Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Reads [#13] + Camp NaNoWriMo Plans

Hello, hello, again! It's been awhile (a ... long while, actually) since I have done a "Friday Reads" post, but I'm actually reading three books this lovely Friday, so I figured it would be as good a time as any to post a new segment!

I'd also like to include my Camp NaNoWriMo/current writing plans, but first... the books!

  1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - The first and possibly most exciting of the bunch! While I've been reading this for a little while now, due to school and general busyness getting in the way - I've really been enjoying this conclusion to the duology and all of the characters are my precious beans who I love (and who could most certainly kill me. Or at least con me.)
  2. Mindset by Carol Dweck - A non-fiction book revolving around psychology and specifically growth mindsets vs fixed mindsets. I'm reading this for my Psychology class and while it can get a bit repetitive with examples and things, it's still quite interesting and pretty short!
  3. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams - Again, for class, this time for English. It's a play and we're only on Scene Four but it's okay so far? All the reviews on Goodreads are positively glowing so I'm guessing it'll get even better as we go along!

As for writing... still plugging away at that November novel for NaNoWriMo. It's the first in a planned four-book Fantasy series about girl gangs and dark magic. With some dragons and pirates thrown in for good measure.

It's at around 160k words at the moment and almost none of them are good words. So, for Camp NaNoWriMo in April - I have set my goal as "50 Hours of Revision". I'm so pleased with this goal because I know it's achievable, but it'll be so incredibly difficult for me. I'll definitely be happier when I'm done though, since this rough draft/first draft has become very rambly and there is much cutting down and even reordering to do!

Is anybody else participating in Camp this year? What are you working on?

Friday, March 3, 2017

January & February | Reading Wrap-Ups

Well, it's been a minute and a half since I posted a reading wrap up of any sort. I have been writing reviews for every book I read over on my Goodreads page if you want to see how my last half of 2016 went or if you want further details on my thoughts on these books!

In January and February, I read a total of 7 books, so without any further ado I'll get right into them!


  1. A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir - Just as thrilling as the first book in my opinion. Though I preferred the first book's plot and worldbuilding, this one was still a very strong addition, especially as we got the addition of a narrative voice to the book that I was incredibly happy to get. In fact, the third narrartor quickly became my favorite character. I'm so hyped that this series has been extended, because I could read so many books about these preciouses and their unfortunate adventures.
  2. The Amateurs, by Sara Shepard - A young adult mystery novel with some fun twists and turns. It's by the same author of the Pretty Little Liars series, and while I have never read those books, I know the author's works have a reputation for being fun to just sort of binge or fly through and that's how this book was for me. I did read a spoiler ahead of time, though... otherwise I may not have ever guessed the mystery!
  3. Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix - A re-read from when I was in Middle School... I finally finished it this time around though. And that ending was literally.... it was not what I expected, I'll just say that much about it. But in all honesty this book is such a great, action-packed read that I simply devoured!
  4. PostSecret by Frank Warren - I actually participated in my library's "Blind Date with a Book" challenge this month and the description on the wrapping paper was too intriguing for me to resist picking this up. And I'm glad I did. I read it in one sitting and while it isn't a novel, it really is a piece of art.

  1. The Vanished Knight, by M. Gerrick - A self-published Fantasy novel that I really enjoyed. I liked the characters, and their relationships with one another. This gave me some Chronicles of Narnia vibes, but with it's own unique elements mixed in there as well. It was so much fun and was a temporary relief from the reading slump that has been plaguing me for months now!
  2. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown - The first Dan Brown novel I've ever read. It's a thriller that had to do with some historical stuff. It was kind of scary at times just because I'm superstitious about certain things. Although fast-paced, it did take me a little while to read just because I was reading all three of these books at the same time...
  3. Gemina, by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - OH MY GOSH. I loved this book every bit as much as I loved the first book in this companion series, Illuminae. In fact... I may have liked this one more? The characters did remind me a lot of the other characters in the first book but that didn't lessen my enjoyment. Also shoutout to Marie Lu for those amazing illustrations.

So, my top three of the past two months would have to be...
  • Gemina
  • The Vanished Knight
  • Found
All of them kept me hooked and reading for so many hours on end. I loved all of the books I read in these past months however - I've been getting quite lucky so far!

Until next time, happy reading!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February TBR | 2017

Long time no see on this blog! I've been rather busy with school and things, especially now that I have to start looking into colleges I might want to attend, and since I've started taking on more honors classes... there are both benefits and drawbacks to that...

However for my first post of 2017 I'm going to be talking about something a bit more fun, which is the books I am planning to read and/or finish in February of this year! I may have September/October/November/December/January wrap-ups coming, but honestly I didn't read that much at the end of last year due to the Reading Slump which I am still in now... sighs.

Anyways here is what I'm reading or want to read!

