Book Blogging

2014 Reading in Review: Overview + The Best Books

2014 was the year I increased the amount I read. It was one of my resolutions of 2014 and I can definitely say that I completed it!

(Yes I know this is really late but I tried okay?)

I accomplished my Goodreads goal!

goodreads 2014 reading challenge

Since I was so close to 100 books in 2014, I’m going to set my next goal at 100. I know I could probably set it even higher, but I don’t want to end up having to stress out if I have less time to read.

Honest Fact: I accidentally set a book I had already read as “Currently-Reading” so I technically only read 94 books. I also have this habit of just marking DNF’s as “Read” because I’m of the mindset that I tried to read it; I just failed.

The genre of books I read the most of: Contemporary

The genre of books I read the least of: Horror & Graphic Novels

I like contemporaries but I think I should try to tackle more of the fantasy/paranormal, horror, and historical books I have on my TBR in 2015. I definitely want to look more into graphic novels. Maybe I’ll even try reading comic books! Any recommendations?

Something horrible I realized about what I read this year

I DNF’d 10 books. That’s terrible. In 2015, I want to decrease that number and give every book more of a chance.

New policy: After I decide to DNF, I must give the book at least three more tries before I officially drop it.

I’ve decided that instead of doing a typical “Top-Ten books of 2014”, I’ll just categorize it by genre and some other topics. They’ll be split up into two parts, one with what I considered the best this year, the other with what I refer to as Superlative Awards.

The Best

Best Contemporary: Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta

Jellicoe Road

Everybody, their pet dogs, and their grandmothers saw that coming. But I’m not sorry because Jellicoe Road was amazing.

My review

Best Thriller: Game – Barry Lyga

Game (Jasper Dent #2)

Second book in the I Hunt Killers trilogy and one of the only good thrillers I’ve read this year. This is a key reason that I need to read more action and adventure novels. So I don’t end up recommending the same three books all year.

Best Retelling: The School for Good and Evil

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)

It’s not really a “retelling” but it has a lot of lovely fairytale and fantasy themes. I enjoyed this book a lot even if it was a middle grade novel. I’m well aware that this book only got 3 stars but it’s much better than other things I’ve read in the last year.

My review

Best Setting: The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Although I didn’t love this book, I couldn’t deny how well the setting was established. I could taste the popcorn in the air when I read it.

My mini-review

Best Plot-Twist: Complicit – Stephanie Kuehn


This is a complete mindfuck of a book. It’s really slow in the beginning but the ending is worth it.

My review

Best Characters: To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Love the characters and this had amazing character development.

My mini-review

‘Bout This Blogger Tag!

I’m really really behind on this but better now than never right? This was actually on my list of posts but it kind of slipped my mind so here I am a good three weeksish (or more) after the I initially found out about this post.

Anyways, the ‘Bout This Blogger Tag was made by Cait over at Paper Fury (originally Notebook Sisters) to celebrate her new blog name, design, and her move to WordPress! Congrats Cait! *blows confetti into the air*

Kris partying

I absolutely love her blog and her new design is fabulous! I think it really matches her voice (er well her blogging one) and the way she runs everything.

So to further celebrate, onto the tag!

This tag is more of a look at the blogger because every person has a story. And what better way to celebrate a change than to look back on all of them?

1. Why did you start blogging?

I loved reading but as life got busier, I started to read less. But earlier this year, I made it a goal to read more and this time, I began to follow some book blogs. I liked writing reviews and the idea that I could talk about books but I didn’t really make the plunge until August. I was on the fence about it for a few months but I finally made one and I’m really glad I did.

2. What’s the story behind your blog’s name?

Well I think it’s pretty self-explanatory but I guess I can elaborate even more.

The truth is, I didn’t realize how much I loved to dance until around two or three years ago. I mean, I had always done ballet but it never really hit me how much I loved dance in general. I went to my first legitimate dance about three summers ago (because awkward ones where people stand around don’t count) and I just danced my heart out. I realized I loved dance and that’s that.

The other part of the name is because I like reading. A lot. And sometimes when you read, it’s kind of like you’re so engrossed in the pages that you just dance through them. It’s really cheesy but it’s entirely true.

3. How many designs have you been through since you started blogging? (Pictures! We demand pictures!)

Well, seeing as I’ve just started blogging in August, just one. I really want to have a more unique blog format than just a template because when I was making it, none of them really stood out to me. But at the moment, I’m pretty satisfied with what I have.

4. Have you ever switched blog platforms? What made you move? If you haven’t ever changed…why?

Nope. I started on WordPress and I’m still here. But when I first began blogging, I was super paranoid that I’d made the wrong choice because on Blogger you can do HTML (I think) but it’s too late to change now because I don’t have the money to do so.

5. How long does it take you to write a post? What’s your postly process like?

Now all the bad habits shall be revealed.

For reviews, I generally like to write them ASAP but a lot of the time, life gets in the way and it doesn’t get written until days later. I read faster than I write reviews (which is a problem because then there is a large stack of books I need to review).

I will say that weekly posts like Top Ten Tuesdays or Life of a Blogger usually get written on Sundays and finished the day before. Those are almost always on time.

