Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Challenges

Hey Everyone!

I know it's already past mid-January (JEEZ, I have a feeling this year is going to fly just as fast as last year!), but it's time to announce my and Erin's 2016 Challenges, that we will be participating in this year!

The Romance Bookie's 2016 Challenges:

Goodreads Challenge:

The Goodreads Challenge is to determine how many books you want to read total this year.  I have decided to REALLY low ball it this year, because my "low-ball" of 30 books last year, turned into me reading like yes I failed, but also keep in mind I am 24 years old, going to university level classes (full-load), and had two jobs.  Plus, honestly, my mind wasn't so much into reading last year.  So this year, and don't freak out please people...the goal, for NOW, is to read...

10 books.

I know, I know, that's pathetic.  But if I read more, which I do hope I do, I will raise this goal.  But for now, 10 books feels right.

POP SUGAR Reading Challenge 2016:

This was such a fun challenge last year, and while I only completed 12 out of 41 things I wanted to do on the checklist, I do feel this will be a great Challenge to bring back for 2016!

Here is this year's checklist:

There are a few I won't be participating in, for the checklist, but you read about those on the 2016 Challenges Tab above.

TBR Shelf Challenge:

This is the year...I know I say this every single year, but I really want to keep up with not buying that many books, only the ones being released this year, by my favorite authors, and instead stick with reading those I bought in the past, and never got around to reading them.

The shelf hasn't stopped growing...

It's pretty insane!

Because we are living in a temporary home right now, I don't have my usual much-loved book shelves, and have had to put the majority of my babies in storage and in a shelf at my parents, but I was able to bring one shelf, which I have used to store all the ones I still need to read, that way I have my options! :)

The goal for this year, is to read at least 6 off of this shelf.  Because the goal is to read 10 books total, I feel 6 out of those 10 from this shelf will good.  I do hope to read more.  But it also leaves room to read those books that are coming out this year! :)

Check out the tab "2016 Challenges" to see the full list of books.

So those are my challenges for this year.  I decided to not do the ebooks challenge, because while I do hope to read a couple of ebooks, it's just not a requirement to read a certain amount this year.  I prefer my physical copies anyway, and I have plenty of those so I figured it was good to skip that one this year.  I know I will read at least one, because Proposal, the novella for the Mediator series by Meg Cabot comes out on Tuesday!  So of course, I'll be reading that one!

So now it's time for Erin's Challenges!!

1.  Read More Classics

Yup! Keeping the "read more classics" challenge on there for the next year!  Reading Persuasion this year was a wonderful experience for me and I can't believe how much I loved it.  I want to keep it going! There are so many classics out there that I haven't read.  As usual, I tend to favor "modern" books, but reading a classic once in a while is very refreshing.  Again, I think I'll keep my goal rather low and shoot for two books! I do think I can do this if I put my mind to it, and I might (*fingers crossed*) to be able to snag a few more in!

2. Poetry

I love poetry.  I took a class in my senior of high school, fully expecting not to like it, but to this day, it's one of my favorite classes I've had.  I love the beauty of poetry and I don't think I get enough of it.  I know, personally, I find it hard to read poetry just of fun on my own, though I love getting to read poems in class and discuss them.  But I want to try! So this year, I want to challenge myself to read some more poetry.

3. TBR Challenge:

It's really time to make a dent in that ever-growing TBR.  It's only gotten bigger over the past year as I've accumulated more and more books.  I'm determined to get through them though!  I'm going to stick to my goal of 25 books and hopefully I'll actually get to achieve them this year!

4.  Keeping Track

This one isn't a book challenge, per se, but I want to be better at keeping track of my books.  I read a lot, but tend not to keep track of which ones I read or how many books I read, which makes it difficult at the end of the year when I'm trying to go through and remember what books I read.  This was the first year that I officially tried to keep track of the books I read through Goodreads.  I know that I'm missing a bunch, but unfortunately can't remember which ones.  So to prevent that from happening next year, I'd really like to try and keep organized.  I'm not sure how I'll do this, but I'm going to give it my best shots!

So those are our challenges!  What are some of yours for 2016? :)

Mandy and Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Remembrance (Mediator #7) by Meg Cabot (ARC)

When it comes to Meg Cabot, you can always guarantee that she will listen to her fans!  

While I loved the Mediator series, which I read back in high school, I never expected there to be an adult sequel to the series...but I am so glad she did!!

