JB’s 2015 Reads

Hello book lovers! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and got lots of reading material!

At the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect on the books I’ve read. Did I accomplish my goals? Did I do lots of rereading? How many books did I read? Thankfully, Goodreads makes it easy to keep up with what I read throughout the year!

Let’s see how I did with my goals! (See original post here.)

1) Meet my Goodreads goal of 40 (new-to-me) books. DONE! I actually read 49 new-to-me books this year! This year I chose a lower goal for new books so I could do more rereading. I reread 20 books, bringing me to a total of 69 books for the year. (Possibly more if I do any reading in the next few days!)

2) Read two classics. …Didn’t happen. Why is it so hard for me to make myself read classics? Someone please recommend me a classic to read for 2016! (Preferably one that’s enjoyable and short.)

3) Read two non-fiction books. Okay, I read one and a half. I read Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell and half of Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado. I really enjoyed both! (I’ve also almost finished my annual Bible reading… does that count?)

4) Finish The Chronicles of Narnia series. I read The Horse and His Boy and absolutely loved it! Next is Prince Caspian. (Yes, yes, I know I didn’t finish the series. But at least I’m one book closer!)

5) Read the second Percy Jackson book (if not more!). Also didn’t do this, but I’ve been on a romance book kick this year, so.

So, it seems as though I did a terrible job at meeting the goals I set for myself a year ago, BUT I have had an incredibly good reading year. I rated 41 of the 69 books I read FIVE STARS. I discovered my favorite standalone, reread my favorite series, and also reread the first three Lunar Chronicles books in preparation for Winter! (Which was fabulous, of course.)  

Below I’ve listed some of my favorite reads this year (that haven’t already been mentioned in this post). Click the link to go to that book’s Goodreads page!

Geek Girl by Holly Smale (I actually liked the second one better!)
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis (Perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles!)
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (Did you seriously think I wouldn’t include Kasie West?)
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (A Most Favorite.)

To see everything I read this year, friend me on Goodreads!

What were your favorite 2015 reads?

 

Advertisements

Graduating Gallagher Academy

gg6First up, our apologies for not including a recap of Out of Sight, Out of Time. Due to that little thing called life, we found ourselves finishing it up a few days late! But we’ll get it posted soon, so we can fangirl with you guys!

The last Gallagher Girl book, United We Cry Spy, released almost two years ago. It was a special day. Even though we couldn’t be together, Rachel, Jules, and I found ourselves at various bookstores across town picking up the final book. Each of us went home and stayed up into the night, texting each other things like, OH MY GOODNESS. NO SHE DID NOT. HOW DID WE NOT SEE THIS COMING. There were lots of caps and exclamation points involved. And also lots of tissues and tears.

I told Rachel and Jules that I felt like my graduation from the Gallagher Academy marked the end of my childhood more than my actual high school graduation. Because, even though I was out of high school, I was still able to live vicariously through Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macey.

I was the same age as Cammie when the first book came out. The sad thing about fictional characters is that they don’t age with us. But at the same time, it’s kind of refreshing. Because any time I miss being 16, I can reread I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. And I can remember butterflies caused by boys and sleepovers with my best friends and the coded messages we use to pass each other.

The best part about fictional characters is that they never die. Even if the author kills them off at the end (*glares at the mean authors*), they live inside us forever. And that’s exactly how I feel about The Gallagher Girls series. The Gallagher Academy will always have a piece of my heart.

How the Gallagher Girl Books Influenced Our Friendship

Gallagher Girl readathon logo hosted by thegirlsinplaidskirts.com

Hello! It’s day 2 of our Gallagher Readathon! Have you started reading (or rereading) I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You? We have! It’s so fun to go back to where it all started. We can’t help but reminisce about our friendship when we read this book!

Rachel, Jules, and I met the summer we turned 14. (I JUST realized we’ve been friends for ten years now!) Our parents introduced us to each other and we bonded over lunch one day when we realized we all liked to read. We started exchanging books and giving each other recommendations.

One day I found this book and thought the name and cover were SO cute, plus it was about spies. So I bought the first Gallagher Girl book and told Rachel and Jules they had no choice—they had to read it. They did, and we all fell in love. We decided we were going to be spies, we created our code names, and we became Ally Carter fangirls.

The third book came out on Jules’ birthday, and we wore our plaid skirts and went together to buy Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover. The tradition of wearing plaid skirts whenever a new Gallagher Girl book came out was born, so it was only appropriate that we wore our plaid skirts when we had the opportunity to meet Ally Carter in 2012.

