2012 Goals Reading/Blogging/Life

It’s that time to our goals and resolutions for the upcoming year!

Last year I had a few goals. One of those goals was to read more. In 2010 I read just 110 books, this year I read 155. I think that I met and exceeded that goal. I didn’t however meet my goal of reading 180 books, but that’s a whole other story!

I also had a goal to be a more efficient blogger. That didn’t exactly work out like I wanted it to. I did keep up on my reviews, so that was good! But I still need to work on time management. I also need to be more proactive about keeping my publicity contacts up to date with review links. I’m also going to steal Galleysmith’s idea of listing 10 books to read for the month. I often get hung up picking out a book that I could have read one in the time it takes me to pick one out!

Emailing in a timely manner was another one of my goals. I did better with this than I did the year before, but I was still behind about a month. Unacceptable! And then finally in 2010 I made a goal to be more socially active. Twitter helped a lot with that! Although I wish I would have done more blog commenting.

Reading Goals for 2012
  1. I’m going to go out there again and aim to read 180 books. I should be able to do this! I shall prevail in 2012!!
  2. Read at least 65 debuts.
  3. Complete my reading challenges!
Blogging Goals for 2012
  1. Be a more efficient blogger!
  2. Answer my emails in a more timely manner.
  3. Comment more!
  4. Write more discussion posts.
  5. Expand my YouTube Channel. I love doing vlogs, I want to do more vlogs about books! Interrobang YA has helped a bit with that, but I’d like to do more.
  6. Reply to comments.
  7. Refrain from whining on Twitter. Although honestly I did a pretty good job of that this year. There were a few times where I just broke down about blogging drama/issues, but for the most part I’ve been taking my own advice and just ignoring it, or venting to a few blogging friends.
  8. Continue to learn about and utilize WordPress.
  9. Continue to grow the readership at The Story Siren.
  10. Continue to work on my writing skills.
  11. Finish one of my WIPs! 
  12. Take this writing thing more seriously! I need to sit down and write. I write in my head, I take notes on my iPhone, I write in notebooks, I just need to sit down and put it all together and finish this story I’ve been working on! I’ve even started looking for a YA writing group in my area.
  13. Be more social! 
Life Goals for 2012
  1. Work out more. I’ve been doing good about this, although I took a break around the holiday. I feel so much better and have more energy when I work out.
  2. Eat healthy. Again, something I’ve been doing well with but took a break for the holidays.
  3. Save.
  4. Travel more. Though this may make it hard to save. :) I really need to take my hubs on a real vacation.
  5. Take pride in my appearance. I’m a roll out of the bed, throw my hair up and head to work kind of girl. I don’t do much for myself. Like shop for clothes or paint my nails. I feel good about myself when I attempt to improve on my appearance, so I’m going to work on that. Something that’s just for me.
  6. Be more compassionate and thoughtful. I’m a selfish person. Not selfish in a bad way, but I know that I am. Which is why I don’t have children. I like doing me things, when I want to do me things. I used to be such a thoughtful person. Sending out cards all the time, buying a little gift for someone, just because. I don’t know what happened to that girl, but I want her back.
  7. To not be afraid to take chances in 2012 as they come. Even ones that make me uncomfortable.
  8. To spend more time with J. 
  9. To spend more time with my family.
  10. Have fun. 


2011 Reading Wrap Up Post

Well I didn’t make it, but I put in a solid effort. My goal this year was to read 180 books and I only read 155. I still think that’s a good number, but I wish I would have met my goal. If you want to see what 155 books I read this year: 2011 Reading Challenge Books Read.

Out of those 155 books read 61 of them were 2011 DEBUTS! Instead of subjecting you to a list of 61 books, you can check out the debuts I read if you click this link: 2011 Debuts.

I also participated in the YA Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by Sab of YA Bliss. I failed here as well. Although not as miserably as I anticipated! My goal was to read ten books, I made 8. Not so shabby… but still I should have read two more!

  1. Deadly by Julie Chibbaro
  2. The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
  3. Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
  4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
  5. Auralia by Anne Osterlund
  6. Exile by Anne Osterlund
  7. Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
  8. A Temptation of Angles by Michelle Zink (out in 2012!)


My Favorite Books of 2011

Whew… what a year in reading 2011 was. Such fabulous titles this year! I had so many favorites, it so very hard to narrow it down! I stole most of these questions from The Perpetual Page Turners Year End Survey, and threw a few of my own in there. I think maybe the last two!

