The Liebster Award

I started Zoie’s Bookshelf back in November 2014, over a year ago, not ever imagining how supportive and amazing the blogging community could be. The Liebster Award is just another example of how great this type of community truly is. And what is it, you may be wondering? The Liebster Award is given to bloggers who have under 200 followers that have been nominated by other bloggers to congratulate and promote them. Sounds cool, right? I was fortunate enough to recieve a nomination from Franciska at Life is Sweet in Books, a fellow book blogger. Thank you so much, Franciska, for this amazing opportunity! I love the idea of spreading the love of blogging, and I’m really grateful to be a part of it 🙂

Let’s get started, shall we?

Here are the rules, as follows:

Thank the nominator

Display the award

Answer the questions

Nominate ten more bloggers with ten new questions

Notify the Nominees

Here’s the award:

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Answer the questions:

Life is Sweet in Books asked her nominees ten (amazing!) questions, so read below to see them and my answers!

What is your favourite trilogy?

Whenever I hear the word trilogy, I immediately think of dystopian fiction, such as The Hunger Games, or Divergent. And while I loved both of those collections, my pick would have to be The Selection trilogy, by Kiera Cass. I realize that with her latest release The Heir, it is no longer a trilogy but a series. But I’m going to make an exception, especially when The Heir doesn’t focus on America Singer like the first three do. So we’ll just pretend that The Heir is more like a sequel to the series, since The Selection technically was a trilogy up until May of last year. 😉

What is your favourite genre?

This one is easy- Young Adult Fiction! Of course, by saying that I am also allowing many sub-genres, such as YA Romance, YA Dystopia, and YA Fantasy. Typically, I like reading realistic fiction, because as a teenager myself I find that many characters have stories that are worth telling, while also not so far away from the truth that I can also relate. But if you read my last post you’d know I’m getting back into other sub-genres, like fantasy!

Hardcover or paperback?

This was actually a difficult decision for me, because as a bookworm I know the pros and cons of both. In the end, though, I had to decide on hardcover, as it means less of a chance of ruining the cover. Paperback covers can so easily get scratched and bent, and there’s nothing more heartbreaking to a reader than seeing a mistreated cover!

Why did you start a blog?

I started Zoie’s Bookshelf to let my voice be heard, and to have my opinions out there for others to see and think about. I like how I’m able to share my book recommendations to fellow readers, because spreading the love of books is truly a magical thing! If I am able to make an impact on a reader’s life by bringing them yet another wonderful read, then I have done my job as a blogger and book advisor!

What book would you recommend to everyone?

There are so many novels out there that it was hard to choose just one, but I’ve decided to say Anne of Green Gables, by L.M Montgomery. While not YA Fiction, it is a literary classic, one that I feel everyone should get the chance to read. It’s not only a book for girls Anne Shirley’s age, but for people of all ages and sexes. It’s such a sweet and beautifully-written novel, and I cherished it. Despite it being published nearly a century ago, it’s a story that is still known today, and doesn’t that mean it should be worth your time to go check it out? I loved it, and I’m sure many others will as well.

If you could visit a book world, what world would that be?

Um, I don’t even need to think twice for this one! Without a doubt, I would visit Hogwarts. The Harry Potter series were the books that first got me into reading, and for that I am thankful. It had been a dream of mine to recieve my acceptance letter into Hogwarts, get sorted into a house, and learn plenty of magical spells and charms. Who knows- I could’ve befriended Harry, Ron, and Hermione and played a vital part in the stories. Since that didn’t happen, I’d jump at the chance to visit, if only for a moment. I’d give anything to glimpse into the magical world that had sparked manys an imagination out of me as a child.

What is your favourite quote?

I love quotes, I really do. This is why this question really excites me! I’m going to go above and beyond and offer my readers two of my favourite quotes instead of the requested one, just because I’d love to share them. The first one is anonymous, and is as follows: “The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.” I love this one! It sends the clear and true message that in order to shoot for the stars, you’re going to have to work for your success, as it cannot just be gained in a snap.

