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My Year in Books: 2017

Hey guys! This is a bit late; as I had originally intended to post about all the books I read in 2017 beforehand, but oh well. This year, I read a total of 15 books–the least I’ve read probably in my entire life, at least in terms of reading for fun. So that’s why, I guess I can list out all the books I read and what I gave them.

The first book I read in 2017 was The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, which I gave five stars. I think this was probably my favorite book of the year, and I’m so happy I met Nicola herself because I just love it so much!

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2. Next, I sensitivity read The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman (which is going to be published July 31st, 2018, so you should definitely check it out then!) and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to. It was a wonderful book with a Muslim (!!!) main character and beautiful writing.

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3. The third book I read was The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan–which was long overdue. Although nothing will be the same as when I first read Rick’s books, this one brought back lots of memories and had me feeling nostalgic. (4 stars).

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4. Next up I read Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and quite sadly, it was pretty disappointing. I ended up giving it around 3-3.5 stars. I had such high expectations, and they just weren’t met.

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5. My Lady Jane, by multiple authors–I gave this one 4 stars. It was super cute, funny, and definitely a very enjoyable read.

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6. A Court of Wings and Ruin–unfortunately, this was also one of my disappointing reads of 2017. It felt too long, and too unnecessary, with parts that didn’t sit quite well with me. I liked it, but definitely not enough to give it more than 3.5 stars.

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7. Lord of Shadows, by Cassandra Clare–but of course. Loved it; and I mean, was that really a surprise? 4.5 stars.

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8. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (4 stars) and (9) Our Dark Duet (3.5 stars)–both of these books I also really enjoyed, but I did expect something a little more, which is why I didn’t give them higher ratings.

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10. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han–AH, the cuteness! I loooved this bittersweet conclusion to one of my favorite contemporary series. This was extremely adorable and satisfying, and I’m so happy that Jenny Han has blessed us with this series. (4.5 stars)

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11. Windwitch by Susan Dennard–besides The Sun is Also a Star, this was probably my favorite book, and definitely my favorite fantasy. I thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I did Truthwitch, but I found myself super immersed in the story and loving the characters even more. ❤ Definitely 5 stars.

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12. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin–probably the most badass book I’ve read in a long time. The main character was awesome, the plot intricate, and the ending left my heart beating faster. (4.5 stars)

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13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger–I had to read this for school, and I had actually already read it before, so that’s why I’m not considering it one of my favorite books. That said, this is definitely my favorite classic ever, despite its flaws. 5 stars.

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14. The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin–this was by far the most disappointing read of 2017 for me. I gave it 2 stars, with my expectations so high in the sky crumbling on top of me. I’m not even sure if I want to continue the series.

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15. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas–this was, probably, the most important book I read in 2017 and the most profound one, too. I don’t even need to say anything else because everyone knows how good of a book it is, and if you don’t, you should probably read it too.

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…and that’s it! Overall, despite the fact that I read so little, the books I read weren’t all that terrible, though I did have more expectations of some books that weren’t met. I found that books I didn’t expect much from I ended up enjoying a LOT more, so I’m going to try to keep my expectations lowered from now on.

What were YOUR favorite/least favorite books of the year? I’d love to know and discuss, so please leave a comment!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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2017: My Year in Review

Hi everyone! It’s currently 10:16 P.M. where I live, and I just took a practice SAT and decided that I should probably talk about 2017 on my blog a little bit.

2017 was…interesting. To say the least. It was for me, by far, the fastest passing year. I had ups and downs, and I don’t really know how to rate it, because how can you just rate an entire year? An entire year of memories, an entire year of thoughts and experiences and people and conversations? You can’t just rate it. But I guess you can think about it, muse over it. So let me tell you guys my feelings that I can put into words:

In terms of books, this year was terrible for me.

I read a total of 15 books, with my goal being at 20 (I later changed my goal so I could have my Goodreads Reading Challenge complete). I mean, I don’t really know what I was expecting, but seeing this meager number is still saddening. In 2015, I read 93 books. 2016, I read 35 books. I think you can tell when high school drastically changed my reading?

That being said, I was pretty pleased with all of the books I read, so that’s the bright side. I think I am going to make a different blog post with all of the books I read, so I’ll leave that for later (along with my favorites).

I started my junior year of high school, and finished sophomore year up.

I just need to survive one more semester more until I’m a senior! And so, until then, I am expecting to be unable to read/blog a lot. Afterwards, I think things might get better. More importantly, though, I think I have come to terms with something that scares me even now.

I’m never going to be reading or blogging as avidly as I was before.

