3rd Quarter Update | 2015 Reading Challenge

3 more months to go! BOOM!

As of today?

I’ve read 62/100 books.

And what about those pesky New Year’s Resolutions?

  • Catch up on series I’m partway through, with high priority on series that are now completely published. Well… let’s just say, I’ve started more series than I have finished. But seriously, I’ve finished off 5 series so far. 
  • Reading standalone books I already own, especially all those books I purchased from the library’s annual sale (100’s!!!). ummm…. what’s a standalone? lol. 
  • NOT reading any books that are first in a series, unless its a spin-off series of something I have read before. Yeah, #fail. I’ve read a number of firsts, and it was worth it!
  • I can only add a book to my TBR if I have read a bookYEP, that went out the door. I love books.
  • I will not buy any books! I bought a couple of adult color-in books. THEY DONT COUNT! I bought a colour in book today for my birthday in a couple weeks.
  • I will not request books on Goodreads or BookThing, unless they are series continuations that are already in progress. I always request books, but I never get them… so I don’t feel so bad. Reviews have taken a back burner because I’ve been so many books behind schedule since like May. I will definitely focus on getting ARCs next year.
  • When gifting books, I will try buy books from my local bookshop, or Book Depository for free shipping purposes. Something for me to consider for Christmas.

So… Can I read 100 books this year?

Of course!

Winter is being released this last quarter so I have every intention of getting my grabby little hands on that. That’s one book I will devour. So with 38 books to go, that’s 12-13 books a month. There must be a hand in my back everyday. No cutting corners. I’ve really gotta push myself.

Wish me luck!

final love sharlene

Review: unDefeated by J.C. Valentine

Series: Wayward Fighters #3
Genre: Romance
Released: 26 May 2015
Length: 310 pages
Format: I read an ARC e-book

***I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my rating.***

» Book Blurb
Spencer Bradley ruins everything he touches. Addicted to gambling, he’s lied, cheated, and stolen to get what he wants. Now, in order to protect those he cares for, he’s keeping his distance. Rehab’s taught him a lot, but when his time runs out and he finds himself with nowhere to turn, he seeks help from the one person he’s capable of destroying.

Olivia Carter fell in love the day she met Spencer Bradley. Despite him being responsible for the downfall of his best friend’s career and landing himself in rehab, she can’t bring herself to stay away—even if it means risking her own recovery.

» First Sentence
Addiction comes in many forms – alcohol, drugs, sex.

» My Initial Reaction
Addiction is rough. This is gonna be an emotional ride.

» My Review
I don’t know how I made it to the end. This book was so emotional!

UnDefeated is the 3rd book in the Wayward Fighters series. I haven’t read the first 2, but don’t let that hold you back from diving into this book. It’s a great standalone too. Knockout, the first book in this series, is available on Kindle for free! Grab it today!

Olivia, has been battling her life threatening addiction to cut herself. Spencer, straight out of rehab for his gambling addiction, jumps back into Olivia’s life. He has no-one else to turn to and Olivia just wants Spencer back in her life, her own health be damned.

They have to work out how to deal with their own addictions and how to communicate with eachother so they don’t go on a backward spiral. It’s not smooth sailing which makes for a quick read.

I like Liv’s character. She works 2 jobs to get by, hairdressing & bar tending. She’s got her weaknesses and strengths, but she takes a risk to keep Spencer in her life, any way she can get.

I feel like J.C. Valentine really researched these addictions. I’ve not dealt with these struggles in my life but the characters and story lines are realistic.

I definitely need to get my hands on the first two books of this series to know where Liv & Spencer’s story begins. I’m sure knowing the full background, this could become a 5 star rating.

» My Rating
4 Leaf

» Author Stalker Links
J.C. Valentine is a pen name for Brandi Salazar. Brandi started writing poetry, short stories, and novels at a very young age, weaving tales to share with her friends that were geared toward making them laugh. Today her writing habits reflect that, ranging from young adult to urban fiction romance, but no matter how different her works may be, you can always find a healthy dose of action, romance, and humor. Brandi lives in the Northwest with her husband, their children, and pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream to become an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

View all my reviews

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts – #5

Bookish and Not So Bookish ThoughtsBookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a regular meme hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous Books.

Kia Ora everyone!

I don’t know how I missed posting last week and this is a few days late. I hope to make up for my slack posting this week. This week I finished an ARC I received last year, so a review for Dante’s Fire is coming soon.

In Bookish news,

1. I signed up to be a tour host for IndieSagePR so expect to see regular book blitz, cover releases, teasers, reviews, book blog tours right here on SharleneSays. I will do my best to stick to standalone novels or firsts in a series, unless its the next book in a series I have already featured.

2. I’m 2 books ahead of schedule for my 2015 Goodreads Challenge. I’m doing my best to keep it like this so I have to read 1-2 books every week. You can check out the list of books I’ve read here.

