Monday, April 25, 2016

How I Rate Books! [2016 Update]

Hey, y'all! So, I've been doing a lot of reading. I know what you're thinking: "Kristen, you always do a lot of reading!" and to that I would say, "Well yeah. Kinda." I got a bit slumpy last year. A lot. And now that I've gotten back in the groove of reading a lot (12 books in February, 9 in March!) I've realized that my descriptions of ratings no longer accurately describe my reasoning for giving out certain ratings. And what I mean by this is that (for example) I have descriptions explaining what a "6/10" means to me, and literally every time I give out a 6/10 rating, I think that the description no longer describes how I actually feel about that number rating. So, I'm going through and re-vamping everything. Below, you'll find the list of possible ratings (with some excluded-- you'll see why) as well as descriptions of what these mean to me and words/books that I associate with that specific rating.

Explanation/Changes

After using my previous rating system for ~ a year, I realized that it was very skewed toward enjoyment of a book. I realized that 95% of ratings I was giving were 3/5 or higher. And that's not necessarily how I actually feel about the books that I read. So, I decided to do something to fix that.

I personally give ratings out of 10 stars instead of 5. I feel that it allows for more accuracy/nuances within my system. However, I also have recently realized that I do still rely heavily upon the 5 star system. I discovered that my personal feelings toward a book tend to dictate the star rating out of 5, while my critical eye dictates where within that star rating the book falls. Allow me to explain by giving you my description of each rating out of 5, as well as the "10 star" breakdown within those.


Ratings out of 5:

5 STAR RATING
If I give a book 5/5 stars on Goodreads, it means I really loved that book. Like, a lot. I could have a couple problems with it, but my feelings are strong enough about the book that I ignore them. 

Ratings out of 10 within this rating: 10/10 & 9.5/10

4 STAR RATING
If I give a book 4/5 stars on Goodreads, it means I really liked the book. Books within favorite series tend to be 4/5 or higher. These are books that I enjoyed that will also stay with me. They may not have been as amazingly outstanding as their 5/5 counterparts, but they're ones that I thoroughly enjoyed and that will stick with me.

Ratings out of 10 within this rating: 8/10 - 9/10

3 STAR RATING
If I give a book 3/5 stars on Goodreads, it means I liked it. I enjoyed reading it, and it *probably* didn't have any huge, glaring problems. The key difference between 3 and 4 star books is that 3 star books don't stick with me as much. They're not going to show up on any favorites lists, but they're also not going to show up on any least favorites lists. 

Ratings out of 10 within this rating: 6/10 - 7.5/10

2 STAR RATING
If I give a book 2/5 stars on Goodreads, it means I had definite problems with it. If I think about a book and the first thing that comes to my mind is a laundry list of problems I had with it, it's probably here. It's likely not an outright hatred of the book, but I just didn't like it. Maybe it wasn't my thing or there were aspects that I thought were bad, but either way, my overall thoughts about it are negative ones. This is also my "most likely to lie to myself rating." I don't know how many times I've given a book a low 3/5 only to change it to 2/5 later because I'd been trying to convince myself that I liked it. 

Ratings out of 10 within this rating: 4/10 - 5.5/10

1 STAR RATING
If I give a book 1/5 stars on Goodreads, it means I strongly disliked the book. I like to call this my "kill it with fire" rating. Unlike a 2 star rating, when I think of this book, I don't automatically think of its problems. I automatically think of my complete disgust for the book.You're probably wondering why this one takes up the largest numerical range, and that's just because I give it out so infrequently. Rarely do I pick up a book that I loathe, and rarely do I make it all the way through a book that I really don't like. However, this rating stays here, ready for whatever awful book I see fit to put into it eventually.   

Ratings out of 10 within this rating: 0/10 - 3.5/10


Ratings out of 10:
(and books that are examples of that rating)

10/10: Literal perfection. My mind is blown and I probably just want to hug it.
Examples of 10 star books:  The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson & The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

9.5/10: I still absolutely love this book, but I either have some small problems with it or there's something indefinable about it that makes me feel like it's not quite a 10 star book.
Examples of 9.5 star books: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell & Night Film by Marisha Pessl

9/10: I really enjoyed this book, and it's right at the upper end of the 4/5 spectrum, but I just can't bring myself to give it a full 5/5. I kinda view this as an -A. Really good, but not quite amazing. A key aspect that gets a book up to a 9 (instead of an 8.5) is that typically, there's a specific aspect that really impresses me, whether that's world building, the characters, etc.
Examples of 9 star books: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson & The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

8.5/10: This book is really great, and I really enjoy it. This book is really solid and it's definitely going to stick with me. I may have had a couple problems with it, but it's overall very strong across every aspect.
Examples of 8.5 star books: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen & City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

8/10: I really enjoy this book and it will definitely still stick with me, but I found some problems. Technically, this book might borderline a 3/5 rating because of the quality, but I enjoyed it enough that I felt that it deserved a 4/5 rating.
Examples of 8 star books: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie & Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley

7.5/10: On the flip side of the 8/10, this one borders on 4/5, but doesn't quite get there because I didn't enjoy it quite as much. I find problems with it, but it gets a rating within the 3/5 rating because of my enjoyment more than because of the quality.
Examples of 7.5 star books: Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman & Lexicon by Max Barry

