Wish List Worthy: Sailor Moon Sweeties Usagi Tsukino Figure

I need to figure out how to use one of those middle man services to order goodies from Japan because this new Sailor Moon figure by Megahouse is something that I absolutely need to add to my collection.  It’s so pink and pretty and it completely matches my aesthetic and celebrates my love of ice cream.  I love that Usagi is wearing a retro diner waitress ensemble and she’s sitting in a little ice cream sundae bowl =^.^= So presh.  It’s available to preorder on the Japanese Bandai website and it should be released in March of 2017.

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5 Fandom Friday: Fandom Habits + July Photo Challenge

5 Fandom Friday is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly and Megan of The Nerdy Girlie!  For more information, here’s our introduction post about how 5FF came into being.

1) Matching Editions – I cannot even handle when the publisher changes the cover aesthetic of a book series (see The Winner’s Kiss rant which was thankfully rectified), or the height of a series that’s currently in the process of being published.  I ended up getting rid of my Selection series paperbacks because the final book is slightly shorter than the first two books. WHYYYYY. I have no idea why this is done or why anyone thinks this could ever be a good idea.  Just give me my matching series and change future editions if necessary! This is the only instance that I cannot handle change in.

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2) Preordering – One of my favorite things ever is being able to preorder books and films via Amazon.  They have a preorder price guarantee so if an item is ever priced lower between the date you placed your order and the date it ships, Amazon will refund you that money.  And you don’t even have to keep track of it.  Their handy algorithms do all the work.  They’re also really easy to cancel (which I will do if a bookstore near me is having an author event I want to attend so I can buy the book there to support the store).  I also love perusing my “Open Orders” tab to see all the things that I can expect to arrive in the future.  I seriously check several times per week (despite also having release dates written in my planner).  I can’t help it, it’s a habit and I find it to be enjoyable!

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3) Rearranging My Shelves – Whenever I get a new book or movie or collectible, the thing I look most forward to is incorporating it into my shelves.It’s kind of like having a life size puzzle to figure out (especially since I’m forever running out of space and I may need to start rotating some things seasonally).

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4) Reading Comics – One of the most difficult things about being a comic book reader is wanting to start everything from the beginning (especially when it comes to out of print comics since I refuse to buy comics digitally even though I probably should).  There are so many different continuity lines to follow and companies are constantly changing which stories are canon and which are separate.  It’s kind of a huge chore to follow but it’s one I take pride in knowing.  It’s definitely my most time consuming fandom habit and I haven’t been as on top of things lately because of general lack of interest in newer titles but alas, I could never just pick up an issue and start reading. I need background and I need a #1 and the storyline preceding it if it’s relevant.

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5) Collecting – This habit is the biggest issue when it comes to having physical space.  I am such a collector at heart and once I get into something, I go all out.  For instance, I cannot just get one Harry Potter Funko, I need them all. The same goes for Disney’s Tsum Tsum’s, Nintendo’s Amiibos, YA books in general but especially series and my most recent addiction is Marvel Vinylmations.  My husband always jokes about we managed to find a huge apartment that almost isn’t big enough because of all the stuff I have. I just can’t help it!

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July Photo Challenge

So yesterday Megan and I announced that 5 Fandom Friday is being overtaken by Potter Month in July! We’re both so excited to be returning to Hogwarts and showing our wizarding appreciation<3 (If you haven’t read the introduction post yet, you can do so here!)  One thing that many people have been asking us about is if we’re going to be hosting another Instagram challenge so we’re happy to announce that we’re doing another this July but we’re changing things up! Instead of a daily photo challenge, we’re switching over to a weekly format.  We feel it’ll be much easier to keep up with the challenge if you’re only aiming to post a minimum of one photo per week (although you’re totally welcome to post as many as you’d like to if you get creative and interpret the topic in multiple ways!)  So we hope you’ll also join in this fun and without further ado, here are our photo challenge topics!