She photobombed us and tweeted about us and the rest is history. Here we are four years later, blogging about our love of books, still fangirling over all things Ally Carter, and making friends with fellow bibliophiles all over the world. But these things you know.

I think we’d still be friends even if it weren’t for the Gallagher Girl books, but there’s no doubt they brought us closer. I have a 30-minute video of us from when we were 18 talking about Gallagher Girls and macaroni and cheese and ninjas at 3:30 in the morning while wearing bowls on our heads. The notes we passed each other in high school were sometimes written in code and/or invisible ink. Our love of the Gallagher Girl books introduced us to even MORE YA books that we LOVE, and we’ve road-tripped on several occasions to meet the authors behind these books. And you know there’s nothing like a road-trip with your two best friends.

Though we’re all busy and sometimes blogging gets put on the back burner, we have a blast at blog planning meetings, brainstorming post ideas and getting sidetracked by talking about all the latest books we’ve read. It’s been really fun to grow as book lovers with my two best friends. To see our interests and preferences change, but to know that we will always have books in common.

When the first Gallagher Girl book came out almost 10 years ago, I’m sure none of us ever thought that book would change our lives. But it did, and I, for one, am so grateful for it.

*mushy warning* I LOVE YOU RACHEL AND JULES!!! 3P, SLAM, Good morning, insert other inside jokes here *mushy moment over*

Question of the day: Cammie and her mom love M&Ms. What’s your favorite candy?
Gallagher Girls I'd Tell You I Love You But Then Id Have to Kill You and m&ms

Do you like to re-read?

rereadIt’s no secret–I love to reread books. So much, in fact, that I lowered my Goodreads reading goal for this year so I would have more time to re-read some of my favorite books. So far, I’ve re-read six books this year! (I read 4 books last week–that was the norm in high school for me, but I haven’t done that in years! Three were re-reads.)

Reasons why I like to re-read:

  • I love to revisit my favorite characters. They become my friends, (or fictional boyfriends, let’s be honest) and I want to hang out with them again. Isn’t it crazy how you can miss a person who’s not even real?
  • I love to revisit my favorite places. Whether it’s Illea or Narnia or Wonderland, sometimes I miss other worlds. It’s so fun to lose myself in a different place without leaving my comfy reading chair!
  • I pick up on more details the second (or third or fourth) time around. This is especially true with The Lunar Chronicles series, because Marissa Meyer leaves lots of clues as to what’s going to happen. This is also fun with mysteries. Once you know whodunit, the ride is more enjoyable. (I’m specifically thinking of The Naturals, which I re-read this week before starting Killer Instincts.)
  • They bring back memories. I re-read the first and second Gallagher Girl books countless times in high school, so now re-reading them brings back memories of when I introduced Rachel and Jules to them. The third one came out on Jules’ 18th birthday, so rereading it reminds me of her birthday weekend. We wore our plaid skirts for the first time to go buy the book together, then read it together chapter by chapter. (It was funny, because Jules reads the fastest and would gasp at major twists, then I would gasp a few seconds later, then Rachel–who reads slowly in order to try to pick up on any clues so she can guess the ending–would gasp after we’d both already finished and had moved on to making rice krispie treats.)
  • I always have a good book to read. Don’t you hate when you’re in a reading slump and every new book you pick up just doesn’t do it for you? That’s when I re-read an old favorite, and I’m reminded why I love reading so much. Because I can make new friends, fall in love with as many hot guys as I want, and visit places I’ll never go.

dots

Do you like to re-read books? What book have you read the most times?

JB from thegirlsinplaidskirts.com, plaid skirt, pink rainboots

Guest Post (Brody): A Blast from the Past! (Pre-Scarlet Prepping)

Hello again me lords and me ladies,

Brody here. I know that we’re still in the process of getting to know each other and in this process you’re probably going to learning things about me, intentionally or not intentionally, but one of the things I’m going to reveal to you in this post is that sometimes I can be indecisive. Most of the time it’s starting with where I’m going to eat , and then it’s what I’m going to eat when I get there, and by this point my stomach is demonstrating some fairly odd sounds if someone isn’t there to consult with. (I know all of the indecisive readers just let out a sigh of relief. You’re not alone!) I know all too well how picking out books can feel like the last decision we may ever make! Rachel is especially guilty on this one! Forgive me dear, didn’t mean to call you out. End rambling.

With that being said I had a couple of ideas for this post, and like any time I find myself in an indecisive situation, I call upon my wonderful girl in plaid, Rachel. Giving her the choice of a book I was thinking about posting or some classic fairy tales that I’ve been educating myself on considering the fairy-tale-inspired series The Lunar Chronicles that we have been reading together, of course she chose fairy tales.