7/10: I like this book, but I don't think that it's particularly special. I enjoyed it, and might think that it's a fun read, but it didn't really impress me in any way. It's missing some sort of depth, uniqueness, or freshness that's present in books with higher ratings.
Examples of 7 star books: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs & Murder After Hours by Agatha Christie

6.5/10: Essentially the same reasoning as 7/10, but I like it less than I like a 7 star book/have more problems with it.
Examples of 6.5 star books: Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

6/10: Once again, the same reasoning as the two before it, but right at the bottom of books that I can still say that I like.
Examples of 6 star books: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Ten by Gretchen McNeil

5.5/10: I didn't like this book, but I also don't hate this book. I found a lot of problems with it. I guess my feelings toward it could be described as vague dislike or indifference. 4.5-5.5 are about the same in the fact that I have a vague dislike or indifference toward them, but the variance between them is mostly in how I feel about them quality-wise. As stated in the 2/5 description, the first thing I tend to think of with these books are the problems I have with it. And the more problems, the lower the rating.
Examples of 5.5 star books: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie & Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse

5/10: Like with the previous rating, I have a vague dislike or indifference toward this book. With this rating, the indifference is probably the strongest because it is exactly in the middle. And, it should go without saying, but I had a lot of problems with this book.
Examples of 5 star books: Ghosted Vol. 1: Haunted Heist by Joshua Williamson

4.5/10: Once again, this is pretty much the same as the two before it, but there's more of a dislike and the quality is lower. If I give a book this rating, I once again had problems with it, but I could see myself saying that I dislike it.
Examples of 4.5 star books: Wildflower by Janine Carbone & Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

4/10: I'm not quite to hatred of this book, but I could definitely say that I dislike it. As noted in the 2/5 rating description, the first thing that comes to mind with this book is still a laundry list of problems rather than "I hated it."
Examples of 4 star books: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi & The Leveller by Julia Durango

3.5 & lower: If I give a book 3.5 or lower (AKA 1/5), I really disliked this book. When I think of it, my immediate reaction is "ugh, I hate that book."
Examples of 3.5 & lower books: Looking for Alaska by John Green

So, that's it for my re-working of my ratings! I've tried very hard to make everything as clear as possible, but let me know down in the comments if there's anything that you're confused about or would like clarified.

Check out my links below!


Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ranking Project Runway Designers #2 [193-204]


Hey, y'all! So I'm back with the next post in my series ranking all of the Project Runway designers! As I said in the last post, this is a new 18 post series on my blog, with each post consisting of the next 12 designers. 

Here's my disclaimer again: Any and all comments are my opinions on them based on the way they presented themselves on the show (and of course, the way the show was edited) and in no way is a reflection of how they are in real life. The way a contestant presents themself on a show, combined with the editing of the show, is not necessarily the way they are outside of the show, and because I don't know these people personally, I can only go based off of the way they were portrayed on the show. 

Also, I feel like this is a little obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. If you don't want to be spoiled for what happens in the show or what order people go home, don't read any further. Because I will mention what place the person got. And I'll be talking about All-Stars placings too, if applicable, so just bear that in mind before continuing to read on. So let's just jump right into the next 10 on the list.

204. Vanessa Riley
Season 1- 9th Place

Vanessa was just very annoying. She thought she was this amazing designer and was so full of herself, but she couldn't sew super well and didn't really make anything noteworthy. On top of that, she was loud and annoying and always had to make his presence known. And possibly worst of all, she felt the need to cut down her other designers and the show once she was done with it, and that's just not cool. She literally stormed out of the reunion halfway through. What??


203. Elisa Jimenez
Season 4- 10th Place
All Stars Season 1- 13th Place

Oh, Elisa. She's one of the craziest people to ever be on Project Runway, if not the absolute craziest. I'm all for being weird, but she was crazy. She thought she was from a different planet. She wrote backward and upside down. She put spit marks on her fabric. What even?? And on top of all of that, I just didn't think that she was a good designer. I thought her designs were just really kooky.


202. Andrea Katz
Season 10- 14th Place (Quit)

Right off the bat, she quit. And she didn't just quit, she left in the middle of the night without any warning. What? On top of that, she just wasn't a pleasant person. She didn't really handle criticism very well, and her designs were just.........

WHAT EVEN? I just don't get it and I think it's kooky. I just didn't like her aesthetic and thought she was an unpleasant person.


201. Carmen Webber
Season 4- 13th Place

Once again, first off, I thought that she wasn't a good designer. On top of that, however, she didn't really seem to get the show. When she saw people discussing her in their confessionals, she took everything extremely personally and got extremely easily offended. Haven't you seen the show? People are going to talk about you! That's how it works! On top of that even more, her personality was just really annoying. She's one of the other people who reminds me of a person I know and gives off the "overly put together suburban housewife" vibe. As I said in the last post, it's not that these women actually are suburban housewives, but to me, they just put off that vibe and it gets under my skin a bit.


200. Pamela Ptak
Season 7- 15th Place

Pamela might be another one that you forgot about as well. But as with Lantie and Carmen, I didn't forget her because I really didn't like her. She just seemed like such a ditz and she was a total type A personality, which is not my fave in the slightest. I just got really annoyed by her. Like Carmen (and of some other designers on this list), she gave off that same "overly put together suburban housewife" vibe, and I think that's part of the reason I really disliked her. 


