The 2017 Blogoversary, Part 1: Ten Unique Reads I Highly Recommend + Giveaway

This Sunday, July 9th marks my eighth blogoversary! And based on the results of this recent poll, this year’s celebration is going to be… giveaways! (Many thanks to everyone who voted, btw!) This is perfect, because blogoversaries aren’t just a time of virtual cake, confetti, and fireworks. They’re also a great opportunity to thank readers for their friendship and support, no matter how long they’ve been following you. So, consider this week’s and next week’s posts my gift to you guys. (*bows in gratitude*)

For this first giveaway, I wanted to do something bookish, but something different from the usual “favorite reads or authors of all time” theme. Then I read these recent Top 10 Tuesday posts by Sarah J. Higbee and The Bibliosanctum, and a lightbulb turned on. So, here are Ten Unique Reads I Highly Recommend, along with links to my reviews¬†at Goodreads. At the end you’ll find a Rafflecopter link and instructions for how the giveaway will work. Sounds like a plan, yes? ūüėÄ
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Favorite Reads of 2015, Part 2: Books Published in 2015 + Reading Statistics

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On Tuesday I shared my 10 favorite non-2015 books I read last year. Today, I share¬†the other Top 10 list: the one for my favorite new books of 2015! ūüôā

Like Tuesday’s list, this one will go in ascending order (suspense is the key, remember? *winks*) and will feature a brief explanation of why I included it on this list, as well as links to each review.¬†I’ll also post my reading statistics for 2015, including how many books I read, which genres I read most, and a few random yet interesting bits I discovered along the way. Shall we begin?

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Recent Reads: October 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any¬†other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your¬†bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Something electric must be in the air. Out of the five books I read in October, I enjoyed four of them enough to write reviews. So, those¬†positive bookish vibes that made September a great month for reading haven’t gone away yet. ūüôā

What also made October a fun month for reading was¬†including two¬†“Halloween-ish” novels. Not scary horror stories by any means, but stories with a creepiness factor that fit the time of year. You’ll see what I mean as you check out the reviews, starting with my Read of the Month, which is…
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Stacking The Shelves, Vol. 19 & Field Trip: Boston Teen Author Festival 2015

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.

It’s time to report on the 2015 Boston Teen Author Festival! Since I wanted to tell you about the event, I’ve decided to make this post a combination of Stacking The Shelves (which I’ll link up at Tynga’s Reviews)¬†and¬†my Field Trip series. So, what you’re about to read is part photo diary, part written report with quotes and writing tips, and part BOOK SQUEE FEST. ūüėÄ

Um, as always, bear with me on the photo quality, especially the zoomed-in shots at BTAF. (I really, really need to get a new camera.) Otherwise, enjoy!

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Interview with Mackenzi Lee, Author of “This Monstrous Thing”


There’s something exciting about finding writers who live in your local area, especially if they write one of your favorite¬†fiction genres. That happened earlier this year when I heard about Mackenzi Lee and her debut YA novel¬†This Monstrous Thing. We both live in the Boston area, and her story melds historical fiction¬†with steampunk¬†– with the added bonus of Frankenstein. I wouldn’t say I’m not a fan of Frankenstein, but it’s also not something I’ve read much about. That said,¬†when I read the blurb for¬†This Monstrous Thing, the first three¬†words that entered my mind were, “MUST READ THIS!”

This Monstrous Thing¬†officially comes into the world next Tuesday, September 22nd. Which means¬†it’s the perfect time to invite Mackenzi for an author interview! Today you’ll learn more about her novel and her path to becoming published, as well as her writing influences and her thoughts on the importance of sibling relationships. There might also be some bits about Mary Shelley, Tulipomania, and Jonah Hill gifs. Enjoy!

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Waiting On Wednesday, Vol. 10: “This Monstrous Thing” by Mackenzi Lee

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases that I’m looking forward to. My WOW postings won’t be weekly, but they’ll come on Wednesdays when my blogging schedule is open and when I add a yet-to-be-published book to my wishlist. 

This Wednesday, I’m waiting on This Monstrous Thing,¬†the debut novel by¬†Mackenzi Lee.¬†Frankenstein-ish stories usually don’t appeal to me, but that was before I read Mackenzi’s recent interview at EM Castellan’s blog.¬†Her answers sing with intelligence, passion, and personality; and I was immediately drawn to her blended love of historical fiction and fantasy. You know what really¬†seized my attention, though? Mackenzi lives in Boston, and works at Porter Square Books in Cambridge! So I’m happy to support a¬†writer who lives near me. And between the suspenseful blurb and the brilliant, ominous¬†cover, I’m excited to see what This Monstrous Thing¬†is all about when it’s released¬†next month.

This Monstrous Thing cover

This Monstrous Thing
Mackenzi Lee
Historical Fantasy / Steampunk / Young Adult
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Goodreads


In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver‚ÄĒdead.

His sweetheart, Mary‚ÄĒgone.

His chance to break free of Geneva‚ÄĒlost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

What book(s) are you waiting on this Wednesday? Are you also looking forward to This Monstrous Thing?