Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Popular Books that Live Up the Hype

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

Sometimes we can’t help giving in to all the hype. Even I fall prey to the hype sometimes. Today, I’m talking about the top ten (popular) books that I feel live up to the hype.

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books With Sensory Reading Memories

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers,

When I first saw this topic admittedly I was unsure.  Not because of the topic itself, but because I really had to think about what books have the strongest memories attached to them. I’ve read a lot, and many books that I have many memories attached to them. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten books. But I feel like I’ve managed to pick the ones that are the best of the best!

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – I’ve always considered myself a bigger girl. And I’ve ALWAYS been okay with that. As a reader, I’ve met a lot of main characters. And even though on an emotional level I can easily identify with my favorite characters, physically I don’t see myself. That is until I met Willowdean. I clearly remember I was reading Dumplin’ on a hot summer day, while at the beach, and thinking at that moment that I couldn’t have been prouder to be a plus size girl. I felt that for the first time, I saw myself – not within the sidekick, or the object of bullying – but within someone who is center stage. Because of this, Dumplin’ will ALWAYS hold a very special place in my heart.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – After reading author Rowell’s debut, Eleanor & Park, I quickly because obsessed with her writing and was full-fledged fan from that moment on. So a few years ago when it was announced that she’d be at Book Expo America (which I would be attending)  and signing a limited amount of advanced copies I knew I had to get my hands on one. Well the day came and it was absolute chaos. Lines were formed, masses assembled, and when the tickets were finally given out it was a sea of people. I swore that I would NOT get one of these tickets. But I had an advantage over a lot of other people: I’m short. I somehow managed to make my way up to the front (sorry to all those people I probably cut!) and score a ticket! Because of this memory, Fangirl is still one of my favorite books!

Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia – After last year’s Book Expo, fellow blogger and in real life bff Miss Print made me her plus one to the Fierce Reads Cocktail Party. I seriously cannot thank her enough for this!  Even though I’m not much of a party kind of gal (let’s be honest,  I do prefer to stay home or hang out with a very small group of friends)  I was excited. Well, to say the least I felt a bit out of my element.  And very awkward. So when one of the very lovely publicists asked me which author I’d like to meet, I blurted out Kami Garcia. Well she brought Kami over and we talked easily the whole event. We mainly talked about books (obviously) but specifically we talked about her (then) upcoming book, Beautiful Broken Hearts. She told me about the research she did, the writing process, and why she was writing this book. When I recently read it I instantly flashed back to that moment, and it made my reading experience so much better.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Before I say anything, let me say this: when I finally read this book it quickly became a favorite. With that said … when I first started reading Miss Peregrine’s I was in the midst of a mini road trip with my two best friends. We decided to pass time we’d listen to this on audio. The point of this story isn’t that I didn’t enjoy the audio version, but that this book will always remind me of my two best friends and how much fun we had on that trip.

Falling in Love With English Boys by Melissa Jenson – This book reminds me of my first overseas trip to London. London has always been a place I’ve dreamed of going. So when I made that a reality, to get even more excited about my upcoming trip, I decided to read a book that was set in London. I randomly picked this one. I really enjoyed this book as a whole, but I love the fact that it reminds me of my trip to London.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – I came to the Hunger Games series much later than most of the fans. Or at least it feels that way. I read the first book a few months before the last book in this trilogy was released. When I first read The Hunger Games I was instantly hooked. I connected with the book on a different level, and I can’t necessarily explain why. But that first book doesn’t hold as many memories for me as the last one – Mockingjay – does. You see, the reason why Mockingjay is so special to me is because I went to a midnight release with Miss Print and even though it was a very long night, it was a really great one. Not only did I get the book handed to me, but I also had the chance to hear author Suzanne Collins read the first chapter. It was truly a great memory.

Tithe by Holly Black – When I first decided to become a librarian, specifically a youth services librarian, I went to my (semi) local library and I scoped out the budding YA section. One of the first books I pulled from the shelve was Tithe. I didn’t know anything about it or the person who wrote it. Honestly, I pulled it off the shelf simply because I liked the cover. I took it home and when I finally picked it up and gobbled this book up. I loved it. And from that moment on I was a Holly Black fan through and through!