199. Kirsten Ehrig
Season 2- 14th Place

Oh look! Just like Carmen, Lantie, and Pamela, Kirsten gives off the "overly put together suburban housewife" vibe. She just really got on my nerves in a way that is really difficult to describe. And on top of that, I really didn't like her designs. And when she needed to use her own clothing for a design, she was completely not creative with it, and she refused to adapt to the challenges.


198. Ping Wu
Season 7- 14th Place

Oh, Ping. She was just a mess, wasn't she? I just didn't get her designs at all. The judges seemed to at least get her aesthetic, but I just didn't. On the challenge where she and Jesse had to work together, I just got constantly annoyed with her because she was a bad team player and she made stupid decisions (when she could actually manage to make a decision). And that was just one episode. The rest of the time, I just constantly got annoyed by how all-over-the-place she was.


197. Patricia Michaels
Season 11- Runner-up
All Stars Season 4- 14th Place

I'm just not a fan of Patricia's designs, and I thought that her personality was slightly annoying. I thought that her designs were just really crafty and not high-fashion. And like I said, I wasn't a fan of her personality.


196. Ken Laurence
Season 12- 8th Place
All-Stars Season 5- Top 3 (currently ongoing season)


I actually really liked Ken at first. I thought that he was strong and funny and sassy. But then he just became a real jerk. He was difficult to work with, he lashed out at several people, and he was just plain mean.


195. Gretchen Jones
Season 8- Winner

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Gretchen was just a mean girl. The sad thing is that if she'd had a more likable personality, she'd actually be significantly higher on this list because I actually liked several of her designs. Like, the first three challenges, I thought she was really solid. However, her entire time on Project Runway is marred by her badmouthing people and just being really catty. Plus, she just went downhill after a while and I honestly didn't really like her finale collection very much. Just... ugh.


194. Irina Shabayeva
Season 6- Winner
All Stars Season 3- 6th Place

Clearly, Irina is not this low on the list because of her designing ability. However, I do think that she got lucky. I think that if she had competed on most of the other seasons, she wouldn't have won. Season 6 is my least favorite season, and I think it's also one of the weakest seasons. Plus, I'm just definitely not a fan of her design aesthetic. Anyway, Irina was just really full of herself and a bit of a jerk to everyone else on the show. I just really didn't like her.


193. Heidi Standridge
Season 2- 15th Place


Yet another person who I wasn't upset to see leave in the first episode! Because I have the DVD set of season 2, I've also seen all of the casting videos for each of the contestants. And some of my dislike of her comes from that. One thing that you have to understand with me is that when someone is too happy or enthusiastic, because it comes off as kinda dumb and insincere to me. So for me, she was way too easily excited and way too enthusiastic. I got annoyed after only a few seconds. She went on and on about how she liked to design funky things, and literally nothing that she made was funky. Fortunately, the judges called her out on that, and she was eliminated quickly.


So, those are the next 12 designers in my Project Runway designer rankings! I'll be back soon with the designers who got places 181-192! Who are your favorite and least favorite people to be on Project Runway? Let me know down in the comments!

Previous Post: Ranking Project Runway Designers #1 [205-216]
Next Post: Ranking Project Runway Designers #3 [181-192]

Check out my links below!


Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ranking Project Runway Designers #1 [205-216]


Hey, y'all! So, back in 2013, I ranked all of the Project Runway contestants and began to do blog posts on my rankings, but I wasn't completely up-to-date with designers, and it was just bad timing, so I stopped and deleted the posts in case I wanted to re-start the series. And then I tried again last year... and gave up. So I'm back again, starting fresh.

For this list, I counted only designers who have shown on the runway, excluding anyone who was eliminated as a semi-finalist (like they did in seasons 9 & 13). I also obviously didn't double-count people who appeared in multiple seasons, because they're still only a single person. After adding up everyone, I came up with 216 designers that I will be ranking throughout this series.

This will be a new mini-series on my blog. I've decided to divide the list up into 18 posts, each consisting of 12 designers. I'm not sure how often/regularly these will be posted, but I want to post at least 1/2 per week. I also decided that it would be more fun to work our way to my #1 spot, so I'm going to start at the bottom and make my way to the top of the list.

Also, I feel like I need to add on this disclaimer: 
Any and all comments are my opinions on them based on the way they presented themselves on the show (and of course, the way the show was edited) and in no way are a reflection of how they are in real life. The way a contestant presents themself on a show, combined with the editing of the show, is not necessarily the way they are outside of the show, and because I don't know these people personally, I can only go based off of the way they were portrayed on the show. 

Also, I feel like this is a little obvious, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway. If you don't want to be spoiled for what happens in the show or what order people go home, don't read any further. Because I will mention what place the person got. And I'll be talking about All-Stars placings too, if applicable, so just bear that in mind before continuing to read on. So let's just jump right into the first 12, AKA my 12 least favorite people to ever appear on Project Runway!


216. Jason Troisi
Season 8- 16th Place

I'm not sure words can accurately describe how annoyed I got with this dude. He was only on for two episodes, but he was so obnoxious the entire time. Both of the things that he made were butt-ugly and he just didn't seem to care about anything. He was just so full of himself and caught up in trying to intimidate the competition with his stupid hat. Ugh. He should have been eliminated episode one for taking the kimono he was given, turning it backward, and calling it done.