This is the hard truth that I’m still having trouble swallowing down, purely because it is so hard for me to let go of things. But I think I can live with this fact. I can deal with it. Does this mean I’m quitting blogging, or that I don’t like books anymore? No. It’s just that…books can’t be the center of my life as they used to be anymore. I was obsessed; it wasn’t just a hobby, and I miss that. I truly do. Two years (even more) later, though, I’m realizing that it wasn’t healthy. I didn’t spend time or think about other things. It was a little too much.

That said, I can’t wait for all of the new books being released and all of the new posts I will write in 2018. I just wanted to let you guys know because I might blog a little bit more about non-book related things from now on. (Although the main purpose of this blog is still books, so don’t worry).

Like I said before, 2017 had its ups and downs. There were moments where I couldn’t stop crying because of school, staying up late, trying to study but understanding nothing. There were days where I was so sick of everything that my only motivation was to reach the end of the week. But there were also moments where I couldn’t stop laughing with my friends or family, moments where I felt so happy I would go to sleep smiling, moments of being foolish and giggling and being a little too loud. For the first time since 8th grade, I finally connected back to some of my old friends (whom I realized I had missed too much). One day of the week, I forget about school at least a little bit when I spend time with them, and this started in 2017.

In 2017, I realized just how much I love being around kids and babies in general. In 2017, it hit me how important to me being Turkish is, and how much I love history and languages and words. I competed in Poetry Out Loud–not placing–but I realized that I was pretty good at it. In 2017, also for the first time in years, I started trying out drawing again. Not a lot, but much more than before, and it felt so good to be able to see that I can create things! I became so much closer to my current friends at school, through the goofiest things, and I’m so thankful for all of them.

There are countless other memories that I made this year, whether good or bad. Some are too personal to share on here, where everyone can see and judge, and some I am likely forgetting. But as I mentioned, I need a place to talk about all of my emotions, so here we are.

I have no idea who will read this, and at this point, does it even matter? Here’s to 2018, everyone.

End: 10:42 P.M., December 31st 2017.

Love,

Silanur.

 

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The Grinch Book Tag

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve done a book tag, and I saw this one over at Lila’s blog, and decided I might as well do it myself. So, let’s begin!

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Also…I’ve always felt terrible for the Grinch omg 😦

1. Half of the lights on the Christmas tree are burnt out // Name a book/series/character that started out well and then went downhill.

Since I just finished The Becoming of Noah Shaw, I might as well use that for this question. If you’ve read my review, you know how disappointed I was by this installment. I know, technically it’s the first book in a series, but you can’t really read it without already having read Mara Dyer. So yes–this book definitely fits, since I loved the Mara Dyer trilogy SO much more.

2. Annoying relatives won’t leave you alone // Name a book that you did not enjoy but everyone else seems to love, and it will not stop haunting you.

It’s literally been three years, but I still don’t understand why everyone loves I’ll Give You The Sun so much. All I remember was that it was insta-lovey and just…not that good. (I will still literally rant about this book guys–it’s never going to end).

3. Your pets keep knocking over your Christmas decorations // Name a character that kept on messing everything up for everyone.

OHMYGOD how annoying the main character was in The Kite Runner! I remember liking the book when I read it last year, and the character development was good, but he was just so goddamn selfish and I could not get over it.

4. You hear your parents putting presents out and learn that Father Christmas is not real // Name a book you were spoiled for.

I’ve been spoiled for sooo many books, but here are some off the top of my head: Allegiant, City of Glass, Clockwork Princess, Heir of Fire…all of the mainstream books that I would have loved even more if I hadn’t been spoiled.

5. It’s freezing outside // Name a character you just couldn’t warm to.

August Flynn from This Savage Song. It’s not that I didn’t like him; he was fine, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care that much. At the end of the duology, because I wasn’t really emotionally attached, I didn’t end up having my heart broken like everyone else, even though I had enjoyed the books in general.

6. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is being played a lot on the radio, giving you anti-romantic feelings // Name a couple that you just could not stand.

Will I ever stop screeching about just how much I hate Aelin and Rowan? I hate them so much that I changed the font of this text for the first time in my life. I just…can’t. I hated Rowan from the start; ever since he started abusing her and I despised it when Sarah turned their relationship into a romance. Blegh.

7. The scratchy homemade jumper that you got for Christmas years ago but have never worn // A book that has been sitting on your shelf for years that you are not motivated to read, but do not have the heart to get rid of.

Sadly, my sister gave me The Knife of Never Letting Go (haha, get it, I don’t want to let go of it) about two years ago, and I even got it signed(!), but I just haven’t picked it up yet and I’ve kind of lost interest. The sad thing is, I KNOW if I just start it, I’ll enjoy it, but I don’t have the motivation to. The other thing is, I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it purely because a) it was a gift and b) it’s signed.

