Reading Challenge Wrap Up: 2015

I attempted a year long reading challenge and although I only accomplished about a little more than half of the “goals” I did finish off the year with 19 books completed! (The perfectionist in me is bummed that I didn’t make it up to 20 books but I did technically reach 20 of the “goals”) Below I will list the books I read and rate them out of 10, just for fun! Maybe one will catch your eye and you’ll find your next favorite book!

  • Girl Online: Zoe Sugg (8/10)
  • I Kill the Mockingbird: Paul Acampora (7/10)
  • We are the Goldens: Dana Reinhardt (7/10)
  • The Cat Ate My Gym Shorts: Paula Danzinger (7/10)
  • Every Last Word: Tamara Ireland Stone (10/10)
  • The Here and Now: Ann Brashares (9/10)
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox: Mary E. Pearson (8/10)
  • Searching for Sky: Jillian Cantor (6/10)
  • Yes, Please: Amy Poehler (8/10)
  • The Beginning of Everything: Robyn Shneider (7/10)
  • Legend Trilogy: Marie Lu (9/10) Technically, I know this is 3 books but I only count it as one since it only fulfills one “goal” as a trilogy.
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard: JK Rowling (9/10)
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Jesse Andrews (8/10)
  • Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell (9/10)
  • Fish in a Tree: Lynda Mullaly Hunt (8/10)
  • Freak the Mighty: Rodman Philbrick (7/10)
  • Dumplin’: Julie Murphy (8.5/10)
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: Leslye Walton (10/10)
  • Why Not Me: Mindy Kaling (10/10)
  • Soundless: Rachel Mead (I won’t rate this bc this book reached the “book I started but never finished” goal soooo…. ūüôā

I don’t think I’ll do such a structured book challenge in 2016 but I do want to make a resolution to read more because I have so many unfinished books in my bookshelf and I would love to spend more time in the library.

I hope this post didn’t totally bore everyone and that it inspires you to check out some new books!

x emily.


Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

Author: John Boyne

Pub Date: March 25, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle School level

Themes: World War One, family, mental illness

Fave Character: Mr. Summerfield

What I Think: I fell in love with this novel and its characters after only a few pages. Written for a younger audience than me but by the same author of the The Boy in the Striped Pajama’s,¬† I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by the balance between historical accuracy and the boundless optimism of a child. Faced with a dark period in England only decades into the 20th century, Alfie’s father goes off to war and lands himself in a mental hospital for shell shocked soldiers. Alfie takes it upon himself to provide for and reunite his broken family in this uplifting, and sometimes heartbreaking, coming of age adventure.


+ Alfie’s¬†persistence¬†and growth throughout the novel

‚ÄĒ¬†Kalena and her father being forced to leave England at the start of WW1

Long Story Short: 10/10!! ūüôā

x emily.

The Moon Sisters

Author: Therese Walsh

Pub Date: March 4 2014

Genre: Fiction

Themes: relationships, family, acceptance, closure, death

Fave Character: The Girl’s Grandmother

What I Think: A novel that encapsulates the tumultuous journey that is sisterhood while taking you through the stages of grief with sisters Olivia and Jazz after the death of their mother. The most emotional and¬†vulnerable¬†moments of the sisters and the people they meet along the way as well as the wonder of¬†unanswered questions put this novel a cut above the rest.¬†¬†At times, the story was slow and uneventful but Walsh’s rich writing and clever plot twist made up for it in the end.


+ Olivia and Hobbs interactions

‚ÄĒ Jazz’s relentless¬†cynicism and their grandfather Orin ūüė¶

Long Story Short: 7/10

x emily.

I sometimes do …

I sometimes do believe and sometimes do not,
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.

It is speculated that today could be William Shakespeare’s Birthday so, in honor of his work, I’ve posted one of my favorite lines from his play “As You Like It”.¬†Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

x emily.

Bright Before Sunrise

Author: Tiffany Schmidt

Pub Date: Feb 18 2014

Genre: Realistic/Contemporary Fiction,  Young Adult

Themes: high school, relationships, family, acceptance, closure

Fave Character: Brighton

What I Think: Bright Before Sunrise was an enjoyable read that I just couldn’t put down. Schmidt’s writing was clear and the alternating perspectives of Brighton and Jonah were creative and insightful. I loved the whirlwind adventures of Brighton and Jonah in one night gone wrong and the discoveries made about themselves and each other along the way. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good quirky story of two opposites with some valuable lessons in first impressions.


+ Brighton’s growth from a “teflon” classmate, friend, daughter, ¬†sister, and person to something more over the course of the night.

‚ÄĒ¬†Jonah’s snark borderlines rudeness when jumping to conclusions about Brighton and her life and it frustrates me so much I wanna smack him.

Long Story Short: 8/10! Go get it now! ♥ 

PS.  Happy Valentines Day! ♥ 
x emily.

My cyber bookshelf

I am excited to announce to whomever stumbles across my site that thanks to I am now officially a professional reader! Meaning I have access to current literature, most of the time even advance reading copies, and all I have to do is share with the world if I like it! Most of the books I choose to request are new young adult or children’s literature on account of reviewing them for classroom purposes but hopefully my blurbs will reach and encourage a much wider audience to check out these books. Some of the books on my reading list now include:

Tween Hobo: Off the Rails by Alena Smith (based off the clever tweets of @tweenhobo)

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

So stay tuned for some awesome book alerts in the future!¬†You can also check under the tag “cyber bookshelf” for future posts related to my reviews and other books I love.

x emily.