At this point, I don’t know if I’ll complete my reading goals this year. I’m so behind on EVERYTHING! It’s also ALMOST the holidays and I’m getting in that phase where I just to cuddle in bed with my fur babies or boyfriend and just binge shows on Netflix. I get a little bit lazy too… Just want to chill and not do much.
That being said, it’s definitely not impossible to catch up. I think I can do it…Well, I really hope… BUT, if I don’t, then I don’t. Not going to worry too much about it. Just going to try and do my very BEST.
Every time I see how far behind I am, I get kind of anxious. I don’t even want to go on my Goodreads account anymore. LOL. I have to read 36 books by December 31 to finish this challenge. That means I have to finish 1 book and half of another every day!!! (from today’s date) I work full time with fur babies who are too cute to ignore, so I don’t know how I’m going to do this. Lili from Lilisblissfulpagesdoes 24 hour readathons with another booklover, Noriko from Bookfiendsiteso I may try to do a few of these… maybe.
Aside from requesting books I wanted to read and review, I also accepted several requests from authors and publishers. I hope to finish them all by the end of the year.
Here are all the books I accepted to review (that I haven’t read or finished reading) before I went on break.
I feel really bad for cancelling the blog tours I signed up for before my hiatus, so I’m also going to attempt to read these books by the end of the year. Yes, I know I’m attempting the impossible here, but I really want to start on a clean slate (at lease with blog tours) in 2019. I did finish one – Love and Other Secrets, and I already posted my review for that a last week.
Do you even want to know how ridiculously behind I am on Netgalley? You do? Okay, so since some of my blog tours have Netgalley ARCs, I can knock those off before the year. YIPEE!! BUT, I still have books I requested from 2017 that I have not read. I had planned on getting through those, but life happens and I took a really long break.
I know what you’re thinking… Maybe I should just admit defeat, send “Will Not Give Feedback,” and move on. But, you see that’s just not me. I requested for all these books because I was interested in them. That hasn’t really changed and I still really want to read all of them. So what’s the new plan? Knock off all the Netgalley ARCS I requested in 2017 and 2018 before the end of 2019. I’m also going to TRY VERY HARD not to request for any more no matter how tempting. Well, the key word there is TRY… I’m not going to BAN myself, but limit to maybe 1 to 2 request per month… I think that’s very reasonable. Right?!?! Otherwise, I might go crazy requesting if I don’t do it for a while. LOL
So, the current count on my Netgalley TBR is 56 books (8 Current Titles and 48 Older than 3 Months). I’ve given 75 feedback and my feedback ratio is 56%.
Here are ALL THE BOOKS I still have to read and review.
I requested this book from the author, Alane Adams, because the Legends of Orkney is such a fun middle grade book series. I was really excited when I found out she’s writing a prequel series – Witches of Orkney. Of course I had to contact her and ask if I could get an ARC. She sent me a lovely package with the ARC and some bookish swag. I did an IG story of the unboxing when I received it and was planning on doing some promo posts and read/review the book before the release. I was even going to ask Alane if I can do an Author Interview. BUT, as some of you know, I was dealing with something personal and had to take a break.
This isn’t a big long book and it’s Middle Grade, so I’m confident that I’ll be able to read and review The Blue Witch before the year ends.
So, that’s it for my reading update. Wish me LOTS OF LUCK!
How about you? How are you doing with your reading challenges? How do you avoid falling behind? And if you, what are some things you Let’s chat and let me know!
I really missed you sweeties and reading and blogging and just being active in the blogging/book community. It’s been a very long hiatus… the longest I’ve ever taken.
If you’ve been following me, then you know the reason why I had to step away for a while. I don’t really want to get into it, but just know that I’m doing okay. I still go through waves of sadness every now and then… I don’t think that will completely go away, but spending time with the people I love and doing things that make me happy really helps. So, that’s pretty much what I did during my break. I played and cuddled with my fur babies. Did a lot of family/love/friends stuff. Netflix and chilled with the boyfriend. Did some cleaning and organizing. Binged on some of my favorite shows. And even got chocolate wasted a few times. The only thing I didn’t do that makes me happy was read… I just couldn’t get into any books. I would pick something and get bored or lose interest within a few chapters. So, after several failed attempts, I stopped trying/forcing myself to read. I guess I just wasn’t in the mindset or it’s my subconscious letting me know that I wasn’t ready yet or something. It did get frustrating cause I really wanted to read. But, not reading wasn’t completely a bad thing. It gave me more time to be with my family, my boyfriend, and my fur babies. It was a really really good break and I definitely needed it.
So, how did I finally know when to come back? Well, last week when I picked up a book, I was finally able to get through more than 4-5 chapters. It wasn’t a heavy or serious book so it was a nice pick-me-upper that made me smile and swoon. You could say that being able to finish that book motivated me to plan for my “return,” so I looked at my blog and started thinking about doing some changes. First thing I did was to finally buy a domain, so if you haven’t notice yet my blog is now sincerelykarenjo.com. I also wanted a cleaner and simpler look/feel, so I changed my header/theme. And while I still want to focus on book reviews, promotions, and book related posts, I also want to write about life, family, love, food, and travel. I’m really excited about these changes and I hope you are too and continue to follow, comment and share your thoughts and opinions with me.
Without further ado, WELCOME to the new SINCERELY KAREN JO blog.
But first, let me share some fun pics and other updates!
My family and I went to Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor on October 20.
I love anything scary so I was happy that I got a few good scares. BUT, I think I just don’t scare that easily anymore. I purposely tried to walk slow and let the group ahead of us keep going so that our group wouldn’t see when the scarers would pop out. It didn’t work all the time, but it was still fun.