8. Grandma has gotten run over by a reindeer // Name a character death that you are still mad about.

*spoiler alert for Lord of Shadows by Cassie Clare*

My heart is still broken over the fact that Livvy died. I know that if she hadn’t, then the book wouldn’t have been as good as it was, but still. It was so tragic, because Livvy was so innocent and just hadn’t deserved to die, but it absolutely broke my heart.

9. Shops are overcrowded with shoppers for the holidays // Name a series with too many books, or that went on too long.

This one is really tricky, because I will always always ALWAYS harbor a special place in my heart for Rick Riordan’s books. That said, even I–a die-hard PJO fan–admit that the world of gods and monsters that Rick once created so uniquely is kind of overdone at this point. His new series (Not the Heroes of Olympus) all follow the same types of tropes with similar character archetypes, and although I understand that it is meant for a younger audience, I feel like it is a bit much.

10. The Grinch // Name a main character that you absolutely hate (not a villain).

I already kind of talked about him, but I’ve never hated a character who is not a villain with the passion that I hate Rowan with. I never warmed up to him; never thought he was as amazing as everyone made him to be, never shipped him with Aelin or any of that. Honestly, I wish he would die. (I am very aware of how controversial my opinions on him are).

Anyway, that’s it for this tag! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my ranting!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.com

7

The Becoming of Noah Shaw: The Disappointing Reality

Hey guys! Don’t know if you remember, but about two months ago I blogged about how excited I was for The Becoming of Noah Shaw. In fact, I wasn’t talking about my excitement just on my blog; I pretty much mentioned it to all of my close friends and family. Needless to say, I was so hyped.

I’m so sorry to say that I was let down, greatly. I mean, just looking at the cover made me happy, but now it’s making me mad (that’s how let down I was)–

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I ended up giving it 2.5 stars.

Note: spoilers are discussed in this review. Also, trigger warning for suicide, self-harm, etc., due to the content of the book.

The disappointment of the year. No, really. I was SO excited for this book to come out—I waited so long for it! I couldn’t wait to reabsorb the creepiness and the plot twists and everything, as I’ve said before, a million times over and over again.

This book was not what I wanted.

Either my reading tastes have changed SUPER drastically (I don’t really think so), or this book just wasn’t good. First of all, it was overly vulgar, and overly explicit and sexual. It didn’t even mean anything because something either disgusting or supposedly “hot” was happening all the time, and I just ended up becoming desensitized and annoyed by it. There was no real plot, and I only kept reading because I wanted a plot twist at the end and I didn’t want to DNF it. I have to say, it was addicting as always, but instead of being intrigued, I just wanted to get it over with.

I was super confused the entire book, since Hodkin didn’t do a very good job of reminding us what had happened in previous books, and nothing really happened in this book anyway. I mean, I remember the Mara Dyer books as being vague, but nothing made SENSE in this one. Did Mara actually force people to kill themselves? And if she did, I mean, WHY? There was no reason to anything; it just happened and it was useless and grotesque. Basically, all the violence and the sex was pointless. I didn’t see any motive for anything, and quite honestly, this book made my head hurt.

Another part I despised was how the author used suicide/mental illness/self-harm so freely. She literally used suicide as a plot device! And with no motive! Yea yea there’s a trigger warning in the beginning of the book, but really? It was so unnecessary; and I hated how it didn’t even mean anything. The book ended unclear, which I’d be fine with, but there are some things you have to explain, and this was one of them.

I have so many more complaints, but all I want to say now is that I wish I had loved this more. Sadly, the best part of the book was the last 50 pages, and I don’t think it was worth reading the rest of the 300+ pages for that. I’m giving it an extra 0.5 stars purely for the ending (I liked the cliffhanger) and because of my nostalgia for the old books, otherwise I’d be giving it 2 stars. I’m not even sure if I’ll continue the series, but we’ll see.

Basically, the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t get too hyped. But hey! The good news is, I finally finished a book (my first in, like, 3 months)!

Have you read this book? How do you feel about it? I know other people were really disappointed too, so I would love to rant!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Reading Goals For the Rest of the Year

….aAaaaAAAAaaa!

I just finished off one of the most challenging weeks of school so far (or at least, a week that really impacted my mental health badly). Needless to say, it’s been rough. For the first time since the creation of this blog, I got less than 200 views per month in November. (It’s my fault–I barely published anything and I haven’t been interacting properly).

I’m continuing my (sad) streak of not finishing a book in over 3 months now.

It’s disheartening, to say the least.

It is one of the most saddening things to not be able to do something that I used to love so much, something that brought me happiness. But this month, the last month of 2017, I’m going to read. If not now, during winter break, I don’t care: I. Will. Read. I will force myself to read for fun. (Which will be entertaining anyway–not really “forcing”). In addition, my goal is to write at least four blog posts.