215. Cecilia Motwani
Season 9- 13th Place (Quit)

Ugh. I'm not sure I've ever wanted to punch someone in the face as much as I wanted to punch Cecilia in the face. First of all, she just gave up. But on top of that, I didn't ever like any of her designs, and she just got on my nerves constantly. She was such a Debbie Downer constantly. I mean, I'm a fairly negative person, but I try to be negative in a sarcastic, funny way. She was basically Kristen Stewart. She made one face, looked like she was high the entire time, and existed only to annoy.


214. Ivy Higa
Season 8- 8th Place
All-Stars Season 2- 5th Place

If Ivy isn't among your least favorite people to be on Project Runway, what are you even doing?!? She was obnoxious, full of herself, and just flat-out mean. She thought that her designs were amazing, when they were probably some of the most boring designs I've ever seen on Project Runway. And on top of not being able to put her money where her mouth was, she felt the need to start rumors about people and bad-mouth them behind their backs. If not for Cecilia giving up and Jason being an even worse designer than Ivy, she would be last on my list. And deservedly so. Ugh.


213. Angela Keslar
Season 3- 7th Place

Every single time she added another rosette to one of her designs, I just wanted to scream. I think the thing that made me most annoyed was how completely oblivious she was when she made something that just wasn't good. I can respect a more artsy/crafty design aesthetic, but she simply didn't understand how her designs were perceived by anyone else. And she was crazy. Not a fan.


212. Guadalupe Vidal
Season 2- 11th Place

Speaking of crazy, we come to Guadalupe. First of all, I really disliked her designs and aesthetic. No thank you. She didn't make a single thing that I liked. And she tried to go around the workroom telling people what to fix about their designs. What?! And she was just weird. And not the good kind of weird, the back-slowly-away-so-you-don't-get-killed weird.


211. Marla Duran
Season 2- 10th Place 

You're probably surprised that Marla is so far down on the list. You probably don't even remember her. But I do, because I have a good memory (sometimes annoyingly good). And I didn't like her because she was just so... meek. I hate that word, and I hate using that word, but I feel like it describes her really well. She was so soft-spoken and oblivious to how strong and cut-throat the competition was. And her designs weren't very strong. They looked like arts and crafts projects, and they were just so dowdy.


210. Sandhya Garg
 Season 13- 8th Place

I just couldn't stand Sandhya. First off, I really didn't like her designs. I thought they were ridiculous. In my opinion, they were all costumes. On top of that, she constantly played the victim. I'm sorry, have you ever seen this show? You're an adult. Act like one. When her team didn't listen to her, she went crying to Tim. When someone didn't like her, she either got super defensive or she just played the victim. Grow up and learn to take criticism; you're a FASHION DESIGNER. If you can't take the heat, get out of the sewing room.


209. Ven Budhu
Season 10- 7th Place

Ugh. It was just painful to watch him on Project Runway. First of all, he had that rose design that he put on literally every single outfit he made. We get it, it's unique and it's pretty. But it doesn't have to be on everything. And then when he did take away the rose design, we were left with... essentially nothing. Just a pretty boring, old-looking aesthetic. On top of that, he was just a jerk. When they got the challenge where they had to work with real women, he was extremely rude to her by insulting her weight and shape. I just didn't like him.


208. Sandro Masmanidi
Season 12- 13th Place (Quit)

And here's another guy who was just a total jerk. However, he didn't have the design skills to back him up. I thought that all of his designs were really ugly. And then he just blew up and left the set, quitting the show. He had a horrible temper and just wasn't a pleasant person.


207. Stella Zotis
Season 5- 9th Place
All-Stars Season 5- 11th Place

Ugh, Stella just got on my nerves. She complained every single time she couldn't work with leather, and she really didn't know how to work with anything else. She was just annoying.


206. Wendy Pepper
Season 1- 3rd Place
All Stars Season 2- 12th Place

Oh, Wendy. She's basically the epitome of a reality TV villain. She was there to "win, not to make friends," which is literally the most cliche statement in reality tv history. And then I didn't really like her designs, especially now as someone watching more than 10 years later. She was just mean and manipulative and didn't have anything to back it up. 


205. Lantie Foster
Season 10- 15th Place

Lantie's probably another one that most people have completely forgotten about. But I didn't, because I did not like her at all. She was just so oblivious to how everything worked on the show. I found myself just yelling at her the entire time for how many stupid decisions she made. Lantie, it's season 10. Why are you using fabric on an unconventional challenge?! That's basically the biggest no-no on this show. 
Also, a theme that you'll see on this list is that there are several female designers who remind me of someone that I know in my personal life (obvs not going to name names). And that individual has certain personality traits that are also exhibited by these designers. It's really hard to put my finger on the exact traits, but it's kinda an "overly put together suburban housewife" vibe. Not that these women actually are suburban housewives, but to me, they just put off that vibe and it gets under my skin a bit. So you'll be seeing several of these designers pretty soon, near the bottom of my list. Especially since all of the women who fall under this category failed to impress me design-wise.


So, those are my 12 least designers in my Project Runway designer rankings! I'll be back soon with the designers who got places 193-204! Who are your favorite and least favorite people to be on Project Runway? Let me know down in the comments!
Check out my links below!


Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ranking Every Single Book I Read in 2015 [FINALLY]

Hey, y'all! This is FINALLY the 10th and final post in a 10-post series listing some of my favorite things. The first seven posts are lists of my current all-time favorites, while the last 3 posts include only favorites of 2015.

If you want to check out the other lists/posts in this series, you can check them out here:

This list is my ranking of all of the books that I read in 2015. I meant to get this post up a lot sooner, but I just really underestimated both the length of time that this would take to finish, as well as my ability to actually focus and buckle down and actually do it. Anyway, this post is going to be super long, so I won't ramble much longer. Pretty much anything that could be linked on here is, in fact, linked on here. Video discussions, written reviews, video reviews, etc. If there's a place where I've extensively discussed a book, it's linked alongside the book. And all of the titles link to their respective books' Goodreads pages.

*ahh, one last note sorrysorrysorry*-- I thought it would be important to mention that there are a handful of books where I changed the rating somewhat after the initial review, so trust any ratings that I have on this list over any mentioned elsewhere. My opinions probably haven't shifted much-- typically I just realize that I rated it a bit too high for my actual feelings and then I return to the rating and fix it.

44) The Leveller
(The Leveller #1)
by Julia Durango

Rating: 4/10

This book was just a massive disappointment. The writing, characters, plot, world, and romance all felt incredibly juvenile- as if it were a book written for 13 year-olds BY a 13 year-old. Unfortunately, I went into this book with Ready Player One in mind, and although I was pretty confident it wouldn't live up to that expectation, I didn't expect it to flop as much as it did. I originally rated it a 6/10 both because I saw potential in the series, and because I didn't want to bash a book that someone spent a lot of time and effort writing. But, the more distance I get from it, the less I see the potential and the more I realize that this book was simply not good.


by Janine Carbone

Rating: 4.5/10

I received a free ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. Originally, I rated this book 7/10 for various reasons, all of which are discussed in the video linked here. Either way, I thought the pacing was off at the beginning with the romance. There were sections in the middle that seemed irrelevant and disjointed. And then, the end, when it began to get more thrilling and interesting, I found it pretty predictable and figured out what was going on.


by Emily Carroll

Rating: 4.5/10

I was really excited about this one because I'd heard that the 5 short stories within were not only creepy, but had beautiful artwork. Unfortunately, I only found half of that to be true. The artwork was really cool throughout. The colors on the cover create the color theme for the book, which is really interesting and ominous. However, the stories felt like they've been done before- one of them, I'd definitely heard before, and the others just didn't seem very original. They reminded me of stories from "Scary Stories You Tell in the Dark" or a creepypasta... but not as good. I was just incredibly bored with this one.


by Jesse Andrews

Rating: 5/10
Video Discussion

Full disclosure, I completely finished this list and was getting ready to publish it when I realized that I was a book short. After flipping through my Goodreads, I realized that this was the missing one. That's how memorable this book was to me. I definitely didn't hate it by any means, but I thought it was just completely average. I enjoyed the narrator (for the most part-- he made a few unsavory comments about women). His style of narration was really humorous and unique. But that's like... the long and short of the things that I really enjoyed about this. The plot was... there. Kinda. I just didn't think that this book was that great. #sorrynotsorry.

(Hercule Poirot #23)
by Agatha Christie

Rating: 5.5/10

I love Agatha Christie's Poirot series. The books aren't necessarily my favorite things ever, but they're always very intriguing mysteries that keep me invested and curious throughout, constantly hypothesizing about whodunnit. Unfortunately, I just didn't get that at all from Evil Under The Sun. Just as with all of Christie's books, the mystery was intricate and well crafted. However, even though I had hunches and suspicions, I found myself not really caring about the execution of the murder and the individuals involved. Overall, I just had a sense of meh with this book.


by Ed Brubaker, Ill. by Sean Phillips, Color by Elizabeth Breiweiser

Rating: 6/10

This is possibly the biggest disappointment I've ever had, solely because of how absolutely gorgeous this cover is. Honestly, this is quite possibly my favorite cover of all-time and the story just simply doesn't live up to the cover. At this point, I quite frankly don't remember anything about the characters or the story other than the fact that it was a murder mystery set in the 1940s. At least... I think it was the 40s. This story was just not very memorable and was essentially just all setup for the rest of the series. I've considered continuing on to the second volume, but I'm not even convinced I want to do that.

by Joe Hill, Ill. by Gabriel Rodriguez

Rating: 6/10

This volume of the Locke & Key series was definitely my least favorite. I thought it was just very disjointed in the beginning, and I didn't think that the plot was as intriguing as the other books in the series. We don't get some explanations about what's going on (within the series overall) until a bit later than I think it was needed, so that made this volume a bit confusing.