My second quote is a book one, which I feel is fitting for a book blog! This is from Anne of Green Gables, where Anne tells Marilla “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Message it’s sending: Tomorrow is a clean slate. Whatever may have gone wrong today can be fixed tomorrow, because you have the chance to change things. Things can get better, and tomorrow is a new day to begin.

If you could meet a character from a book, what character would that be?

Hard question to answer! But again I’m going to say Anne- Anne of Green Gables that is. There’s something so quirky and loveable about her that I know we’d hit it off right away. She’s a kindred spirit, and I hope I am one too. She’d help me find out. Either way, she’d be a great person to be acquainted with for the day, because I know she’d keep me entertained the entire time! She’s the best type of person to become friends with- the type that brings out the best in you.

Who is your favourite superhero?

I’m going to be honest here- I’m not really into superheros. I know, I know! Does Harry Potter count as a superhero though? I mean, he has powers and everything, and he’s a hero to boot. I’m going to choose him anyway, even though officially he isn’t a superhero. Well, in the fiction world he is!

Have you got any secret abilities???

Hmm… let’s think. I’m pretty sure reading and writing are the extent of my secret abilities, and they’re not so secret after all. But hey, those are pretty cool super powers, right?

And now for the bloggers that I nominate. (Drum roll, please!)

Don’t Bug Me I’m Reading

“History Will Be Kind to Me, For I Intend to Write it”

Reviewing Central

Confessions of the Undefinable

An Everyday Adventurer’s Journey

Dear Author

La Toya M. Sutton

Kristina Van Hoose

Head2Toe

Inky Books

Here are my ten questions!

  1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
  2. How do you spend your time on a rainy day?
  3. Are you a coffee or tea person?
  4. What inspires you?
  5. What are your favourite things to blog about- any favourite features?
  6. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  7. What are your favourite books?
  8. What is a movie or televison series you find yourself always going back to watch?

And because I loved Franciska’s questions, I’m going to use two of hers!

9. Who is your favourite superhero?

10. Do you have any secret abilities?

So that’s all! Thank you so much Franciska for the wonderful questions and of course for nominating me! Sorry it took me some time to get around to, but it was really fun and I love the idea of speading some love among others in the blogging community.

Also, make sure to check out Franciska’s blog, Life is Sweet in Books. It’s the perfect getaway for bookworms, trust me!

Keep on blogging, everybody!

Zoie ❤

 

 

 

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YA: A Genre on its Own?

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Recently here on Zoie’s Bookshelf I wrote a post about my reading resolutions for 2016, and how my number one goal for the year was to be more diverse in my book selections- more specifically, widen my genre horizons. (Do ‘genre horizons’ even exist? Let’s just go with it, okay?)

In 2015, I was introduced into the wonderful world of Young Adult Fiction, discovering some of my new favourite books, and of course authors, such as Rainbow Rowell and Sarah Dessen. But if you recognize these authors, you’d know that they write for YA Contemporary, or realistic if you will, for the exception of Rowell’s Carry On, which was a fantasy. And it wasn’t that I didn’t love all these stories, but I felt like as a true reader, I couldn’t limit myself to only one genre.

Which brings me to my bigger point: can YA be considered a genre on its own?

There are multiple types of Young Adult Fiction- Realistic, Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal… you name it, they’re all there. And I am under the strong belief that YA Literature is a genre on its own; that all of these side ones are more sub-genres than anything.

So it wouldn’t be cheating if I continued to read YA, because these sub-genres would make up for diversity among my bookshelf. One sub-genre I’m particularily excited to get back into would be of fantasy, as I used to be a big reader of it, immersing myself in the newly-constructed worlds authors has mastermindfully created. Because while realistic fiction is relatable, in fantasy there are these whole other rules to live by, complete different ways of life that can have magical realism in them. I can read worlds that I could only hope to one day write. It’s incredible.