6. Have you ever been super nervous about a post? Why? What was it?

I don’t have any qualms about releasing a post with controversial opinions towards a book. My opinion is my opinion and I stand by it. It’s more of the posts that cover touchy material. I’m always nervous that my review might seem too insensitive towards an issue or that my opinions sound fake. One that I remember very clearly being worried about was my Wintergirls review. I was so worried that I sounded too unforgiving and like I was targeting anorexic people.

Sometimes I’m worried that my review was terribly written.

Other times, I worry that my post didn’t sound like me or that it’s too short. It’s probably not worth worrying about but I do it anyways.

7. Do you have a blogging schedule?

Sort of? I post Top Ten Tuesdays and Life of a Blogger posts on the right days but everything else is kind of fair game. Reviews go up when I finish a book and if I encounter a novel that I want to use for a feature I use it. Sometimes if I feel like talking about life, I’ll post a life post. I’d like to establish a schedule but I know that at this point, I’d be unable to stick to it.

8. Do you tell people In-Real-Life about your blog? Their reactions?

I tell selective people about my blog. My close friends all know about it and a few not-so-close-friends know I have one. Usually the people that end up knowing are told by my friends XD

Everybody in my school book club knows about my blog although I know they probably don’t follow it. The school librarian and my English teacher knows about it.

At this point in time, I’m not too comfortable with telling too many people about it. It feels like I’m gloating about it and I don’t want most of my followers to be following me just because they know me. Most of the people I’m friends with aren’t nearly as critical as I am when it comes to books.

If I mention it, people will either say, “Wow that’s really cool,” just out of courtesy or they’ll nod. Rarely do they ever ask me if they can see it. At this point, I’m okay with it though.

I do have my blog url on my social media though. I don’t really like writing “About Me” pages on social media so it just becomes my profile summary.

9. Top ten blogs you read/comment on the most! Go! Go!

Another bad habit m(_ _)m

I’m really bad with checking on blogs. I’ll go on every two to three weeks and just have one night be blog check night. I also suck at remembering to comment and finding new blogs to follow.

Some suggestions would be great if any of you have any.

But some of my favorite blogs to read (and try to comment on) are the following….

1. Paper Fury

2. Xpresso Reads

3. Effortlessly Reading

4. Cuddlebuggery Book Blog

5. I Heart YA Fiction

6. The Loony Teen Writer

These next four are fashion/lifestyle blogs.

7. The Sartorialist

8. HonestlyWTF

9. Cupcakes and Cashmere

10. Wonder Forest

10. If you could change/improve things about your blog, what would they be?

Well firstly, I’d have my own domain and website design. No more templates. I’d learn HTML and design my own.

I also want to make a posting schedule and try to have more variety on my blog than just my standard TTT, Life of a Blogger, and more reviews. I feel like at the moment, what I post is kind of a rehash of the same things over and over again and it’s something I need to improve on.

Also more pictures. I could honestly improve on all of these things if I worked a little more on my blog but life gets in the way everywhere and I just don’t have the time to edit pictures.

[Review] On the Fence – Kasie West

On the Fence

On the Fence

Author: Kasie West

Publish Date: July 1st, 2014

Number of Pages: 296

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


On the Fence was really really sweet. I liked the idea of a tomboy trying to learn how to portray her emotions. It was pretty entertaining and a really good read.

I’m not really sure if I like the plot or not. At times, I like how simplistic it is, but other times, I’m kind of just waiting for something to happen. It feels aimless, but I suppose that it might just be because of the fact that the book is literally a story about Charlie’s summer and how she learned to be confident about herself. It’s pretty much your standard “best-friends to boyfriend” type book. Even if it was really cute, I found it a little cliche. In addition to this, I had expected this book to be a cute romance-y book but then there was a huge reveal towards the end of the book that I didn’t expect at all. It was angsty and sad, a far cry from the rest of the mellow story.

Charlie is a total tomboy and doesn’t really understand how to portray her emotions. I really really wanted to like her character but I personally found her a little… er. shallow should I say? She’s not actually nearly as shallow as a lot of characters but I didn’t really like her voice (in the book) that much. I did find her awkward attempts at being girly kind of sweet.

I believe that every girl has a little bit of girlyness within them that they can tap into if they feel like it.

I really really liked some of the relationships in On the Fence. Charlie’s relationship with her brothers, specifically Gabe, were really great. And what made me really laugh was at the end when a bunch of guys were asked if they would have dated Charlie had her brothers not threatened them. Stuff like being overprotective, competitive, teasing her, bets, it was all what made these relationships enjoyable.

However, although this book focused on how Charlie tried to act more feminine (and eventually learns that she doesn’t have to pretend like someone she isn’t to get boys to like her), I felt like she never once made that connection with the girls. It’s written to be as such, but even so, I felt like Charlie was cut off from everything.

I loved the interactions between Charlie and her beau Braden. Their fence talks have to be some of the cutest things ever and the way they finally get together breaks all of the sexual tension that they have. (This isn’t a spoiler. Let’s be honest, the cover shows the two of them kissing.)

3/5 Stars