As some of my readers may know, I have been in a reading rut for quite some time now...about two years, but Meg Cabot is the one author I can ALWAYS count on to get me out of the rut...for at least long enough to finish what her latest novel is :).

Remembrance is a must for all Mediator fans...

Oh wait, I should probably write my review first... ;)

NOTE:  THIS IS AN ARC review, so their may be changes to the final copy, out February 2nd!

From Goodreads:

In REMEMBRANCE, the seventh installment of the Mediator series, all Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she stumbles across an ancient murder, old ghosts -- and ex-boyfriends --aren't all that come back to haunt her.

REMEMBRANCE will be the first ever adult installment of the Mediator, published William Morrow, the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.

My Thoughts:

So I was SOOOOO unbelievably lucky and received an signed Advanced Copy of Remembrance in the mail, from the amazing lady herself, Meg Cabot!

Back in early December, my mom sent me a text, telling me I got a package from Meg Cabot, which already had me squealing.  But then I rushed over to my parents house, opened it, and found this beauty inside...


It took me a while, because of the finals week, the holidays, and trying to get over my last couple weeks of working at my second job...but finally I have found the time (by taking a week off work completely) and finishing this bad boy!! :)

And goodness, can I just say... I LOVED IT!

I mean to be fair, I love all of Meg's books.  But seriously, really good continuation of a series that ended over a decade ago...or so we thought.  

When I met first Meg back in 2012, she had hinted to me that there might be a continuation of the Mediator series, especially since right afterwards, she made a stop in Carmel, CA, which is the setting for the Mediator book.  So research was obviously being done! :)

But then in 2014, the announcement was officially made...a new Princess Diaries (MY ABSOLUTE favorite series of ALL TIME!!), a NEW Series featuring Mia's long-lost half-sister, and lastly a NEW Mediator novel!!!!!  It was an Early Christmas!!! :)

Being able to get back into the world of Suze and Jesse, and them being all fact, Suze is my age (24) and Jesse is my boyfriends age (28), which was cool.  I love how her and Jesse are engaged.  Suze has come a long way since graduating high school.  She's finishing up college, engaged, happy, and just waiting for that wedding to actually happen.  But Jesse, who is rather old-fashioned, has a few requirements before the wedding date can be set...finishing his PhD, opening up his own practice, and making his own income in order to pay for the wedding, and be able to take care of Suze.  

Sure just wants to get hitched to the love of her life!  And possibly consummate things in the bedroom.... ;).

I also loved the paranormal aspects of the book, which is a huge thing in the Mediator series, because Suze is after all, a Mediator.  Lucia was a very intriguing character, who I just wanted to learn more and more about her, which Meg definitely delivered on.

Paul is back...probably the most hated character in all the Mediator books.  You see, hints, of a soft side in this one, maybe, but overall still can't stand him!  I mean seriously Dude, TAKE A HINT!!!

Father Dominic is this one, he is after all, Suze's mentor and like a grandfather to her!

I really loved that all of Suze's family made an appearance, and what they have been up to since the last book.  

I just honestly loved every part of this book, so naturally my rating would be...

I would give it more if I could!  Seriously a must read for all fans of the Mediator series.  I love how Meg is taking into account that the original fans of the series have grown up, and made the continuations of both the Mediator and the new Princess Diaries novel, Royal Wedding,  into adult novels so readers would get more of a grown-up view on their favorite characters lives!!! :)

Along with reading Remembrance over the past few weeks, I also found out some great news... 

After checking and checking since first meeting Meg, February of 2012, on whether or not she would be on tour back in Southern California, it has finally happened!!  Meg Cabot is coming back to Los Angeles next month on February 11th!!  And guess who wouldn't miss it for the world...


Yes, that's right, after FOUR long years of waiting, I, The Romance Bookie will be seeing Meg Cabot once again!  It'll be a three hour drive, but well worth it!  I had been a bit worried because Meg had announced her San Francisco date (which is SIX hours away), but not any other California dates, so I had thought there would be no other Cali dates...but then Los Angeles was added!!  

The cool part is, my mom really wants to go, and Vincent, my boyfriend, said he wants to go too! :)

YAY!!! February 11th, can't get here soon enough!! :)

So I hope everyone has a great three day weekend! And when February 2nd rolls around, don't forget to get your copy of Remembrance!  Available at Amazon and wherever else books are sold!

The Romance Bookie :)