Some YA books that I am looking forward to reading this year (that are not contemporary) include Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, A Court of Thorns and Roses and the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, and of course Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. Also, I am currently reading Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, a YA Star Wars novel.

If this list doesn’t prove how I’m trying to be the type of reader that will read any type of genre (or, fine, sub-genre), I don’t know what will. Because even though there are multiple sub-genres out there, I will slowly make (or READ) my way across them all.

a court of thorns and roses Cinder Lost-Stars Vengeance-Road sixofcrows    glass-sword the5thwave throne-of-glass-cover

So fellow bookworms, what do you say? Want to expand your genre horizons along with me? 😉

Keep on reading!

Zoie 🙂

 

2016 Reading Resolutions

This year, for my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge, I set my goal for 60 books. And while that’s my ultimate goal, there are some reading resolutions I’d like to make, and (hopefully) keep. It is the start of a new year, right? It’s the perfect time to make new resolutions.

So, here they are:

  1. To read from different genres.

I admit that I am guilty of not making a huge effort to read a more diverse variety of genres, mostly because I am so in love with YA Contemporary. But I’ve set this as my number one book resolution since as a bookworm I want to widen my horizons and be able to read anything. So this year it is my hope that I try different genres besides realistic, such as more fantasy, science fiction, dystopia, mystery, or even horror…

2. To read more classics. 

Yes. I understand this somewhat ties in with number one, but I decided that this needed to be a resolution on its own, because classics are called classics for a reason. So far I’ve read Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice, but there are many on my shelf I have yet to open, and 2016 is the perfect opportunity to get working on that!

3. Re-read the Harry Potter series.

Every year since I first read this beloved series, I’ve re-read it annually. But (insert horror/shocked gasps here) 2015 was the only expection. So I’m intent on making this year different, because I miss Hogwarts and the wonderful world that J.K Rowling created, and the series that made me fall in love with reading.

As odd as it sounds, it was actually hard coming up with these resolutions, minimal as they were! All I knew was that I wanted to expand my book selections, and I’ve been thinking of different books I’d like to pick up. (A Court of Thorns and Roses and Six of Crows, anyone?)

Unlike those who make resolutions the way they make empty promises, I fully intend to keep and shoot for these goals. After all, I have at least sixty books to explore, or re-explore!

Have a great 2016,

Zoie 😉

My Top Books of 2015

Boy, has this been quite the reading year! It was the one where I emerged myself in YA, discovered many of my favourite novels, and met many extraordinary characters, most of whom I felt were my very best friends. Of course, in a year of so many books there were some that exceptionally stood out to me, ones I know I will forever remember, as well as read time and time again!

I couldn’t possibily narrow them down to only five or so, here they are, in no particular order:

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                                                                                                                    Anne of Green Gables for me was a classic I feel I can never part without, because the characters in it were ones that would stay with me forever. I loved the world L.M Montgomery created, and all the adventures (not to mention trouble) Anne got into! She and I are kindred spirits for sure 🙂

Fangirl was the book I re-read the most this year, wiFANGIRLth a grand total of FOUR TIMES! I started reading it on an e-reader, but even a few chapters in I knew I needed the hard copy in my hands, and my friend bought it for me for my birthday. After I finished it the first time, I went right back to page one and started again, because it was a story I didn’t ecarry onver want to leave.

And because I have Fangirl, I’ll follow it right up with Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, a fantasy that started off as just a seedling in Fangirl. I loved it so much, with great voice and a page-turning plot. Rowell strikes again! allthebrightplaces

All the Bright Places was also a favourite this year, written by the delightful Jennifer Niven. It was such a deep and thought-provoking story, with wonderful characters and the best kind of romance. I couldn’t get enough of it, dreading the moment when I was too tired to even turn the next page, because all I wanted to was to continue reading!Red-Queen-Victoria-Aveyard

Red Queen, as some of you know, was definitely one of my top books of the year. Beautifully written by debut author Victoria Aveyard, it was all anyone would want in a book.  Find out why everyone should read Red Queen.emmy&oliver

I also really, truly loved Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. The friendship that bonded the characters together was so strong and the story just plain incredible. Emmy & Oliver have become one of my favourite literary couples, adding yet another one to my list!