Ruby by Francesca Lia Block – Besides Tithe, Ruby was another book I pulled off the YA shelf at the library when I first decided that I wanted to be a librarian. Before this, I previously read one other Francesca Lia Block, Violet & Claire, and I loved it (so much so I’ve re-read it several times). Even though I didn’t love this one as much,  I remember that day in the library. I remember pulling it off the shelf. And I remember wondering what it would be like to be the librarian who hands someone his or her next favorite book.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil – There’s a whole lot I love about this book. I love that it’s a YA book about demonic possession. I love that the main character, a strong female teen, has the ability to exorcise demons out of those who are possessed. These are just a few of the reasons why this book is special to me. But another reason why it’s special to me and holds a memory is because it was the first advanced copy I ever received as a book blogger.

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando – When this book was first published Miss Print suggested that we go to the signing. I went not knowing much besides it sounded like a book I would want to read. I read it soon after and to this very day I consider it to be one of my favorite books. This book captured everything and more I wanted in a book. One of the memories I have is when a friend and I were driving around I was telling her all about this book, and how excited I was about it. When I think of Dreamland Social Club I still get so excited. Not too many books have that power.

Freebie Friday: Claim Your Unclaimed Baggage Giveaway

Hello Readers!

Because I’ve missed doing giveaways so much, I’ve decided to do yet another giveaway here on the blog! Today, I’m giving away a book that I am super excited about. One that I’m glad I received a second copy of so that I can share it with one lucky winner!

Up for grabs …

  • An advanced copy of Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
  • A set of luggage tags (to ensure that you do EVER lose your luggage)
  • A fuzzy sleeping bunny mask

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, 18 years old and older. This giveaway will run from today (July 6th) until 11:59 pm on July 13th. One winner will be selected via random number generator and will be contacted via e-mail on July 14th. Winner will have until 11:59 pm on July 16th to reply to notification e-mail. If no reply is received another winner will be selected and notified. You also must be subscribed to The BookBandit Blog to enter this giveaway.

To enter, leave a comment on THIS blog post telling me one place you’d love to visit! When commenting, please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address as this will be the e-mail in which you will be notified by.

Good Luck!

June Reading Wrap Up/July Monthly Reading Update

Hello Readers!

It finally happened … I broke my reading streak. I guess I got a bit ahead of myself. I guess I got a big over excited and over confident.

I went into the month of June with all of these lofty reading goals and dreams. I had planned to read SO MUCH! Going into June I said I would read a total of five books. The books I planned on reading were:

  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Odd One Out by Nic Stone
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • Love Sugar Magic by Anna Meriano
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

This isn’t an excuse – June was a very busy month. More often than not I found myself tired and stressed. Because of that I simply didn’t want to read. And I didn’t force myself to either. I knew if I did, I wouldn’t enjoy whatever book I was reading. And if I’m reading something and NOT enjoying it, is it worth reading?!

During the month of June, I didn’t read anything. Well, I take that back. I started Nic Stone’s upcoming Odd One Out. I read most of it at the beginning June, and then when life got busy, I put it down (let’s be clear, I didn’t put it down because I wasn’t enjoying it. I put it down because I wanted to fully enjoy it!)

So yeah, I didn’t finish a whole book in June. Sad but true.

But it’s a new month, and I have a new TBR list to conquer ….

July is promising to be another busy month, but I’ve missed reading. And I want to try to carve a little bit of time during each day for it. I cannot promise (myself) that I will read one or five books, but I can promise myself that I will read.

I’m setting a goal of five books. I’m hoping that I reach it, but am not being hard on myself if I don’t.  The books that I am hoping to read this month are:

  • (Finish) Odd One Out by Nic Stone
  • All Summer Long by Hope Larson
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  • Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
  • Warcross by Marie Lu

So, there’s my TBR list. What’s on your July list? Please share in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2018

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

Even though I feel like I haven’t really read a whole lot so far, the truth is, I have. Admittedly, most of those books were Harry Potter books and picture books. But hey, everything counts!

Today I’m sharing with you my top reads of 2018 (so far!)

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Simon vs. The Home Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Aru Shah and The End of TIme by Roshani Chokshi
  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
  • Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
  • Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
  • Odd One Out by Nic Stone
  • Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I know that isn’t exactly ten books, but these were the best of the best. So what books have been your fave so far? Please share below!