5FF Photo A Week Challenge - July 16

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BookTube: Most Disappointing Books of 2015

I read a lot of books in 2015.  Luckily, a lot of them became new favorites but there were a few that just didn’t do it for me.  I did film this video after the Spines With Wines Book Club (we also have a Goodreads group now!) so I completely forgot to include The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige in my list but it absolutely belongs there right before Winterspell. Good job Kristin!  Here’s my written review if you’re curious about why it should be on my list.  What were some books you read last year that you found disappointing?

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BookTube: Top 10 Book Covers of 2015

In today’s BookTube video I wanted to show off some of my favorite book covers for books published in 2015.  I can never resist a good cover so I thought these should be recognized and appreciated for just how attractive they are.  What were some of your favorite book covers of last year?

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TTT: Top Ten 2015 Contemporary Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

Top Ten Tuesday’s are a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which anyone who participates creates a Top Ten list of books based on a weekly prompt they provide (the list for advance topics can be found by clicking the link above).  For my own sanity my Top Ten Tuesdays will always be Top Twelve Tuesdays because the graphics just look better that way ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I realized that a lot of the books I included in my Top 16 Books I Want to Read in 2016 are from the fantasy genre and while that’s helpful for completing the Flight of Fantasy Reading Challenge, I didn’t want to be repetitive in my second Top Ten Tuesday post.  I decided to make this list specifically about contemporary novels that were released in 2015 that I didn’t get to read but meant to.

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The Books

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydeu
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road) by Katie McGarry

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My Current Kate Spade Wish List

When I was a little middle schooler, Kate Spade and Tiffany & Co. were my intro into the world of fashion and brands.  Since I’ve gotten older and wiser I’ve stopped caring about wearing designer clothes and having designer accessories but one thing that’s stayed consistent is my love of Kate Spade.  I lost touch with the brand for a bit in high school but it was reinvigorated with new designs during my college years and I found myself lusting after her products once again.  I love that Kate Spade often offers my favorite color (light pink) and her products are timeless and classy with a modern twist.  There is currently a whole lot of stuff from her recent collections that I would love to add to my own closet so my most recent Polyvore set is a wish list of those items.  You can view it in full on Polyvore to see the detailed product pages for each item.

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Kristin

 

BookTube: December Book Haul

I’m so excited to be sharing my December Book Haul with you all today! This was a very big month for my book buying because I ended up picking up a ton of collectible editions to add to my library (I mentioned in my Bookish New Years Resolutions post yesterday that I’m going to try to to be more thoughtful about my book buying and invest in collectible editions of favorites that I want to display on my shelves).  Overall, I’m just so pleased with my haul even though I wasn’t supposed to buy that many books last month.  My favorite set to show off are my new Harry Potter books!  What were some of your favorite books you acquired last month?

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BookTube: My Top 15 Books of 2015

Overall, 2015 was an AWESOME reading year for me.  I feel really pleased with the number of books I’ve read, and more importantly, with the quality of those books. There were so many new favorites this year that it was challenging to narrow down my list (but I was at least able to justify a top 15 instead of top 10 list!).  What were your favorite reads of the year?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week I’m choosing Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell.  I think anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while probably knows how much I love Peter Pan so this week’s choice should come as no surprise.  The book follows a girl named Gwen and her best friend Olivia who get kidnapped and whisked away to Neverland.  The lines between good and evil are seriously blurred and the girls need to find a way home and decide whether Peter or Hook is the right character to trust.  Plus there’s a pirate ship on the cover.  Insta-preorder. You can preorder your own copy on Amazon!

Unhooked

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself? (via Goodreads)

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Kristin’s Annual End Of Year Survey – 2015 Edition!

This is the second year that I’m participating in Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner’s annual end of year survey (and the 6th year that Jamie is hosting it!).  I love having another excuse to write about books and my reading habits throughout 2015!  I really enjoyed my time completing the survey last year and it’s a great way to reflect on what I’ve consumed.  If you’re interested, you can read my 2014 survey answers here!

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Number Of Books You Read: 109

Number of Re-Reads: 4 (All Harry Potter!) A big increase from last year, but I’m planning on re-reading even more (see My 2016 Reading Challenges).

Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult (Fantasy / Contemporary mix, same as last year!)

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015? 

(Not counting re-reads because Harry Potter) The best book I read in 2015 is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.  I just loved everything about it so much.  You can read my full review here!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – Everyone seems to rave about this series but I just wasn’t so into it.  You can read about why in my full review (here).

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Selection series by Kiera Cass.  I was expecting to dislike these books but I flew through them in almost no time! They’re really fast paced, addicting, and I enjoyed the story so much more than I ever expected to.  You can read my reviews of The Selection, The Elite and The One for more information!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas! Throne of Glass is the first book I read in 2015 and I loved it! I convinced my two best friends to read it and they also loved it enough to get completely caught up with the series while I still haven’t read Queen of Shadows yet even though I got it on its release date!

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

The best series I started in 2015 is the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, also by Sarah J. Maas.  I read the first book in one day and I cannot wait for the second installment!  You can read my full review here.  The best sequel I read is The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski.  The story is unlike any other YA that I’ve read and I love Kestrel and Arin’s storyline.  You can read my reviews of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime or watch my video about the heartbreak I’m experiencing regarding the cover change.  And finally, the best series ender is definitely Winter by Marissa Meyer which concluded The Lunar Chronicles series.  You can watch Cassie, Melissa and I’s Spines With Wines Book Club episode for all of our feelings on the last book or you can can read my review here.

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6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Brandon Sanderson! I read Steelheart and Mistborn this year and I love them both! I want to read everything Sanderson has ever written and ever will write and luckily, I have a long way to go with that goal :-)

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t think I have a comfort zone.  I used to be fantastic at being a well-rounded reader, making sure to switch genre after every book I completed, but I really love YA so this year I read an overwhelming amount.  I read one non-fiction book this year (You’re Never Weird on the Internet…Sometimes by Felicia Day) but I didn’t like it at all so I can’t even count that one!

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.  Another series starter that left me dying for the second book! Luckily, there’s only another month of waiting!

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.  I read the first book in 2014 and I’m definitely planning a 2016 re-read.  The third book has yet to have a release date but I know I’m going to want to re-read the first two just beforehand!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Definitely the cover of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass.  I fell so deeply in love with the cover the moment I laid eyes on it.  I love the black, white and red coloring and the outfit Feyre is wearing is so appealing.  In fact, I love the cover so much that Melissa Grey designed nail art based on it and we made a DIY BookTube video about it!

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Echo from The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey.  Echo is super sassy and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. I loved spending time inside her head!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

I’m torn between The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler.  The prose in both books is so gorgeous that both stories have really stuck with me since I’ve read them.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness.  For exactly why, you can read my reviews of The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Also, the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness! After meeting Ness at BEA this year and realizing that he is one of the nicest humans ever, I decided to finally read one of his books.  I couldn’t put down The Knife of Never Letting Go and I read The Ask and the Answer very soon after.  Then I finished out my year with the conclusion Monsters of Men.  The series deals with so many serious social and political issues and I still think about it to this day.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all.” – Carry On

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16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Longest: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas.  Everything about this book kept me on the edge of my seat.  I can’t believe how it ended and it felt like my heart was being torn out.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Simon and Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Kelsier and Vin from MistbornI really loved the teacher / student relationship between the pair.  I thought it was adorable how Vin looked up to Kelsier and I loved that he looked out for her like a big brother would.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater.  This third installment of The Raven Cycle is so full of action.  I cannot wait for the series ender which is being released in a few short months!

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red duology by Leila Howland which was recommended by Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide.  It’s the perfect summer read and I instantly felt very invested in the characters.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.  I have a thing for talented artists (I’m marrying one next May!) and I love that Josh is so into comics.  He’s sweet and protective and he seems like such a great guy.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I adored this book! It is such a fun and unique contemporary and I love the illustrations that were incorporated into the storytelling.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  Her description of the world (especially Prague) is so beautiful<3

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell by far!