And thea little something differentnsigns point to yes, of course, we have a A Little Something Different! Sandy Hall just has this knack for writing the most adorable romances ever, and her debut was just a pleasure to read. I’m also going to put her second novel, Signs Point to Yes, because I loved it nearly as much.

I’m going to follow Sandy Hall’s work with other Swoon Reads titles, 22718710including Kimberly Karalius’s Love Fortunes and OtherVelvet-Temple-West Disasters (I got the priviledge to do an interview with the wonderful author, as well as a book review, so check them out if you’re interested in reading about the whimsical world of Grimbaud!) and Temple West’s Velvet. I was never one for vampire romances, but this book might have turned me. (Pun intended!)

There have also been so many others- 2015 truly was a spectacular year for reading! Other favourites have been A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern, Finding Audrey by Sopie Kinsella, First & Then by Emma Mills, The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner, Kissing in America by Margo Rabb, Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat, and None of the Above by I.W Gregorio.

Hopefully 2016 has just as many great books to offer!

Cheers to the new year,

Zoie 🙂

 

A Funny Thing Happened When…

… I went to the library. I was on a book high, as it so often happens when I go to the library (and who wouldn’t be when it’s a book lover’s paradise? All of these books at your disposal- for free!?)

I went to my local library to pick up four holds, but thought I’d stop by the teen section before getting my books and immediately going home. I first saw Love Fortunes and Other Disasters, which is a book I’ve heard lots about and has been recently released. I had been hesitant before on placing a hold on it, because I wasn’t sure if it was the type of book that would interest me. But seeing it RIGHT THERE, in the flesh- well, it was a completely different story. So I took it off the shelf, and placed it into the hands of yours truly. (But c’mon, these hands are exceptionally loving when it comes to handling books, haha). Then I saw Kissing in America, which again didn’t sound like something I would read, but it was a featured teen recommendation on my library’s website, and like I said before- completely different story. I figured if I didn’t like it, I’d just return it, no big deal. I just knew I had to grab these new YA novels before anyone else would (as I write this, I know I’m a book hog, but that’s okay; I have a feeling I’ll love them all anyway).

So that’s how I ended up with Like it Never Happened, along with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Proof of Forever, Playing with Matches, and A Thousand Pieces of You, the four reasons I was in the library today. (Immaculate was there from a previous library trip.)

I got a number of odd looks as I walked to the checkout holding a stack of seven books, but that’s alright. Because one thing’s for sure- I’m all set for summer! There’s no need for checking out anymore novels from my book wonderland, but knowing me, I probably will. 😉

——-> But then again, there’s no such thing as too many books!

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I think my library trip was a success!

My Top Five

Today I decided that it was time to post my top five Sarah Dessen books! While I love all of her books, there has to be ones that I exceptionally love. To me, these five were the standouts out of Sarah Dessen’s twelve published books:

5. Keeping the Moon

keeping the moon

This book is ultimately about friendship, and what it means to be a friend. The third published out of Sarah Dessen’s collection, Keeping the Moon is one that you seek out to read when you are in need of some cheering-up. In this book, you can truly feel what the narrator, Colie, is trying to say. She had been mistreated by her peers in past years, and when she comes to visit her eccentric aunt Mira one summer, she lands herself a job as a waitress in a local café. It is there that she meets two best friends, Morgan and Isabel. They teach her to believe in herself, and keep a high self-esteem. With such a powerful and valuable message, this book was a delight to read, and one I certainly would recommend to Sarah Dessen fans.