Freebie Friday: June 2018 Pin Trading Monthly Review

Website: www.pintradingmonthly.com

Subscription Level Purchased: Signature Level. This level features a total of six (6) pins, one of which is a Limited Edition pin (limited edition size of five thousand or less). All of the pins in this subscription level are randomly selected for the individual box. The pins this level: “[…] Can include but is not limited to the following type of pins; Hidden Mickey, Mystery Pack, Disney Park, Disney Auctions, Disney Shopping, Soda Fountain or Limited Edition Disney Pins,” (from www.pintradingmonthly.com).

Shipping Time: Satisfactory! It took 5 days from the time I received the shipping notification e-mail to the actual day it was delivered.

June 2018 Pins Received:

  1. Star Wars Pin from The Last Jedi Booster Set – Resistance Bomber Pin
  2. Perry the Platypus (from Phineas & Ferb) Tsum Tsum Pin from Disney Tsum Tsum Mystery Pin Pack Series 2
  3. Simba from the Good vs. Evil Mystery Pack
  4. Bloat (from Finding Nemo) Find a Happy Place Pin
  5. Ellie & Carl (from Up) from the Through The Years Booster Set – Kids Only Pin
  6. Limited Edition (2500 Limited Edition Size) of Disney Vacation Club Camera Series featuring Mickey & Minnie

My Thoughts:

When I signed up for this subscription box I wasn’t sure what I’d get. I wasn’t sure whether or not I would even like it! I had watched many a Pin Trading Monthly unboxing video on YouTube. Most people were pleased. Some were somewhere in the middle.

Because this is a pin trading subscription box I went into this with the thought that even if I do not receive a single pin I like it’s totally okay because it could eventually be traded. With that, I also thought that if I do happen upon a pin that I love and want in my personal Disney pin collection it would be a total win.

Either way, I was excited.

When I opened the June 2018 box I was pleasantly surprised. As promised there were a total of six pins, one of which was a limited edition pin. The pins were shipped in a sturdy blue and white cardboard box that was sealed very well.  When I first opened the box I found Pin Trading Monthly’s information card (gave info about the subscription service and their social media accounts). Having subscribed to other boxes, and having seen many a subscription box unboxing video on YouTube I was a bit surprised to learn that this isn’t a spoiler card of sorts.

And that makes perfect sense to me. Because each of these pins were hand selected for the box that was sent to me, it wouldn’t be feasible for this subscription box business to provide individual spoiler cards. Underneath that card were the six pins wrapped securely in blue and white tissue paper.  The first layer contained pins from a booster and/or mystery pack, and the second layer contained two open edition pins (admittedly, I’m not sure if they are current or past open edition pins since I’m relatively new to the Disney pin world), and one limited edition Disney Vacation Club pin.

From the first look all the pins appeared to be in really great condition. Which was impressive since these pins are used pins. Upon further inspection though I found one pin had two very slight scratches on it. Personally, I didn’t feel that this was a big deal because I could really only see these scratches when I was looking at the pin up close and personally (and with a magnifying glass).  Honestly, if I hadn’t been using a magnifying glass I wouldn’t have even noticed this flaw. And personally, I don’t even consider it a flaw.

Because this subscription box focusing on the trading aspect I fully expected to want to trade them. However, what I found when I unboxed these pins was that there were three I wanted to trade, and there were three that I wanted to keep for my own collection.

Let’s start with the three pins that I plan on trading …

The first pin I found in this box was the Resistance Bomber pin from Star Wars: The Last Jedi Booster pin pack. If you know me than you know that I do NOT love Star Wars. Honestly, I barely like it. While I’ve seen the original movies, I haven’t seen any since. For that reason along I will not be keeping this pin. More than that, when I first started collecting, I promised myself I would only collect pins that I had some sort of attachment to – a Disney movie I loved, favorite characters, experiences/memories I made on a WDW trip, etc..

But let me be clear about this: this pin is a really nice pin. The colors are bold, and for a pin that is a part of a booster pack it is a decent size (slightly bigger than a quarter). If I was a Star Wars fan/collector, this would definitely be a keeper. Instead, I’m determined to trade and find a better suited home for this pin.

The second pin that I uncovered was a pin that, quite frankly, I was confused by.  Why? Because I had no clue who this Tsum Tsum pin was portraying. At first glance I knew two things: it was a Tsum Tsum and it was a green duck like creature.  It was definitely cute, but that’s really all I knew about it.

