being a goblin who could revert to his baser form (sort of like a werewolf) at the next eclipse. He’s an interesting foil for Greta and also, much to her dismay, a strong ally. There’s also just something entertaining about a goblin being the male lead in a paranormal romance. While Greta and Isaac are fun characters separately, their romance is problematic with a lot of it hinging on Isaac “claiming” Greta as “his” to keep her safe.

The world building here is messy. Some aspects of Mylena–such as why most creatures are essentially humanoid–are neatly explained while others–including how Greta is in Mylena at all and why a goblin on another world would be named Isaac–are tidily ignored.

Greta and the Goblin King is an interesting if not perfect novel. Recommended for readers looking for a fun new retelling/romance after reading the obvious suspects. Ideal for readers who are enjoy lots of action with minimal background.

Possible Pairings: Beastly by Alex Flinn, School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins, The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, Dust City by Robert Paul Weston, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Top Ten: 2015

Here’s my list of favorite books reviewed here on the blog in 2015. You can click the cover photos to read my reviews. Since it’s 2015, I’m giving myself 15 slots plus a few honorable mentions. Alphabetical by author because picking favorites any more specifically is too hard.

Top Ten:

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly BlackThe Scorpion Rules by Erin BowLove and Other Perishable Items by Laura BuzoThe Truth Commission by Susan Juby

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  • Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
  • The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

Winterspell by Claire LegrandThe Start of Me and You by Emery LordLock & Mori by Heather W. PettyI am Princess X by Cherie PriestTonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand
  • The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  • Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty
  • I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany SchmidtThe Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus SedgwickA Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria SchwabRebel Mechanics by Shanna SwendsonBlack Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

  • Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  • Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
  • Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Honorable Mentions:

The Game of Love and Death by Martha BrockenbroughWalk on Earth a Stranger by Rae CarsonBlackfin Sky by Kat EllisThe Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

  • The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
  • Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis
  • The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

This list is also a Pinterest board.

The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I was tagged by Rachel for The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag and I’m borrowing her lovely graphic for it too. (You can also check out her post.)

1. A popular book you didn’t like
All the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenI could pick a few here–even limiting myself to books I’ve read in 2015. But the first one that comes to mind is All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven about which my complaints are numerous and immense as you can see in my review.

2. A book series that everyone hates but you love
I wouldn’t say people hate it, but I know a lot of people feel indifferent about Gabrielle Zevin’s Birthright series which is one of my favorite trilogies of all time.

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle ZevinBecause It Is My Blood by Gabrielle ZevinIn the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

3. A love triangle where the MC ends up with the person you didn’t want them to end up with
SPOILERS here obviously. The big ones here include Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa.

4. A popular book genre you rarely reach for
I don’t read romance novels. Books with romance are okay but I just can’t do pure romances. I also avoid horror books at all costs.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas5. A popular beloved character you didn’t like
Celaena and every other character in the Throne of Glass series. I tried multiple times and I just don’t like anything about it. (Talk about an unpopular opinion.)

6. A popular author you can’t seem to get into
Ruta Sepetys. I want to like her books because they are well-researched and thoughtful historical fiction about interesting periods in time that are also often little known. But the writing just never draws me in!

7. Popular trope you’re tired of seeing
I am decidedly tired of books with an overweight protagonist needing some kind of contrast or wake up call to be healthy in the form of a dead relative. It’s the worst. Also all books with grandparents in the book do not have to have those characters die. Just saying!

8. Popular series you have no interest in readingSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. I read and enjoyed Six of Crows but just feel no need to read the Grisha titles.

9. The saying goes, ‘The book is always better than the movie’ but what movie do you prefer more than the book?
Eragon! I read the book and enjoyed it at the time. But I saw the movie first and it was just a lot more fun. Plus Jeremy Irons!

I’m tagging Nicole, Veronica, Kayla, Andi, Nicole. And YOU if you want to do it!