37) Ten
by Gretchen McNeil

Rating: 6/10

Ten is a re-telling of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (aka my favorite book ever), so I wasn't expecting too much from this. But I was mildly impressed. While I thought that the characters & dialogue were quite annoying (especially at the beginning), and the writing wasn't amazing, I did think that McNeil made some interesting choices. I thought that there were some clever twists thrown in that even I didn't totally see coming, as someone who's already read the source material (many, MANY, times). And, once the ball got rolling on the murders, the book was actually really fast-paced and interesting.

by Joe Hill, Ill. by Gabriel Rodriguez

Rating: 7/10

At this point, I'm honestly kinda blanking on a lot of the details of this one. I remember that I liked it, and that it was a decent continuation of the series, but there wasn't really anything particularly outstanding or interesting about it.


by Joe Hill, Ill. by Gabriel Rodriguez

Rating: 7/10
Written Review
Video Discussion

This one had some cool moments. I definitely didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first volume, but that was also because the first volume was more twisty than this one. Either way, this was better than the two following volumes, and kept me interested in the story.


by E. Lockhart

Rating: 7/10

This one was alright. I was told that this book was really surprising, and I found that it just really wasn't at all surprising. The plot was pretty basic and the mysterious stuff was pretty transparent to me. I liked it, but I didn't think there was anything special about it at all. 


33) Armada
by Ernest Cline

Rating: 7/10

This book was just pretty average. I had high hopes for it because it's written by Ernest Cline, the author of Ready Player One (AKA one of my favorite books ever). Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to that. It was fine. It had moments where it was pretty interesting, and moments when it was over-complicated with terminology. The plot was pretty basic and predictable as well. Overall, it was just alright.

32) Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Rating: 7/10
Video Discussion

It was very difficult to not compare this book to the movie (which I love). I ended up actually enjoying the movie a lot more than the book. The movie was a much more fleshed out version of the book, and almost felt like the movie was the source material for the book, not the other way around. But I already enjoyed the story, so I ended up enjoying this too.


31) Murder After Hours
(Hercule Poirot #25)
by Agatha Christie

Rating: 7/10

Written Review
Video Discussion

I read somewhere that Agatha Christie thought that her biggest mistake with this book was introducing Poirot into it, and I kinda agree with that. My biggest problem was that it didn't quite read like a Poirot novel. Poirot didn't seem incredibly important to the story and seemed to be there simply to provide the solution and wasn't super important otherwise. I still enjoyed it, just as I do with most Poirot novels, but my biggest complaint was that it didn't read like a Poirot novel.


30) Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
by Joe Hill, Ill. by Gabriel Rodriguez

Rating: 7.5/10

This was a really interesting beginning to this series. It took me a little while to warm up to the graphic format (this was my first trade comic ever!) and to the artistic style, but once I warmed up to it, I really enjoyed it as a first volume. It introduced the story really well and was interesting and clever. However, it was occasionally confusing and didn't really stick with me too much.

29) The Future Collection
by Beth Revis

Rating: 7.5/10
Written Review
Video Discussion

Overall, this was a solid collection of novellas. I'm not a huge novella person, and I usually can't really get very connected to novellas. Even novellas that I enjoy typically get average ratings. The only ones I've ever really enjoyed were ones connected to stories and characters that I already loved. That being said, I think that these novellas are a good sampling of Beth Revis's writing. There are a couple that I thought were really great (The Turing Test and The Most Precious Memory) and the rest were just solid.


28) Lexicon
by Max Barry

Rating: 7.5/10
Video Review

Lexicon is a really fast-paced book, and it's incredibly twisty. The "magic" system, for lack of a better word, is really unique and interesting as well, and the plot is really twisty. There are a lot of points in this book where you aren't really sure what's going on, and several times, that's purposeful and I really enjoyed it, but other times, it was due to a lack of explanation, and that's where many of my problems with this book lie. And on top of that, I think that my feelings toward this book lean much more toward appreciation than enjoyment. I think that, in general, it's well-constructed and that the twists worked. But I didn't find myself getting personally attached to it in any way. I don't see myself ever re-reading this book, and looking back, I enjoyed reading it, but I wouldn't necessarily say that I "like" it. There's just a disconnect there that made me lower my initial rating to its current 7.5/10 rating.

by Joe Hill, Ill. by Gabriel Rodriguez


Rating: 8/10

This was definitely one of my favorite volumes in the series, especially as a conclusion to the series. It was basically everything you'd want from a conclusion-- emotional, fast-paced, and exciting. Overall, I really enjoyed it and thought that it ended the series really well. 

by Joe Hill, Ill. by Gabriel Rodriguez

Rating: 8/10

This was definitely my favorite volume in the series. I felt like the series left some things unexplained for a bit too long, which is why volume 4 wasn't my favorite. However, a lot of things were finally explained in this volume and we got some of the back-story, and it was not only really interesting, but really helped me to understand what was going on and made things a lot clearer. Overall, a really great volume in the series.

(The Ascendance Trilogy #1)
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Rating: 8/10

I read this near the beginning of last year, and I really want to go back and re-read it because I have a feeling that I will enjoy it more the second time around. Overall, I thought this book was really interesting. It was a lot slower paced than the rest of the books in the trilogy, but instead, it was really intriguing with character development and some world building. I did have a couple complaints, one of which was that I thought that it was a little predictable, but overall I enjoyed it.