The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick - I'm nearly finished with this one (kind of). It's a self-published novel, but don't let that discourage you from reading it. It's a high fantasy, and the first in a series, following a girl named Callan, and lots of adventures. I'm currently readining it as an ebook and it's so much fun, plus the author's very friendly and nice.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown - I'm about 130 pages into this one and already I'm a bit "meh" on it. I'm not sure if I've solved the mystery or not already, but if so than this is just as predictable as I thought it would be... my Dad does say there is a surprising ending though so I might keep reading because of that. Also, this has 2 million ratings on Goodreads and I'd never heard of it until last week after my Dad read it... huh

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - A science fiction novel and companion to the bestselling novel Illuminae that came out last year (which I thoghoughly enjoyed if it hasn't been mentioned on my blog yet). It's a very big book at 650 pages long but I do love big books so hopefully this one will be more hooking than Angels & Demons is! I checked it out from the library yesterday and already am antsy to dive in.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - Another sequel, and this time it's the finale! Six of Crows was one of my favorite books last year (read it near the end of 2016, so I probably never really mentioned it on my blog) and I was super excited to see this one in the library. I had to check it out right away. It's another big one but I'm sure if it's half as hooking as the first book, I will finish it up very quickly.

The Heir's Choice by M. Gerrick - This is the sequel to The Vanished Knight and if possible/if I have enough time, I know this will be the next ebook I start. I'm loving Callan's journey and the whole fantasy world Ms Gerrick has created, so hopefully I will continue to in this book as well!

And that is all I have planned for the month of February! I hope everyone is having a good 2017 so far and keeping up with any resolutions you may have set... also Happy Superbowl Sunday! Hehe

Until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Last Library Haul of the Summer - Library Haul #5

So, I kind of haven't posted on this blog since my little update/complaining spree about being in a reading and writing slump for most, if not all, of the summer. But good news! I think that I am finally out of my reading slump! I'm always more motivated to read in the colder seasons, and this morning I woke up at 6:30 just so that I could read with the rain still pounding at the windows. (The things I do for my books. Sheesh.)

(Of course, the bad news for me is that I start school again tomorrow. Whomp, whomp. But the school librarian has asked me to be a library assistant, and I got the classes I wanted, so hopefully this semester turns out alright!)

Recently I visited the library and checked out three books. (There were more I wanted to get, but I restrained myself!) It's a bit of a miniature library haul, but I thought I would just share with everyone the books that I checked out. I'm excited to read them all!


City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster was the first book I picked up. I actually hadn't heard of it before, but it sounded really cool. A murder mystery in a diverse fantasy setting with talking cats? That just ticks so many of my 'must read' boxes!
When I looked it up on Goodreads I saw it didn't have the best reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. (I just finished it before writing this post.) I think next time, I will grab the second book in this duology (though it seems to be more of a companion novel) since that one has higher ratings anyway.

The second book I picked up from the library was And I Darken by Kiersten White. This is supposed to be an epic historical fiction retelling of Vlad the Impaler. But in this retold version, Vlad is a girl named Lada.
This has been getting quite a bit of buzz lately, and I've heard nothing but good things about it. Plus look at that cover. Look at it. It's so beautiful!
I definitely can't wait to get to this one and see how I like it. I think it's the one I'll end up reading next!

Finally, I decided to check out Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie. This book is about a girl who can feel the emotions and physical pain of the people around her. It's a bit of a bigger book, and I think it might be the first in a series? In a trilogy? Duology? I'm not sure which.
This is another book where people don't seem to like it but I tend to have unpopular opinions to everyone else (oops?) so I hope that I end up at least liking it a bit. (The only problem is that it seems to have a love triangle... sighs.)


I hope everyone has been having a great summer/winter (if you're in the opposite hemisphere). Autumn is my favorite season and I am so done with summer already! I can't wait for rain and the colder days and sweaters and pumpkin everything. Thanksgiving is also my favorite holiday, so I'm looking forward to that as well.
Until next time, (which will hopefully be soon!), happy reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slumps & Updates

Hey, guys! It's been a really long time (almost two months!) since I posted on this blog, and that has been for a variety of reasons.

I finished up my year of school, and next year I'm going to be an upperclassman in High School, which is crazy, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time. I'm not really sure what I want to do with my life yet, which is a bit nerve-wracking since I've always hoped to be certain of what degree to pursue and what college to attend, etc. etc. but! I know I'm still young, and I still have plenty of time to pick those things out and change my mind.

I've also been a little bit busy this summer: my family has gone camping twice, which was nice. The second time we went with our neighbors and it rained a lot, so we mainly played card games and board games. (The brothers attempted to canoe in the rain and came back soaked - I'm glad I elected to stay behind!) We also played lots of the game 'Mafia', which if you haven't played before, trust me, it's very fun, especially with lots of people involved.

