7 Bookish Resolutions For The New Year


I love making new goals at the beginning of a new year. It is always super exciting for me to start off a new year of reading. Not to mention, adding in all of those new bookish goals that I would like to complete over the next year.

Each year, of course, I always set a reading goal of how many books that I would like to read in the year. This year, I set that goal to 50 books once again! I never want to overestimate. I am already starting this year off strong by completing 3 books already this month. Hopefully, this year I can read even more than I did last year. Getting my bookshelves cleaned out and read is always a must. My shelves at home have way too many books that I have not read yet.

Here is a list of things that I am going to try to implement in my reading life. That way I can above and beyond exceed all of my reading goals this year.



1. Never leave the house without a book

- I know this tip may seem simple but it truly does work. I always have a book on me no matter where I go. An easy way to do this without having a lot of room is to download the Kindle app. Plus, it leaves out the awkwardness of holding a book randomly in public. Everyone stares at their phone in this generation. So, why not get some good old reading done. You will be surprised at how much more you can read just by doing so throughout the day in random places. There is a lot of downtime in the day that we don't plan for. You are already checking out your phone... so why not get some extra reading time in too?


2. Read more classics 

- I want to devote more time to reading classics this year. Books are classics for a reason and I want to expand my mind. Most of my five-star books or favorite books of all time are classics. I have tons of them on my bookshelves right now and they need to be read.


3. Write a book review for almost every book you read this year

- This year, just like last year, I am making my blog a main priority of mine. I love what I do and sharing it with the world. I want to make a commitment to write book reviews for pretty much every single book that I read this year. I was really good at writing them last year.


4. Read books outside of my comfort zone

- We all know that I love reading young adult fiction, thrillers, and contemporaries. However, I really want to make a point in reading from genres that I normally don't. For one, horror has recently sparked my interest. I also need to get onto the fantasy train.



5. Be more active on Instagram and Youtube

- I really need to start making videos on Youtube again. It's a lot of work but it was something that I really enjoyed. Video editing has always been a passion of mine. For some reason, I have a hard time being as active with Instagram but I really want to up my Instagram page more this year as well. Since photography is another passion too.


6. If the tv show or movie is a book then read it 

- Lately, every single time that I turn on the tv or a movie... I find out the story originated from a book. If so, I have to read the book too. Ideally, reading the book before watching the tv show or movie.


7. Continue writing my novel

- Gosh, will I ever finish my book? It's been months since I have worked on it. Lately, I have been having way more fun blogging. It's not that I am not passionate about my story anymore. I just would rather focus most of my time on my blog. One day, hopefully, it will be done.




Well, there you have it. Those are my bookish resolutions for this year. Do we have anything in common? What do you want to do differently this year as far as your reading goes? Let's chat in the comments down below.

xoxo,

My Life with the Walter Boys


My Life with the Walter Boys
Author: Ali Novak
Genre: Young adult contemporary 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 14, 2012
Pages: 368
My Rating: 
My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again. Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then... Surprise #1: Jackie's family dies in a freak car accident. Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians. Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway) Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She's not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents' memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?
A girl's family tragically dies and she goes to live with her mom's best friend. 
I was not expecting to love this book. It was so good that I could not put it down. Heartfelt and fast-paced, My Life with the Walter Boys did not disappoint. The story revolves around a girl named Jackie. She is a type-A person with every single thing that she does. When her family tragically dies in a car accident, she is moved from her family home in NYC out into the country. Jackie goes to live with her mother's college friend. Her mom's friend has 12 kids that she has to adjust living with.

All of the characters have very distinct personalities that make it very fun to read. With so many characters you would think it would be hard to differentiate who was who but it was not at all. I give the author props for her steller writing! My Life with the Walter Boys is easily a new favorite of mine. The second book needs to be out already! The book explores grief in a beautiful way. Jackie and the characters were extremely relatable and fun to read about.

The story was easy to binge read in one sitting. Despite there being a lot of funny moments, this book still has a lot of heart and substance to it. Plots like these are easy to devour. This book was exactly what I was looking for to read. I wish more books were like this one. I was extremely invested in the Walter family. All of the Walter's were unique. Novak developed each and every character with such grace. 

Jackie and the Walter's grew to love each other like one big family. I loved how the book displayed the fact that blood does not make a family. At the beginning of the story, Jackie and the Walter family were unsure of each other but their growth to loving one another was absolutely beautiful. I loved seeing the acceptance of each and every character.