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26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The One by Kiera Cass and it was SO unexpected.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Undertow by Michael Buckley.  I barely heard anyone talk about this book but I really enjoyed it!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Heir of Fire without a doubt.  That’s why I’ve been so hesitant to pick up Queen of Shadows!

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

The Marvels by Brian Selznik.  The first 400+ pages of the story were told solely through illustrations.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach.  There were some issues that were handled really poorly in this book.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I love this question because this is the year I discovered book blogs! I made a video a few months ago of the top 5 book bloggers I read but after I filmed it I discovered another blog that I fell in love with which BookMark Lit by Lauren.  I love her color scheme, her beautiful graphics and her unique content.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

My review for P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han because I love the conclusion so much and I had a blast explaining why!  Jenny Han even quoted and RT’ed my ARC review which totally made my day!

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

My favorite non-review post this year is obviously my Harry Potter Engagement Story!  My fiance planned an elaborate 7 day engagement beginning with my acceptance letter to Hogwarts and ending with him popping the question at The Strand bookstore so this question is a no-brainer<3

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I attended so many great book events this past year! I think my favorite would have to be BEA because it lasted for days and I got to connect with so many people that I usually only see online.  I’m sad it’s being held in Chicago this year but I’m looking forward to its 2017 return to the Javitts Center!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

I feel like 2015 was such a great blogging year for me that it’s hard to choose just one thing! I was really able to focus this year and start writing about the things that make me the most happy without feeling like I have to cater to a certain niche.  I posted some feelings about that early on in the year (How I’ve Been Upgrading to Kristin 2.0 Through General Life Overhauls).  I started blogging a lot more about books, fashion, and beauty and I started a BookTube channel in February.  I also won a photo challenge for Jenny Han’s P.S. I Still Love You series which made me really happy! Regardless of winning or not, I had such a great time perfecting my photo and trying to make my vision come to life.  One of my favorite artist also surprised me by posting an illustration she drew of me on instagram.  I started posting some Outfit of the Day photos which have been so much fun! I already have a bunch of ideas for 2016 once the weather gets warmer and it’s easier to take photos outside.  And most exciting, I started learning Photoshop and I’ve been so much happier with my blog posts :-D

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6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I think the most challenging part of my online life this year (besides feeling as connected as I used to) has been posting as much as I would like to on instagram.  It’s been four years since I started blogging and as I’ve progressed I’ve begun to hold myself to much higher standards which is great but also frustrating.  I have so many things that I want to take photos of and post but sometimes I don’t feel like setting up lighting equipment after a long day of work and I end up forgetting altogether.  I’m planning on getting better about that.  I used to just post what I love without caring about lighting, composition, etc. but now I cringe when I see those old photos.  The struggle is real.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

This one is also without a doubt my Harry Potter Engagement Story!  I also got a lot of positive feedback on my magical bridesmaids<3

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I made a video about my mug and teacup collection for BookTube and it didn’t get nearly as many views as much Funko video which has since surpassed 10,000K.  So crazy!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The past couple of months I’ve discovered some great bookmark shops on Etsy and and some wonderful bookish shops on Society 6!  I’m planning on posting about them more during the coming year so I’ll outline them there :-)

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

The only goal I set for myself was a Goodreads challenge of 100 books and at the time of posting I’ve surpassed that goal by 7 books.  I’m participating in a lot more challenges in 2016 and I outlined them all on my blog last week!

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas before Melissa or Cassie kills or spoils me for not having already done so.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh which is the conclusion to The Wrath and the Dawn duology.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum.  It’s Julie’s debut YA novel (she’s previously published two other books) and I love the cover and plot synopsis which you can see on Goodreads.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater which will conclude The Raven Boys series.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

I really want to focus on joining in on as many bookish challenges as possible and to build a stronger relationship with bloggers within the community.  I’ve felt a bit disconnected from social media since 2014 and I really want to get back into the swing of things because I know how great it can be if you only put in the effort.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

PASSENGER BY ALEXANDRA BRACKEN.  Without a doubt.

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