One day not too long ago, I decided to pay my dear mom a visit. I can’t recollect the conversation we were having, but it must have been about children’s books because the next thing I know she hands me the holy grail from I-don’t-know of an anthology of an abundance of classics, called The World Treasury of Children’s Literature. Turns out it was a Christmas gift from my Grandma Susan in 1995 when I was just a wee lad!

grandmarocks

For reasons unknown to me I have no past memories with this book, which is incredibly surprising because of its seemingly unforgettable lime green cover. I just believe that when you see this thing, you can’t un-see it!

Its 600 pages of contents range from tongue-tripping nursery rhymes (I still have trouble with “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”, go ahead and take a second to try it for yourself) to Dr. Seuss who was born 111 years ago March 2, 1904, to Norse mythology from which originated one of the coolest Marvel superheros, Thor. A favorite of us fellas due to the sheer manliness that we appreciate and the girls to swoon over (curse you Chris Hemsworth). Moving on, and to the Grimm brothers’ collection of tales where I’ve been spending the majority of the time when my face is in this book re-educating myself on the fairy tales like Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood.

If you haven’t read them in a while, do yourself a favor by going back and see how bizarre they are!

Displaying photo 2.JPG

Now that I’m all brushed up, I’m bringing what we call the “A game” into Scarlet and all systems are go!

Until next time,

Brody

so, um… stuff…

Hallo readers and gents!

At the most recent meeting of the Plaid Girls, the first in a long while, since before The Great Abyss of No Posts (aka the holidays), we decided to attempt to make thing easier for ourselves.  We divvied up the days.  We are now operating on a pattern-like schedule of postaciousnes. I have … what day is this..  oh, I have Thursdays!

As I have been up to my eyeballs in a special (and kind of hush-hush, so i can’t even share pictures yet) project at work, I was all like “Bahh!! whattamuhgunnapostabout??” and then i was remind of something that my cousin brought to light for me.  He so kindly and graciously (lol) pointed out that my entire life is a lie.   Well almost. So you know that super intense part in the story? The Climax.  And then there’s that word for when it’s not as great as it could have, should have, would have been if you had written it?  You say “That was very ______!”  Wrong.  Well I don’t actually know what you say, maybe I’m the only who has been living a lie.  But I’ve always said ‘anticlimatic’.  Apparently that is referring to the weather, or, more correctly, referring to something that has nothing to do with the weather (climate).  The proper term is ‘anticlimaCtic’ like mack-tic…    MY WHOLE LIFE PEOPLE!!!!  So there is your tidbit for the day!  Now go blow someone’s mind… (disclaimer: don’t be an idiot, i don’t mean that literally, this isn’t a post-apocalyptic lawless, every-reader-for-his-or-her-self society in which we have resorted to violence and a means of entertainment…. )

Now I”m going to go get in bed and finish Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes because I made it HALFWAY through last night before i gave out, and all day at work today the first half of the book was replaying in my head and I was like “What happens next??!?!?!?!?”    And then I get home and eat food because I didn’t really eat lunch and you can read on an empty stomach because you know you can’t put down a good story just for food, and it’s a little too dangerous to maneuver the half-turn staircase in the dark while read-walking….  and I knew it was my day to post so I’m trying to be a good little blogger and then Pinterest happens and I added some pretty bookish pins to our boards (we have a Pinterest in case you didn’t know!) and then I finally reeled myself in from the bottomless scrolling abyss….

One last thing, I managed to squeeze two other books (the sequels to Pivot Point by Kasie West and to Linked by Imogene Howson) into my nights recently, so hopefully I’ll get my act together and post about those soon!  lol

ok

going to read now….

book love!

jules

JB’s 2015 Reading Goals

2015 reading goals, shadow and bone, the grisha trilogyHello lovelies! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Years!

Today I’m here to talk about my reading goals for 2015. (See my 2014 reading goals here.)

1) Meet my Goodreads goal of 40 (new-to-me) books. Last year my goal was fifty, but I decided to lower it this year and do more rereading! I definitely want to reread CinderScarlet, and Cress before Winter comes out at the end of the year! Plus, it’s been far too long since I’ve read the Gallagher Girl series.

2) Read two classics. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of Emma for… like six months now. (Confession: I haven’t read any of it in a few months.) I’d like to finish Emma and also read The Giver (before my husband makes us watch the movie) and Great Expectations.

3) Read two non-fiction books. This is definitely not a big goal, but I don’t really like non-fiction. I’m currently reading It Starts With Food, but I’m not sure what other non-fic I’ll read. If you have any suggestions for me, leave them in the comments!