That is … until I posted about my new pins on Instagram. I was informed that this pin was a Tsum Tsum of Perry the Platypus. With a name I quickly found out (thanks Google!)  that he’s a character on Phineas and Ferb, a Disney cartoon I have never seen. In my book cuteness just isn’t enough to keep a pin. More than that though it feels weird to keep a random pin that is from a show and of a character I don’t know. I guess I would feel like a bit of a poser.

Because I know Phineas and Ferb is super popular, I know I can find a good home for this cutie. And with that, someone who will truly appreciate this pin.

The third pin I pulled out was the one pin I was seriously on the fence about. I loved it, but I knew if I kept it, it would be the start of a new side collection.  It was a pin from the Good vs. Evil Mystery Pack and featured adult Simba from The Lion King.

I LOVED The Lion King. I still consider it to be one of my most favorite Disney movies.  I loved the plot and all the animals, the music was catchy and fun, but more than anything I kinda loved Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the actor who voiced young Simba. So this pin is pure nostalgia for me.

But this would one and only Lion King pin in my collection. And while I loved it, my main collection doesn’t necessarily feature a lot pins portraying my favorite Disney flicks. Of course I have some, but I have other pins to accompany them. For example I have a beautiful pin that I got through a mystery pack. It features Jasmine and Aladdin sitting on the magic carpet, and there are beautiful fireworks going off in the distance. But to accompany this pin I also have three minie emoji pins of the Genie, Jasmine, and Aladdin. So even though I do not necessarily collect Aladdin pins, I feel it works in my general collection.

Besides that, I knew that if I keep this pin I would want to collect other Lion King themed pins. Pin collecting is an expensive hobby, and one that I’m fully invested in. But I don’t necessarily want to start another side collection … just yet.  In short, I’m planning on trading this pin to save a bit of money.

In regards to the pins that I will be keeping …

After I pulled out the first layer of pins, I pulled back the tissue paper to discover three more pins, one of which would be a limited edition pin.

The first pin I found was of Bloat from Finding Nemo. Bloat is a blow fish and he’s blown up to his full capacity. Within his big belly, it says “Find A Happy Place.” I don’t collect Finding Nemo/Dory pins. But this pin I feel would serve as a great reminder: to find the happy in every day. I sometimes forget that. And while (as strange as this may sound) my pins bring me joy, I now have a pin that will constantly and consistently remind me.

The second pin I dug out was a Disney Vacation Club pin from 2015. I am not a DVC member, and I am not too familiar with the DVC pins.  This pin looked like a camera and features a magnetic element: the lens opens and closes to reveal an image of Mickey and Minnie surfing.  I really like the fact that this pin is older (about three years old, give or take since I’m not exactly sure when it was released), and that because of that, it feels special.

Upon further inspection of this pin, the colors are vibrant, there seems to be no scratches or flaws, but the hinge/magnetic feature seems a tad bit loose, but not to the point of breaking. Flipping the pin over, I found out that this was my June boxes limited edition pin.

My main collection features a lot of Mickey and Minnie. I honestly find this strange since, even though Mickey has always been a favorite, Minnie wasn’t. That is up until recently. Minnie is awesome you guys!

I decided to keep this Limited Edition pin because it’s unique. Also, ultimately I feel like it truly fits into my main collection, and that I can provide a good home for it.

And then there’s the last pin of the box. This was a pin, that I’m breaking my own rules for. While I loved the movie Up, it’s not an all time favorite. I don’t collect Up or anything Up related. Admittedly though, the pins WDW sells for this beloved movie are always so, so pretty, I haven’t caved.

Until now. This pin features a young Ellie and Carl. It looks like a framed photograph, and is showing Ellie pinning what I am assuming is the grape soda bottle top to Carl’s vest. This pin is from the Ellie and Carl Through the Years pin set. It’s a good size, and it doesn’t feel flimsy. The colors are vivid, and the image is so, so cute. It also appears to be in great shape.

There’s something about this pin that I just love so much. I can’t explain what it is or why, I just do. I’ve decided to keep it for the time being, even though it really doesn’t fit in with my collection.

So there you have it, dear readers! My first (somewhat awkward and clunky) Pin Trading Monthly review. While I find the subscription as a whole a bit pricey ($35.00) I thought that the box was worth it as a whole, and because of that was worth the price. I’m looking forward to July’s box.

If you liked reading this kind of post, let me know! There could be more in the future!