We purchased our tickets from Costco since there was a deal and basically buying two tickets for the price of one with the Fast Fright option. We skipped the long wait lines and were able to finish all the mazes in about 2 hours. Overall, with the discounted tickets from Costco I’d say that it was definitely worth it.
My boyfriend and I used to always go to Universal Studios Horror Nights, but the tickets with the fast pass is just too expensive. It’s not worth it to get the GA and stand in line for 2 plus hours for a 1-2 minute maze crammed with a lot of people. It used to be less crowded, but a few years ago when my boyfriend and I did GA, my feet were hurting so bad. We ended up giving up and going home after 3 or 4 mazes. That’s when we started buying the fast passes, but we just didn’t have the funds this year.
So, if you’re in the Los Angeles Area and love a good scare or just something to do for Halloween, then I recommend you check out Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. The GA tickets aren’t that bad either and wait times aren’t as long as 2 hours. We even had time to take some pics and just chill. We left around 10:30pm and the event ends at 1:00am.
Celebrated my good friend’s, Klaire, birthday at The Melting Pot in Irvine on October 6. I love desserts so it was definitely NOMS.
Celebrated my boyfriend’s uncle’s birthday October 13
My Forever Date and I attended his cousin’s wedding in Arizona October 27.
Wore my shadowhunter necklace cause why not.
Disneybounded as Snow White last weekend at Disneyland with my BUBZ and my mom.
Even got to take a selfie with Snow White
The Gilded King by Jose Jaffrey
In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.
Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.
But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.
Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.
One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.
Valentine Act I by Elliott Morreau
Welcome to Coalfields.
A Town where everyone fits in. From murderers to rapists to paedophiles. And you. Yes, you.
What? You think you’re so much different from them? That’s what Jack and Lia thought too. After all, what do two high school lovebirds have in common with a place like that?
Until one of them commits murder. But even then, who am I to Judge? After all, I’m merely an observer in the stars—a spectator. God.
So out of all the people in the world, why observe the life of two teenagers? Because it’s simple: They’re special.
One is the greatest high school quarterback in North America who’s slept with as many girls as the hairs on his head. The other? A child-like teenager who was abused by her now-dead father.
But it wasn’t the murder of Lia’s father, or the fact that Jack had fallen head over heals for a virgin, that interested me.
It was because of the fateful day that Lia looked me dead in the eyes. A mere mortal, looked upon me, God. It was then, for the first time I felt fear. In the reflection of her eyes—the dark figure. A manifestation. An It.
Something I hadn’t created.
And with his cherry red lips, It smiled back.
Boyfriend and I are currently rewatching Arrow from Season 1 so we can finally watch/catch up with Flash. We fell behind Arrow and when Flash came out, we were more interested in that. Then CW started doing crossovers and I couldn’t keep watching Flash cause I didn’t want any spoilers from the other shows. So now we are trying to watch everything from the beginning and hopefully catch up with the current season.
Supernatural is one of my favorite shows and I’m soooo happy that it was renewed for another season. I really hope it never ends cause those Winchesters and Supernatural are just the greatest thing ever. I’ve rewatched/binged the series from S1 about 5 or 6 times now and I’m still not tired of Sam and Dean and Castiel and all the other awesome characters.
Dark Chocolate KitKat bars, Limon Lays Chips, and the Cuddle Weather
Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski
I really enjoyed this book. Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski was a quick, funny, and somewhat cheesy read, but overall a fantastically cute story from start to finish. So, if you’re looking for a best friends to lovers YA romance that involves some crazy promposals and plenty of swoons, or just want to read something entertainingly adorable, then I think this is the perfect book date for you. Read my full review tomorrow!
The Haunting of Hill House
I’ve been so excited for this since I found out it was coming to Netflix. I actually thought it was just going to be a movie, so I was ecstatic when I realized it was a series. As you already know, I love being scared and anything supernatural. My boyfriend… not so much. I usually have to convince him to watch scary movies with me so I was really surprised that he agreed to binge the series without a fight. And, after 1 episode, he was hooked and we ended up binging on the weekend it was released. I even skipped a Disney date with him because we stayed up so late. We were both completely addicted and just couldn’t stop watching. We even had discussions about what we thought and our theories about the house and the red room. We’re both hoping that there will be a second season.
And while it wasn’t as scary as I wanted it to be, I still jumped a few times and had to turn on the lights in my house when I used the bathroom… But, just for like a day or two. Still, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that after watching something scary so I definitely have lots of love for this show. Another thing I really liked was the way the show would transition between the past and present times. I thought those parts were very creative and just so perfect. Oh and I loved all the “hidden ghosts” even if I wasn’t able to spot them all.
This show was just so freaking good. I still can’t stop thinking about it. I even got my mom hooked and she binged the entire thing in one day!!! It must have gotten to her cause she ended up sleeping so late and in the living room with the dogs.
Overall, The Haunting of Hill House is a deliciously dark, satisfyingly intriguing and well crafted story that will leave you wanting more.
So, if you haven’t seen it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU CHECK IT OUT. It’s definitely a slow burn kind of show, so don’t give up on the first or second episode. There are plenty of crazy twists, surprises, scares, drama, tension, and moments that will keep you awake late at night.
Oh and one more thing… Carla Gugino who plays Olivia Crane is so damn hot and pretty. I’m totally woman crushing on her. I really loved her character, the way she portrayed Olivia, her dresses, her quirks… just everything about her in this show was absolutely fascinating to me.
So what have you all been up to? Read any good books lately? Any movies or T.V. shows you think I’d enjoy? Share them down below in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading this post. Have a wonderful day and Happy November 1st! Geee… it’s already November. I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then another year is over again. Time never stops and life is truly precious. Make sure you spend your days doing what makes you happy and surround yourself with people you love and who love and care about you.