4) Finish The Chronicles of Narnia series. I read the first two last year and loved them! I have a friend who also wants to read them this year so we plan to read and discuss them together.

5) Read the second Percy Jackson book (if not more!). I really loved The Lightning Thief and want to read the rest of this series!

Overall, I don’t have any super huge goals, which I’m totally okay with. I feel like these goals are perfect for this year and I’m excited about my 2015 reading!

What are your reading goals for 2015?

New Year’s Resolutions

My Darling Readers and Gents

I do hope you all had simply delightful Christmas’ and glittering New Year parties!!! Mine was spent in my warm and fuzzy PJs 🙂
Now, raise your hand if at least half of your Christmas list was books… Ah, yes… Well, they are one of the few things that seem to have the ability to love you back.

I would like to apologize for simply disappearing for the holidays… Right before Thanksgiving my poor little phone suffered a waterproof case failure, rendering me phoneless for 4 weeks. I had ordered, and received, another one from ebay.  It promptly vanished into thin air. (As in can not find it. at. all. not even my mom, the finder of anything. ) I had to buy another one, this time from a friend. That being said, I don’t have internet at my house, I just did things through my phone. So I just decided to take the holiday off.

I would also like to take a moment to say that I love ginger snaps. I’m having some with my tea just now.  🙂
So, to start my year off, I would like to declare my Resolutions.

Julianne’s 2015 Resolutions

  • To be intentionally conscious of others and to commend good works and encourage those who are in need of positivity.
  • To speak kindness and happiness to others.
  • To remember that my time on earth is so limited, and to use what I am given more wisely.
  • To appreciate the time I have with those I love, time shared is sweeter than honey and toast.
  • To dance more, to strengthen heart, body, and soul.
  • To spend more time with my Creator, and to read the Bible in it’s entirety. No words are more powerful and life changing.
  • To write more birthday cards, thank you cards, thinking of you cards, get well cards, I miss you notes, and let’s catch up letters.
  • To read more, but that’s a given. 😉

And quite possible the hardest of all:

  •  To not lose my phone, to not forget things, and to not be late all the time.

So, that wraps up my New Years post… albeit a little late… not off to a great start here, but oh well 🙂

Care to share some of your NYRs and how they’re going so far?

We’re Two-Thirds Through Month of Classics!

As of today, we are two-thirds of the way through our month of classics!

How are you coming along so far? Thus far, I’ve completed A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes), and I’ve started Frankenstein. You know what no one ever told me about Frankenstein? That it’s boring.

Maybe that’s just my personal opinion, and maybe once I get further in I’ll enjoy it, but I’m 25% through it and JUST met the creature. Anyhoo, still (slowly) trudging through it, I am.

Also, confession time: I cheated on month of classics. With Kasie West’s The Distance Between Us. And it was beautiful.

I’ve only read 2 of her books (the other being Pivot Point <–click for my review<–, though I need to get my hands on its sequel soon!), but both of them have been wonderful. The second I finished Pivot Point, I added ALL OF THE KASIE WEST BOOKS to my Goodreads to-read list. I’m so glad my second Kasie West book has left me happy with that decision, and now I’m itching to read Split Second and On the Fence.

I think it’s pretty obvious that classics just aren’t my thing. But I want to read them! And read them I will, even if it’s slow going. I’m determined to finish reading Frankenstein this month and I’d also like to start Emma.

dots

How do you feel about reading classics? What classics would you recommend for someone who’s not a fan of classics?

bbc_sherlock_by_vladisakov-d5ngx43Want to add ALL OF THE KASIE WEST BOOKS to your Goodreads to-read list? I’ll make it simple for you:
Pivot Point 
Split Second (sequel to Pivot Point)
The Distance Between Us
On the Fence (Coming out July 1st!)

The Ever Colorful Worlds of William Joyce

And this is why we love him so! Yay for Louisiana natives!!

The colorful, playful, and just simply joyous mind of William Joyce has created a plethora of beautiful adventures both on screen and on the page.

Author, illustrator and filmmaker William Joyce has covered all the bases when it comes to entertaining our kids. There’s his Guardians of Childhood book series, A Day with Wilbur Robinson, and the book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugswhich were all later adapted to screen, written and produced by Joyce, in the form of Rise of the Guardians, Meet the Robinsons, and Epic, respectively. He’s won three Emmys for his work with the book-based television series Rolie Polie Olie.

His works are just so creative and fun and can’t help but captivate the imaginations of anyone, any age.

At the 2012 Academy Awards, Joyce was honored with an Oscar for Best Short Animated Film for his enchantingly wonderful,

View original post 200 more words