24) Scarlet
(Lunar Chronicles #2)
by Marissa Meyer


Rating: 8/10

I read the entirety of the Lunar Chronicles in 2015, and this one was unfortunately my least favorite. I think that overall, I thought that the plot was less intriguing than the previous and following plots, and I didn't enjoy the characters introduced in this one as much as I enjoyed the characters in the previous book. That being said, I still found Scarlet to be overall enjoyable. Even though it was my least favorite in the series, it was still a solid book overall.

by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson


Rating: 8/10

It's actually pretty impressive that The Bane Chronicles placed this high on this list and got such a good rating, because I had a very different opinion of the book when I began it in 2014. I read 6 of the 10 novellas in 2014 and ended up putting it down because I wasn't enjoying it very much. I didn't hate it by any means, because there's really no way that I could hate anything dealing with Magnus Bane. However, since I prefer long books, novellas aren't exactly my favorite way to take in stories, so it was already at a slight disadvantage. And on top of that, the first few stories were just OK. But then, when I picked it up again in July, I really enjoyed the last 4 novellas. So, it all ended up evening out to a rating of 8/10.

22) The Knife of Never Letting Go
(Chaos Walking Trilogy #1)
by Patrick Ness

Rating: 8/10

This is another book that I initially picked up in 2014 and then ended up setting down. I picked it back up again in late 2015 and overall really enjoyed it. I was pretty torn between an 8 and an 8.5, but since I didn't absolutely love it and there wasn't anything that particularly impressed/surprised me, I decided to go for the lower of the two. Overall, I really liked this book. The world, plot, and characters, were all interesting. I think the big thing for this one for me with this one is that it hasn't really stuck with me. I remember it really well, but I haven't cared enough to want to carry on in the series, which is I think why it didn't get any higher than an 8-- I really enjoyed it, but it hasn't stuck.


21) The Shadow Throne
(Ascendance Trilogy #3)
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Rating: 8.5/10

Overall, I thought this was a really great conclusion to the trilogy. I really enjoyed it, because it was very fast paced and tugged at my emotions just as I wanted it to. I did find it to be slightly predictable, but I was only mildly bothered by that. I think my biggest problem with it was that I felt that some things came too easy for the main character in this book. He tended to have some elaborate plans to get out of different situations, and while I found them really awesome and epic in the previous books, some of his plans seemed a bit far-fetched and reaching in this book. Aside from that and the minor predictability factor, I really enjoyed it.

by George Orwell

Rating: 8.5/10

Overall, I thought that Animal Farm was really clever. I really enjoyed the statement that George Orwell was making, and I thought that the analogies and comparisons made were really well-done and interesting. I do have to say that is is definitely a book that I appreciated more than I enjoyed. I thought it was really great, but there was nothing about it that made me love it. I really liked it, but there's no real emotional attachment there and I don't see myself re-reading that. I liked it, I appreciated it, and I respect the statement it's making.

by Lauren Gibaldi

Rating: 8.5/10

I went into it expecting a pretty basic contemporary, but was pleasantly surprised to find a really enjoyable story. I really enjoyed the dual timelines because of how they paralleled each other in many ways. And on top of this, the characters were all really into alternative/punk rock music, which is something that I really like too, so I felt that connection with the characters. Overall, even though it wasn't anything groundbreaking, I found it really enjoyable.

18) Cinder
(Lunar Chronicles #1)
by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 8.5/10

This was a really great start to the Lunar Chronicles. I really enjoyed the way that Cinder played with the story of Cinderella and how different tropes and scenes within the story were twisted into this really interesting sci-fi dystopia. Cinder is one of my favorite characters in the series, so I really enjoyed reading her part of the story. I felt like the foreshadowing was a little heavy, but that definitely still didn't take away from my enjoyment of it overall.

17) Vicious
by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 8.5/10

Vicious is a booktube favorite, so I had some pretty high expectations of it. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I thought that the anti-hero characters were really cool and I really enjoyed the dual timelines. However, I definitely wasn't quite as impressed as a lot of people on booktube. Although I really enjoyed it overall, there wasn't really anything that stood out as incredibly impressive, which is why it didn't any higher of a rating.

by Brian K. Vaughan, Ill. by Fiona Staples

Rating: 8.5/10

This is a really intriguing series, and I really enjoy it overall, but the volumes tend to run together a bit, especially at this point. Overall, a solid volume in the series, on par with the rest. I enjoy all of them pretty equally, but just ended up putting this one the lowest.

by Brian K. Vaughan, Ill. by Fiona Staples

Rating: 8.5/10

As stated before, I enjoy pretty much all of the volumes equally. This one introduced the series really well and got me very invested in everything that was going on. The world is really well developed and well explained, and the plot is really complex and well-woven. Definitely worth trying out if you're wanting to get into comics.

by Brian K. Vaughan, Ill. by Fiona Staples

Rating: 8.5/10

Not sure what else to say about this volume that wasn't said in the last two books on the list. This has been my favorite in the series so far because of how fast-paced and interesting the plot was. Overall, a solid installment in a solid series.

13) The Runaway King
(Ascendance Trilogy #2)
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Rating: 9/10

This was definitely my favorite in the Ascendance Trilogy. This is one of the most fast-paced books I've ever read- constantly stuff happening throughout the entirety of this ~300 page book. On top of that, the main character is one of my favorite main characters ever. There are some really awesome, exciting things that happen in this book, and I was hooked the entire way through.

12) A Darker Shade of Magic
(A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 9/10

This was a really solid first installment in a series. It took me a little while to get invested in the story, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. The characters were really cool, the plot was really intriguing and the world/parallel Londons were so awesome. Overall, it was a really cool book and I can't wait to see how the events of this first book affect the rest of the world and the series. 


