End of the Year TBR (Yes, I’m Really Trying to Meet that Reading Challenge)

Copy of YALLFest 2018 Wrap-Up

Hellooo friends! I’m getting tired of having to start every post with an apology and explanation for why I haven’t been posting, but we’ll just chalk it up to the fact that college – and 2018 as a whole – has been reeeal crappy to me. Hopefully in the new year, I can get all the technical issues worked out with this blog and post more frequently, because I really miss interacting with you all!

Today, I’m here to present to you the ultimate race against time. A mad dash against the laws of bookish physics. I, the biggest mess of a book blogger and bookstagrammer in history, am actually attempting to stick to a TBR to meet my Goodreads goal.

And, as of right now, I’m actually sticking to it.

I know, start knocking on all the wood in your house and perform your spiritualist rituals, because I feel like even writing that sentence out has jinxed me and will make it all go away. But my goal for the year was to read 45 books, and I’m currently on book number 37.

Soooo, it’s not impossible. I can feel it, just out of reach. I have to read 9 books in exactly 14 days, or two weeks. So here’s the list of books I have tentatively planned out to read! Just click on the covers to be taken to their Goodreads pages.

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1. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

swamplandiaOkay, so to make things complicated (because that’s what I always do), I started writing this post after I’d already finished one of the books that I would definitely consider as part of my “final crunch” to meet my goal. Swamplandia! is a book that I was actually assigned for my literature course (I definitely would not have read this book otherwise, to be frank). I was obviously supposed to have finished it before I left for winter break, but uuuhhh I didn’t oops. Since I was already halfway, and I actually got the audiobook from the library app, I figured I might as well finish it to be able to count it towards my goal. And, like I mentioned earlier, I actually did that! In just a day or so! It’s a miracle!

2. Circle of Stones by Catherine Fisher

circle of stonesThis is my current read (I’m planning to finish it tonight), and it’s definitely the most random book on Earth that none of you have probably ever heard of. At the excellent suggestion of Jordyn @ Jordz the Bibliophile, I searched through my Goodreads To-Read shelf for the shortest books that I own and chose a few to add to my TBR. This particular book was one of the shortest! It’s literally been on my TBR for 4-5 years (or more probably), I’ve just never gotten around to it. I honestly thought it was a Middle Grade book before I started reading and it turns out the MC is 18…which did not give this book the best start lol. It’s a little weird (with vaguely misogynistic and racist undertones??) so I’m basically finishing it at this point solely for my Reading Challenge. Hopefully the next books I have planned will be better!

3. Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

grim loveliesNow this one you all should recognize! This is the December pick for my local indie bookstore’s teen book club (which I haven’t been able to attend for the last couple months because #college), and I’m SO excited to finally be able to participate again and read a book that’s been on my radar even before it came out. I’m also proud of myself, because instead of spending more money that I definitely don’t have on a book, I utilized my local library for the first time in like, 10 years. Literally it’s sad lol. This book will probably the toughest to get through in terms of speed, but luckily the font size is pretty big and I’m hoping the story will be good enough to keep me flipping pages. Let me know what you thought of this book if you’ve read it!

4. Storm Front by Jim Butcher

storm frontAaaand another very random fantasy book to add to this list. The Dresden Files (Storm Front is the first book in the series) is a personal favorite of one of my best friends who isn’t a big reader or a book blogger. After literally years of him begging me to read it, I started the e-book in a moment of whimsy. I’m not sure yet if it’s totally my cup of tea (it’s about a Chicago private investigator who solves gritty, magical crimes), but I got the audiobook (from the library app!), so hopefully this will be another quick read to help speed things along. On a side note, I bought my friend a signed copy of one of the books in this series, and while it may not be super popular in the YA book community, it certainly must be popular amongst adult readers, because a signed first edition of the first book costs at least $300!! It blew my mind a little since I had never heard of the series before but let me know if you happened to have read these books!