The love triangle in the book was also entertaining to read. The story had the perfect amount of drama and explored young love. I was very pleased with how the love triangle progressed. Some plot twists were added here and there but in all the best ways. I NEED THE SEQUEL NOW! It is supposed to be out by now but it isn't? I wonder if it is ever coming out? There is still a page for it on Goodread's so I will just remain hopeful. Five stars from this book nerd!

Ali Novak is a Wisconsin native and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s creative writing program. She started writing her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was only fifteen. Her work has received more than 150 million reads online. When she isn’t writing, Ali enjoys Netflix marathons, traveling with her husband Jared, and reading any type of fantasy novel she can get her hands on. You can follow her on Wattpad, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat @fallzswimmer.

7 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

In case you are new to my blog... I have been dealing with chronic anxiety and depression from a very young age. I won't go into my specific diagnoses at this time... but it hasn't ever been easy to deal with. Mental health issues can be very gripping. There are days when my anxiety and depression are so bad that I am afraid to leave my house. People who do not suffer from mental health issues do not always understand what I am going through.

I am always very open about my struggles in the last couple of years because I have a passion for helping people. I am not ashamed. I am a fighter. By opening up, if I can help even one person then I can see a reason behind god giving me these struggles.

Lately, my anxiety has been off the roof. One of my good friends from high school died in a car accident over the holiday's and it's really triggered my anxiety the last month. All of your love and support is greatly appreciated at this time. The important thing to always remember is you are never truly alone.



Don't forget that there is a tomorrow and there is always another day. It is perfectly okay to have a bad day. Feel your feelings and don't bottle them up. Bottling things up will just make things worse. Take some deep breathes. You are strong and can do this!



1. Ask for help

- Never be afraid to ask for help. You are stronger for being able to do so. It's very admirable to be able to seek out support. You would be surprised at how many people are going through the same thing as you at that very moment. Having a support system is very important for any mental illness. Seek out your family, friends, and doctors. There is nothing wrong with needing a little extra help. You do not need to struggle alone. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to listen.



2. Get enough sleep

- Take care of your physical needs first. I know if I don't get the proper amount of sleep at night my mental health greatly suffers. Sleep is very important for anyone. Especially for people with mental health issues. Make sure you are getting your 8 hrs of sleep at night.



3. Know your limits

- Only do what you can. It's important to push yourself but not too much to where you have a crisis. If you are already having a bad or hard day don't take on too much that you can't handle. Don't overestimate what you can accomplish or do in life. Only you know your limits or triggers. You come first. It's important to not stress yourself out.



4. Surround yourself with positive people

- Bad company brings misery. Only surround yourself with people who love you and push you to be a better version of yourself. It's important to only have understanding and loving people in your life. When you have any type of mental illness, only surround yourself with patient people.



5. Take some personal time

- With any mental illness, it is important to recharge in your "safe place". Take time for yourself to recharge and feel better mentally. This helps prevent a crisis. Self-care is very important. Here are some self-care ideas you can check out... 100+ WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - BEST SELF CARE IDEAS AND TIPS




6. Do something you enjoy

- It's important to distract yourself. Do an enjoyable activity. Do anything that makes you happy. Reading has always been my safe haven. Whenever I feel depression or anxiety coming on... I always distract myself with a good book. This is probably another reason why I read so much hahaha! It keeps me from having a major mental health breakdown.

7. Count your blessings

- The blessings in your life are always important to remember. Your situation could always be worse. Yes, mental health isn't easy but there is always hope. I always instantly feel better whenever I say my blessings out loud. It's an opposite reaction technique that has been very helpful to me. It's harder to stay depressed when you start to think about the good in your life.



checklist for mental health issues

Do life on your own time and terms. Try not to compare your recovery to anyone else. How do you deal with your mental health? I would love to know your thoughts down in the comments. It's important to always stick together and support one another on our journey.

xoxo,

GOODREADS CLEAN UP CHALLENGE (3)

A new year brings a good reason to start cleaning up my Goodread's shelves again. As you know, my Goodread's TBR has gotten very much out of hand over the last year. So, I started this new blog series to encourage myself to go through all of the titles on my lists and get rid of the books that no longer interest me. It's been a great tool. This is my third post in the series. Right now, I have over 800 books on my TBR list.



Without further or do... let's get to it:
Starting off from where I left off on my last post... The amount of books on my tbr is never-ending it feels like.



1. Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

I am keeping this one only because it's a Colleen Hoover book and I cannot resist. The premise seems kind of weird though. Maybe, one day I will get to it. KEEP













2. One True Thing by Anna Quindlen
I am not in the mood to read another cancer story. Cancer stories hit too close to home for me right now. I am not in the right mindset at all to read them. DELETE














3. All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Yeah, I think I kind of outgrew this book concept. Not looking for an action book anymore. I don't care to read a new book series about a young girl trying to hunt down her mother's killer. Too many other books have this same plot. DELETE











4. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
I love a good ghost story and this one looks so good. I completely forgot about this book up until now. Just because someone dies doesn't mean they ever truly leave you. Reading books that explore this message are always some of my favorites. KEEP











5. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Yeah, this book just doesn't seem like my kind of story. I don't even know why it was on my tbr in the first place? DELETE














6. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
I have heard amazing things about this book. Jodi Picoult is an amazing author. This is one of her highest rated books that she has written. I would still like to give this one a try. KEEP













7. The List by Siobhan Vivian
I love the concept of this book. Showing how bullying can affect someone so profoundly while in high school. I think it's a very important topic to write and discuss. Despite the lower ratings, I would still like to give this one a try. KEEP











8. Impossible by Nancy Werlin
A book about a family curse? I am just not in the mood, to be honest, and I need to clean up my shelves a lot. So, I have decided to just get rid of this one. DELETE













9. Cipher by Cindi Madsen
Being able to see the way people die before they do sounds like a super cool premise for a book. Like I said before, I love paranormal books. KEEP













10. Before The Fall by Noah Hawley
I am also a sucker for a good mystery. This one seems pretty interesting. I love it when social media is brought into a thriller too. It always makes for a good story. The suspense in this book seems like it is going to be pretty intense. KEEP















I think that is another pretty good start in going through the titles on all of my book lists. It is always interesting to go through old titles that you used to be interested in. I love seeing how my reading tastes have changed over the years.

6 KEPT
4 DELETED
885 ON TBR LIST

Have you read any of the books above? What did you think of them? I would love to know in the comments down below. Are any of the books on your personal to be read shelf? 

xoxo,

7 NEW BOOK RELEASES ON MY RADAR IN FEBRUARY


I love scouting out new book releases. Throughout the year there are always so many new books that I cannot wait to get my hands on. February is always a great month for new romances because of Valentine's Day. Don't fret though because there are also some thrillers coming out that look amazing too. Man, I am such a book nerd it's not even funny.

Here are the books that I am excited about that are coming out in February:



1. The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Hypnotic and addictive and perfect for fans of You, The Other Mrs. is the twisty new psychological thriller from Mary Kubica, the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl. Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard. But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. It’s their eerie old home, with its decrepit decor and creepy attic, which they inherited from Will’s sister after she died unexpectedly. It’s Will’s disturbed teenage niece Imogen, with her dark and threatening presence. And it’s the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family. As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

2. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.YES. Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya. NO. Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her. MAYBE SO. Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.

3. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls. Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…


4. All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She will reign. As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever. I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

5. Dead To Her by Sarah Pinborough

For fans of Liane Moriarty, Liv Constantine and Lisa Jewell, a twisty psychological thriller about a savvy second wife who will do almost anything to come out on top from the New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes. Being the second wife can be murder . . . “Once a cheat, always a cheat,” they say. Marcie Maddox has worked hard to get where she is after the illicit affair that started her new life a few years ago. But her world of country clubs, yachts and sumptuous houses in Savannah, Georgia, isn’t easy to maintain, no matter how hard she tries. Nor is keeping her husband, Jason, truly interested. So, when Jason’s boss brings home a hot new wife from his trip to London, the young Mrs William Radford IV isn’t quite the souvenir everyone expected. Sexy, drop-dead gorgeous and black—Keisha quickly usurps Marcie’s place as the beautiful second wife. But when Marcie sees the extra spark in the room when Keisha and Jason are together and their obvious, magnetic attraction, the gloves come off. Revenge is best served cold, but in the steamy Savannah heat, blood runs so hot that this summer it might just boil over into murder.

6. Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Just because life may be out of order, doesn’t mean it’s broken. It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order… Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Oona Out of Order is a remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of sequence. Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.

7. A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn't add up, and a girl who's determined to find the real killer--but not everyone wants her meddling in the past. Everyone in Fairview knows the story. Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town. But she can't shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer? Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn't want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger. This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.



Are any of these books on your radar too? I would love to know in the comments down below. Or, I hope that I sparked your interest in a couple of the titles above. What books are you most looking forward to in February?

xoxo,