11) The Rithmatist 
(Rithmatist #1)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 9/10

I was really impressed by this book. It's been a while since I've read a middle grade novel, and I was surprised by how quickly I got into this book. The chalk-based magic system in this book is really cool and really well-constructed, and the plot was really intriguing and kept me interested all the way through. And on top of that, I loved the school setting and the friendships between the characters in the book. The real tragedy here is that there's only one book out in the series, and I have no idea when book 2 is coming out.

10) Cress
(Lunar Chronicles #3)
by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 9/10

Once again, it took me a while to warm up to this one. It took a while for this book to pick up steam, but once it did, it was awesome. The last ~150 pages were super intense and really fast-paced. I flew through them in less than an hour because I was just so invested in everything that was going on. Despite the slightly slow beginning, the end made up for it and more. Plus, the characters who were most focused upon are some of my favorites in the series. Captain Thorne= da best.

by Scott Snyder, Ill. by Jock, Color by Matt Hollingsworth, Lettering by Clem Robins

Rating: 9.5/10

I was really impressed with this. It is, by far, my favorite single volume of a trade comic that I've ever read. The plot kept me constantly on my toes and trying to figure out what would happen next. The concept was really unique as well. But the best part of the comic was definitely the art style. It was really dark and matched the mood of the story, and every page had a watercolor stain effect across it which I thought was super cool. Overall, really awesome, and I can't wait to see what the next volume has in store.

by Beth Revis

Rating: 9.5/10

This book solidified Beth Revis as one of my absolute favorite authors. The concept was really unique, and the world was really interesting and well-developed. And on top of all of that, the plot is really action-packed and fast paced. There are constant twists and turns, which keeps it really interesting constantly. It was just a really epic, well written book and I loved it.

by Marisha Pessl

Rating: 9.5/10

The best part of this book is its mood. I rarely get affected by books, but this one really messed with my mind and left me with an overwhelming sense of paranoia pretty much the entire time I was reading the book. I got incredibly engrossed in it, and was always thinking about the book when I wasn't reading it. It constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat because of all of the craziness and twists and turns going on. Overall, it's just an awesome, atmospheric novel.

6) Winter
(Lunar Chronicles #4)
by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 9.5/10

This is easily my favorite book in the Lunar Chronicles. I really enjoyed getting to see all of the different storylines from all of the major characters get woven together really nicely. Even though it was more than 800 pages long, it was a really quick read because of all of the crazy things that were going on. Overall, I really enjoyed the way that Marissa Meyer wrapped the series up.

5) The Hero of Ages
(Mistborn #3)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 9.5/10

This was the conclusion to a really amazing trilogy. This was my least favorite in the trilogy, but only marginally. I read the majority of this book in a single day because I was just so invested in finding out what was going on. There were so many twists and turns, and it made the book pretty unpredictable. I just found that I couldn't put it down, because any time I thought I was at a point where I could take a break, some new twist popped up and I found myself still unable to put it down. It gave me all the feels and I just really loved it.

by Jandy Nelson

Rating: 9.5/10

I'm not a huge fan of contemporaries. I enjoy them, but it's definitely not my favorite genre and I don't tend to read them a ton. And, when I do read them, they rarely end up this high on my favorites list. But this is where I'll Give You The Sun is at, and this is definitely where it belongs. Everything about this book was wonderful. The two POVs are incredibly distinct, and both are written beautifully. The way that all of the threads within the story are woven together is masterful- I found myself falling completely in love with the storytelling and the twists and turns. Seriously, everything about this book is amazing. I loved it.

3) The Name of the Wind
(Kingkiller Chronicle #1)
by Patrick Rothfuss

Rating: 10/10

This. Book. I have to admit- it took a little while to get invested. And it took me a while to read this. However, the #1 thing I would say for anyone wanting to read this is not to worry about how intimidating it seems. I mean, it's a large book and it's high fantasy, so you think it's going to be a little dense or hard to get through, but I promise you, it's not. The writing is beautiful in a very approachable way and I found myself immediately in love with that aspect of it. And on top of that, the story is incredibly interesting. I loved the main character, Kvothe. He's sassy and snarky in the best way. The "magic" system within this book (they don't call it magic, but it's basically magic) is really interesting and intricate. And, there's a magic school. Which is literally the best thing about this book. So good. Amazing. Love.

2) The Well of Ascension
(Mistborn #2)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 10/10

I have so much trouble being objective about this book series, but I feel like it's so great that I really don't need to be. The characters are awesome and have great development/character arcs. The plot is intriguing and the political finagling is really awesome. The magic system is pretty much my favorite magic system. There are some really awesome twists and turns. It's just so good. Srlsy. This series is amazing.

1) The Final Empire
(Mistborn #1)
by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 10/10

And here we are. My favorite book of 2015. If you've been following me for any length of time, this comes as no surprise. If you've been reading this list so far, it should come as no surprise. This book impressed me so much. The magic system is so well-constructed and explained so well. The characters are awesome. The plot is awesome. The world-build is awesome. Literally everything is amazing. I've dubbed this book "my favorite book since Harry Potter" and I stand by that wholeheartedly. This is the best book I've read since the first time I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If you love fantasy and you haven't read this book, please. Please. PLEASE. Read this trilogy.

Well, that was a marathon, so I'm not even going to do some sort of spiel here.
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