5. The Moth & the Flame by Renee Ahdieh

moth & flameBecause no last-minute end of the year TBR would be complete without a few shortcuts, I added a novella to my list. At first I wasn’t sure if a novella is technically “cheating,” but after holding a poll over on my Instagram and having friends tell me that it definitely wasn’t, I think a novella that I can easily read in just an hour or so will really help! How do you guys feel about counting novellas towards your GR goals? I can really see either end of the argument, so I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts! I think the best reasoning someone has given me so far, in favor of novellas, is just that if it’s on Goodreads, it counts towards your goal. I also LOVE the Wrath & the Dawn duology, so this should be a really fun read!

6 & 7. Wires and Nerve Volumes I and II by Marissa Meyer

Wires and NerveNot gonna lie, these are definitely just for the purposes of reaching my goal. While I love the Lunar Chronicles, these graphic novels have never particularly interested me. But with a lot of persuasion from Jordyn (and her kindness in lending them to me), I’m gonna finally take a chances on this extension of the series! For fans that have read these books, did you enjoy them? Or did you think they were unnecessary to the rest of the series? My goal is to read both of these in one day.

8. Pride by Ibi Zoboi

prideThe next two books on this list are a bit tentative, since they’re “full” novels and might not be realistic if I really fall behind with my reading in the next two weeks. At least one of them might be replaced by a novella or another graphic novel. But they are amongst the shortest books on my shelves (Pride is the third shortest), so there’s a good chance that if I stay on track, I can make it with these.  I’m especially excited to read Pride, since I’ve heard so many amazing things about it! It looks super romantic and light-hearted, while also dealing with real issues. I also managed to score a ~signed copy~ of this book at B&N a few weeks ago, so it would be nice if this didn’t fall into the massive pile of unread books in my room lol.

9. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

two can keep a secret

Again, not sure if it will be realistic to read this one in time (especially since it clocks in with a longer page count than the other books), but I read One of Us is Lying earlier this year and really enjoyed it, so reading the ARC of Karen’s new book would be really nice! Jordyn also told me that this book is insanely good and that it’s still a quick read, so fingers crossed I’m able to get to it. Oh, and Karen is visiting Florida on her release tour for this book, so it would be really cool to have already read the book if I’m able to make it to her event!

10. Wings of Olympus by Kallie George

wings of olympus

And lastly, the random little Middle Grade fantasy that I’m counting on to save me when all hell breaks looseWings of Olympus. I don’t know what possessed me to pick up an ARC of this book when I saw it at my local indie store, but I guess I thought the cover was pretty and foresaw that I would need a quick read to dig me out of my self-made GR hole at the end of the year. This book is just barely 200 pages, with the world’s most gigantic font, and pictures to top it off so if I can’t blast through this, then I have no hope at all of reaching my goal lol!

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Wow! Just looking at that list of books makes me super anxious to quit procrastinating and start reading! How are you guys doing with your GR challenges? Already completed? Read even more than you anticipated? Completely given up and planning on never doing it again? (don’t worry, I feel ya) Thanks for sticking with me through all my absences and technical difficulties, it means a lot!

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8 thoughts on “End of the Year TBR (Yes, I’m Really Trying to Meet that Reading Challenge)”

    1. Thank you so much!! I certainly hope 2019 is less stressful too, 2018 has been a whirlwind (and not always in the best ways lol).

    1. Thanks! Every year I consider lowering my GR goal for the exact same reason, like is it really worth it to go through all this stress? But at the same time, ever since I started increasing my GR goal, I read more and more each year. So it kind of works for me. But one of these years I should just take a break lol!

  1. ahh I hope you went well with this and got to the end of your challenge !! *flails for you* And I LOVED Grim Lovelies. It’s so witchy and magical and epic. I also definitely think novellas count towards reading goals! I mean sometimes I read like a 600 page book and then sometimes I read a 60 page novella. It evens out, I feel, right?!😂😂

    1. That’s so true! And thanks, I did meet my challenge (with two days to spare) and *mostly* stuck to my TBR so I’m considering it a huge success!

  2. Dang. That is quite the list. I hope you met your goal! I haven’t read any of these but I have read some of Megan Shepherd’s books and she is such a talented author!

    1. I did end up meeting my goal, thank you so much! And unfortunately Grim Lovelies did not turn out to be for me at all but maybe if you like Megan Shepherd’s other books I’ll have to give those a try! 🙈❤️

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