3. I’m halfway through reading the Bloodlines series. Next on my agenda is Silver Shadows.

In Not So Bookish news,

4. I take part in a weekly twitter chat with people worldwide about various topics concerning church and social media. If you wanna know more, follow @chsocm or check out our discussions using #chsocm.

5. During this week’s chat, I discovered Digiproud, a blog with advice on digital and social media for churches. The latest post “5 Ideas for Regular Features” is pretty generic and could be adapted for us bloggers too. Give something people will look forward to. Gosh, I hope I do that?

6. Lastly, tonight NZ says goodbye to Cyclone Pam. Towns up the eastern coast were worse off than us here in Gisborne, severe floods and evacuations. Nothing compared to the devastation in Vanuatu. I keep everyone in my prayers.

That’s a wrap for my week. What have you read lately? Tell me all about it in the comments section.

final love sharlene

Feb Wrap Up & Mar TBR

I signed up for a monthly challenge! Month two and I’m already breaking my reading resolutions for 2015. Not a good start but I AM getting to all those series I started a few years back.

I contributed 3 books to the Crazy for YA Feb Book Pool and only read one!

  1. The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3) by Michelle Hodkin
  2. Redeemed (House of Night, #12) by P.C. Cast
  3. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I only added Shadow and Bone because someone had added the second book and this series is on my TBR. I’m putting The Retribution of Mara Dyer on hold until I can pick up book #2 and have a little reread. All I can remember is the guy was worthy of a Swoon Worthy Saturday post 😛

Books that I actually read in Feb:

  1. Summer’s Crossing (Iron Fey, #3.5) by Julie Kagawa
  2. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  3. The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4) by Julie Kagawa
  4. Iron’s Prophecy (The Iron Fey, #4.5) by Julie Kagawa (SERIES END)
  5. Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) by Richelle Mead (spin-off from Vampire Academy)
  6. The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) by Richelle Mead
  7. Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) by Stephanie Perkins (SERIES END)
  8. Redeemed (House of Night, #12) by P.C. & Kristin Cast
  9. The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3) by Richelle Mead

Grisha didn’t even make an appearance! I was too into the Bloodline series. I seriously need the next book.

While I was in Taupo, I stopped by their public library. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater on the shelf. Gizzy hasn’t got this yet. So, naturally, I sat down and read the prologue and first 2 chapters. I miss these misfit characters! Can’t wait to get my paws on that book again.

I have a few books out from the library but they were for the Crazy for YA Book Pool and I don’t think they are on my TBR so they are going back unread. I don’t mind that. I am aiming to reduce my TBR Mountain!

  1. The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)
  2. Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)
  3. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)

Each of those are about 400 pages and equate to about half of what I would normally read in a month. With University starting back up this week I have a few readings for assignments but I might be able to swing one or two more books.

What are you reading this month? Would love to hear what you think of any of the books I’ve read or plan to read.

final love sharlene

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts – #4

Bookish and Not So Bookish ThoughtsBookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a regular meme hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous Books.

Kia Ora everyone!

How has your week been? I couldn’t believe it was February already and now half of it has gone. This year is gonna be just like last year. Gone before I know it.

In Bookish news,

1. I really am not sticking to my reading resolutions for 2015. It’s the second month of the year and I signed up to a monthly reading challenge. The Crazy for Young Adult Book Pool. There were a few books listed that were part of series that I want to read this year. At the very least it might encourage me to read these sooner.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey movie has been released and I still haven’t been to see it yet. I knew there were gonna be mixed reviews. I certainly don’t want to re-read the book before I got see it either. I will just compare everything and be sad about all the parts that were missed. Unleash your wildest fantasies and watch the trailer here:

3. There are a a couple of new releases that are on my TBR and available now. The cover for Red Queen looks amazing and comes highly recommended by the ladies of #TeamEpicReads. The Ruby Circle is part of the Bloodlines series, the spin off from Vampire Academy. I don’t need to read the blurb to know its definitely on my TBR. Finally, Fairest. The novella before the next instalment of the Lunar Chronicles. Fans of the series wanna know what the deal is with Queen Levana and this bridging book is bound to answer our questions.


In Not So Bookish news,

4. My readers for the Professional Writing paper I’ve enrolled in have arrived. It has assignment dates and everything but the course isn’t available online yet. I should be reading some of those before my leisure reads. They should be at the very top of my TBR, but they can go to the bottom of the pile. Hey, at least they are making it to a pile. I could wait for the course to start?

5. I’m posting regularly now. The timings are a little sporadic. I have made me a blogging diary for 2015 so by next month you might know what to expect from this site each week. I’m really looking forward to posting a Swoon Worthy Saturday meme soon. They’ll be the last Saturdays of the month, I know that much!

Well, that wraps up my thoughts for this week. University is heading back soon. Are you going back to further education? Be interested to see what your plans are, balancing the goodreads with your College reads. Maybe you have some tricks to share. Let me know. I’m gonna need all the help I can. I don’t wanna put my books down.

Ciao for now!

final love sharlene