4. Along for the Ride

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For me, this book was such a pleasure to read. I finished it in a flat four days, because once I got to the bottom of a page, I was tempted to turn it, and so on, and so on. It was one of those books that had a smooth plot line, and was easy to follow, but also had a story that was worth reading. It’s a book set in the time that anything can happen- summer, and is why I urge those who don’t know what to read this summer to check it out! It’s definitely sure to put a smile on your face 😉

3. Saint Anything

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Dessen’s newest release is a bit different from her others, if only because it’s a bit darker from the rest. It is a story about a girl who is “searching for her place in her family and the world.” This was an engaging read, and I really, really loved it. There were new people to fall in love with, such as Layla, Mac, and the protagonist, Sydney. It was insightful; really bringing me into the world of someone who feels excluded from her parent’s care, as well as someone who discovers that she can find acceptance in others, and feel truly welcome after all. For those who have not yet read her latest book, I guarantee that it will not disappoint!

2. The Truth About Forever

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It was a difficult decision for me not to make this number one, but it was This Lullaby that eventually won the race. Still, there is so much to enjoy about this book. The thing that I especially loved about it was that it started off with this prospect of a long and boring summer, but ended up, of course, with it being much more than that. It goes on to show what can go on in those 374 pages that can change the course of someone’s summer, and how a great story can come out of it. There were characters (*cough, cough, Monica!*) that really stuck with me, and the message that things can get better. So much happened in this book, but I guess you have to read it to believe it. If you want to find out more, check out my review on it here!

1. This Lullaby

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There obviously has to be a reason that out of twelve published books, this is the one that I chose to rank first. It was one that you never wanted to put down, one that made you laugh out loud, and one that made you smile… a lot. And really, there are lots of reasons why I love this novel, but my main point has to be the engaging characters. There’s Dexter, who, because of this novel, became my favourite character created by Sarah Dessen. He’s the type of person that, when in his company, will never bore you. Besides that is the protagonist, Remy, who is quite the opposite of Dexter. Where he is easy-going, she can be cold and indifferent, someone who is sure of everything. The plot for this novel progressed very smoothly, each chapter significant to the book. The writing in this one just seemed so perfect, full of witty jokes and clever words. The author herself even said that “Writing it was like going to a party every day,” and that it is “The only book that I would ever consider writing a sequel to.” (Source, her website!) Fortunately, Remy and Dexter make a cameo appearance in her seventh book, Just Listen. 

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What are your favourite Sarah Dessen books? Let me know in the comments below!

Your fellow bookworm,

Zoie 🙂

A Book Blog

Judging by the title of my blog, Zoie’s Bookshelf, you can obviously tell it’s about books. And as an avid reader, there’s nothing I love more than a good book blog! When you look at my reviews and monthly reads, you’re able to see that I am mostly a fan of YA Fiction, whether it’s realistic or dystopian. Sure, there are the few classics I have taken to reading, like Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice, but generally you’ll find me cuddled up with a good novel geared to teens.

But think! There are so many book blogs out there, they can’t possibly be about the same genre. So I took it upon myself to do some searching, and alas, I found this blog:

Don’t Bug Me I’m Reading

dontbugmeimreading.com

Okay, first of all, that title? Perfect! That is a slogan for all readers, one that we live by. For any people who even want to think about approaching us when we are deep into a story, already gone from this world but transferred into the pages, beware. “Don’t Bug Me I’m Reading” should be a neon sign with a huge arrow, pointing at the reader. Because it never really is okay to interrupt a reader, unless for a very good reason. Just a heads-up, in case you decide to make that ruthless mistake. (Just kidding, though some readers may argue that is it not a joking matter.)

But moving on, it was a few days ago when I discovered the blog. It’s different from mine- instead of it being aimed at teenagers, it’s a blog that reviews books for adults. There are only a few entries on it so far, but nonetheless, I believe I may have just found myself a new blog to follow!

And you should too- it’s great! It’s fairly new, with it being launched just in the first week of June. But despite that, I can’t wait for future posts! Check it out 👍

Your book blog advisor,

Zoie 😉