I’m going to do this like it’s my job, because right now, I need a little push. I haven’t read in so long that I’m procrastinating reading, even if I know I’ll be happy if I read.

So, this month, I first want to:

  • Finish reading When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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  • Finish reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, which I’ve been “reading” for far too long.

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And I also want to read two additional books that are fantasy, because I haven’t read fantasy in so long. I might buy and choose from any one of these:

  • Now I Rise by Kiersten White

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  • The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

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  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

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Or maybe the Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. Who knows? (Though my priority would be in the list that I just gave). If any of you have read these, PLEASE let me know which one you think I should get to first! I love all of the authors’ previous books so it’s kind of hard to choose for me.

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.com

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Contemporary Books I Can’t Wait To Get To

Hi guys! Long time no chat. The past few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out what I should write about. After all, I haven’t even read a book in the past almost three months–so I can’t really discuss any new books. But, as always, there are a bunch of books I want to read and can’t. Today I decided to talk about some contemporaries I’ve had my eyes out for. (Some of these are published, others aren’t).

  • Girls Like That Tanaz Bhathena

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POC main character? With a cover that SHOWS it? Intriguing plot? Sign me up. (Release date: February 27th, 2018).

  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter By Erica Sanchez

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(This was released October 17th, 2017).

  • Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

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GUYS. I am SO excited for this. It’s actually number one on the Goodreads list for POC main characters–the main character is an Indian-American Muslim and deals with Islamophobia. I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT–so many people have read it and loved it and I want to, too.

  • It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

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Pretty cover? Check. Cute contemporary? Check. Also, this is already published so I can go out and read it anytime!

  • Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

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Muslim-American protagonist? Who wears a hijab? IN THE BOOK COVER? Okay, besides all of my gushing, this actually means so much to me. Looking at this cover, I can see myself in the main character, and that just…makes such a huge difference. This was published over the summer, and I’m dying to get my hands on it.

  • Save The Date by Morgan Matson

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I used to love Morgan’s books SO much (back when I actually read), and I’ve been anticipating this one for nearly two years now. I actually heard about it wayyy before it was published when I met Morgan Matson, and I know it’s going to be just as cute and funny and heart-warming as her other books.

And finally, because I don’t want this list to go on forever,

  • Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

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I legit waited three years for Jasmine Warga to write a new book, and she finally did! This also has a Middle-Eastern main character, and because My Heart and Other Black Holes was such an important book for me, I have super high expectations. (Thinking about it makes me nostalgic :’)).

And that’s it for this post! I know it was kind of choppy, but it took me a while to compile this list and I hope you enjoy. If you noticed, a lot of these books have POC/Muslim main characters, which means a lot to me (and I’ve been trying to read contemporaries with more representation). Please let me know if you’ve read/want to read any of these–I’d love to talk!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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4

To Read or Not To Read: That Is The Question

…a.k.a, a blog post about my reading (and blogging) dilemma.

As many of you may or may not know, I haven’t been reading or blogging much. I don’t know if anyone really notices my presence (or lack thereof), but I obviously haven’t been blogging much. October was a new low in terms of blogging for me. I only published two posts–one of which wasn’t really a post.

It’s also been about 10 weeks since I’ve finished a book. Today, when I sat down to write a blog post, I meant to write a usual post without me complaining because I feel like all I do now is rant about my life. But then I realized, I didn’t really have anything to blog about, and it would come out forced because I’d only be able to talk about things I’ve read a looooong time ago.

So, I thought, I might as well write a more in-depth post about this problem, seeing that I can’t really write about anything else.

You see, even if I had more time to blog, without reading, I can’t run a book blog. There’s only so much I can talk about without reading books avidly, which I haven’t been doing. And I only read when I’m awake. When I’m relaxed, relatively stress-less, and know I can enjoy the book. (Judging by the amount of books I’ve read junior year–zero–this is really rare).

And just to clarify, I’m not deleting my blog. I’m not going to stop blogging, or any of that. This little blog is such an important part of my life, even when I’m not on it constantly. I couldn’t bare to do that.

But I do feel like I owe AloofBooks (and therefore anyone who reads my blog) an explanation, and an apology in advance. I have to come to terms with the fact that I can’t blog as often. I can’t read as often. I don’t know–I don’t think–I will ever read as much as I used to, purely because I have so many other things going on in my life. I will always read. Just…I won’t be able to finish more than four books a month, probably. Which makes me immensely sad. I can’t explain it. Here’s the thing, though.

I need to get over it.

I need to accept this fact, because otherwise, it will make me sadder and more stressed out. And I’ll stop enjoying it. I know, one day, I will get make to more frequent reading. And when I do, I’ll be happy I didn’t force myself.

In the mean time, though, thank you for listening to my rants, thoughts, and everything else. Please let me know if you read this.

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.com