1. Best Book Read

I couldn’t narrow this one down so I decided that I would pick a favorite from a few genres instead!

Historical Fiction- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 

Paranormal- (such a hard one to narrow down!) A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Fantasy- This one is a toss up between The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and The Gray Wolfe Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

Contemporary- The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Dystopian- Divergent by Veronica Roth (Also loved Wither by Lauren DeStefano and A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan)

Sci-Fi- Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Romance- Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Also The Statiscial Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith… but since it doesn’t officially come out until 2012, I shouldn’t really count it toward my 2011 favs.)

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did

This would probably go to the last book I reviewed which was Illuminated by Erica Orloff, I thought for sure I was going to love this one and I couldn’t even finish it. I was rather sad about the whole thing.

3. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker. I think it was surprising because of how well Melissa tackled and presented the issues in this novel. I was afraid it might come across as preachy or even hypocritical, but I ended up loving this story and it’s characters.

4. Book(s) You Recommended to People Most

Divergent by Veronica Roth, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Where She Went (If I Stay) by Gayle Forman, Shift by Jeri Smith Ready… and about a dozen more!

5. Best Series You Discovered

I used 2011 to catch up on a lot of series. But there was one that I had been meaning to read and finally did and LOVED and that was Raised by Wolves and Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

6. Best Book That Was Out of Your Comfort Zone

I won’t really say it was out of my comfort zone, but it wasn’t really in my initial interest grasp zone and that was Inconvienent by Margie Gelbwasser. The summary wasn’t very memorable to me so it sat on my shelf far to long. I ended up really loving the story!

Another book that wasn’t necessarily out of my comfort zone but made me squirm was Want To Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman. It’s a fabulously written book, just a very difficult subject.

7. Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book

I wouldn’t say that it was the most unputdownable book for me this year, because it actually took me a while to read it. It was definitely the most thrilling though.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

8. Book(s) You Most Anticipated

The Future of by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Love Story by Jennifer Echols and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.

9. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read

Wither by Lauren DeStefano & The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

10. Most Memorable Character

Cam Cooper in The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

11. Most Beautifully Written Book Read

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwabb

12. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2011 to Finally Read

The rest of the Soul Screamers books! My Soul to Keep, My Soul to Save & If I Die by Rachel Vincent.

13. The Books that Didn’t Get Enough Buzz, but are FABULOUS

Warped by Marissa Guibord & Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

14. Books I Wish I Had Gotten Around to Read this Year

The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (I need to get on this one!)
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

15. Favorite NON-YA Book

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning 


Book Review

Illuminated by Erica Orloff

Illuminated by Erica Orloff

Release Date: December 8, 2011
Author Info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Shelfability: Did Not Finish
Pages: 256
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Source: Publisher
Interest: Story
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

I don’t usually review books that I don’t finish. I have a rule that if you don’t finish it you can’t really do a complete review. BUT instead of a review I’m just going to explain why I didn’t finish this book.

I once did a post called “It’s Not Me, It’s You” which was basically a post of books that I had started and didn’t finish for whatever reason, but I’ve found that I do a fairly good job at judging if I’m going to like a book before I read it… so I didn’t have many of those posts.

As you can see from the shelfability rating I didn’t finish this book. I made it to page 102, which is a little under half way. I wanted to love this novel, it sounded like an epic love story. And there is nothing I love more than a LOVE story. I just couldn’t do it.

It’s not because the writing is bad. It’s not. The writing wasn’t why I couldn’t finish the book.

The reason I didn’t finish this novel is because I didn’t care enough about the characters to want to go on an adventure with them.

Initially I thought I was going to LOVE Callie. She loves books, so it should have been a given. Nope. I liked her until she met August. Then she turned into a big sap that only talked about how sexy August was. Do teenage girls even call guys sexy anymore? I mean… isn’t “hot” the new sexy?

The relationship was way to insta-love for me. From the tagline it seems like they were “destined” to be together, but I still would have liked to watch the relationship grow, instead of it just happening instantly.

August was inconsistent. I know he is a guy and boys will be boys. Yet, I just couldn’t buy the sophisticated college student one second, a douche-baggery line like “I can’ see through your shirt.” the next, and then “That’s so cute.” after that. For some reason it just didn’t mesh me.

I loved this mystery with “A” and the history and mythology, but it wasn’t enough.



Don’t Forget to Nominate…

for the BEST DEBUTS of 2011!! Nominations close on January 6th! Don’t let your favorites be left out!

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