Mostly, the reason I haven't been posting recently, though, is because of the thing every bookworm dreads: the Reading Slump. I was fine in June and May (apparently I read 13 books in those two months, stats taken from Goodreads). But it's currently a week until July ends, and I have yet to finish one book.

It's a shame, because my current read, Illuminae is not bad at all. In fact, it's quite good and it's been on my TBR for a long time. The thing is, I just never feel the motivation to pick it up, and when I do, I stare at the words on the page without actually comprehending them. Not just for Illuminae, but for every book I try, this happens.

In addition to Reading Slump, I've been experiencing terrible Writer's Block. And, it being Camp NaNoWriMo at the moment, this has been even more discouraging. My goal was 30,000 and I've barely written 12,000. I haven't given up yet, though! Even if I don't make it, it's okay to lose once in awhile, and I think it's important that I not be too hard on myself.

So, that's been where I've been at for the past couple of months! I hope to be posting more this summer and into next school year, and hopefully I can rid of the nasty Writer's and Readers Block I've been experiencing!

Until next time, happy reading!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Armchair BEA: Day Two, Book Covers, Progress

And... it's Day Two of the Armchair BEA ReadaThon, hosted annually in correlation with the BEA events, which are this year in Chicago. I had a pretty good reading day today. Got a lot of reading done during school, since we had a substitute who didn't really have any lesson plans... I digress.


Currently Reading: The Enchantress, by Michael Scott
Pages Read Today: 144
Total Pages Read: 259
Thoughts: So I finished The Warlock, and moved right along to the final book in this series. It makes me so sad for some reason to be finishing up this series for the second time... I haven't read this last book since the month it originally came out, and I sort of grew up with these books. I will reread them again someday, I'm sure!

Blogging Prompt:

How often do you judge a book by it's cover? Do you like your covers to match, or is that not really a concern?

I must confess... I judge books by their covers quite often. But hey! It's worked out at least once. The only reason I picked up The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima was because it was cheap and I liked the cover (it was the foreign edition). And that turned out to be one of my favorite books!

As for if the covers have to match -- it used to matter a lot less to me than it does now. Before I started blogging and getting into the book internet place... I didn't care if my shelves matched or if the covers were the same. I didn't even care about owning books, I often just checked them out from the library. Now, I do care if they are the same. They have to match otherwise it just doesn't seem right to me.

There was a second part to today's prompt, asking about blog branding and stuff, but I've never put much thought into that! Maybe I should?

A book cover you love or think reflects the book inside.
Sorry for the poor quality on this one (and lighting)! This is the novelization based off of my favorite movie, My Neighbor Totoro. I love the artwork on this cover, I think it is absolutely adorable.
I had another great reading day today! I can't believe I've already finished a book. Granted, I started it before the ReadaThon began, but I am still happy with my progress. I've also read 26 pages of this next book, and anything more I read shall be included in tomorrow's update. I hope everyone has a very good day today. Or evening, since I'm getting this up late (again).
Until tomorrow, happy reading!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Armchair BEA: Day One, Diversity, Armchair + Progress

So, Day One of the Armchair BEA readathon is pretty close to finishing up. I had a pretty good reading day today. I didn't have too much homework, so I decided to read a little more than I normally would on a school day.


Currently Reading: The Warlock, by Michael Scott
Pages Read Today: 115
Total Pages Read: 115
Thoughts: I'm going to read some more tonight, so that isn't really a final tally, but I'll add whatever else I read tonight into tomorrow's total, or maybe update this post tomorrow with an official end count. (Update from the future: I just added in here.) I think I did pretty good today, although I was in a bit of a funk today, so I'm afraid I didn't have the most enjoyable reading experience. There are some plot holes and some phrases are repeated a lot. However, I still am enjoying this a lot! It brings back memories.

Blogging Prompt:

Today's Prompt: Discussing which voices we hear in books, which we need more of, and which may be portrayed negatively or stereotypically.

Diversity in books is so important because everyone needs someone to identify with, and if a book character can be that someone who helps you along, then it could change your life forever. I think all the representation we already see is magnificent and making leaps and bounds of progress. However, there's a few characters that I would love to see more of:

  • Characters with anxiety/social anxiety: Okay, so I'm biased. But I would love to see a character who is anxious (or struggles with a similar mental illness) go on an adventure and help defeat the big bad. I always am a little sad when the only character who seems even a little scared is the stereotypical jittery sidekick. I would like to read about a hero/ine in that role, instead. Someone who suffers from panic attacks but still proves that they can be brave!
  • Asexual, pansexual, and/or transgender characters: I don't think I've ever read about an asexual, pansexual, or transgender character in a book, and I think that they are very underrepresented.  
  • Blind, deaf, or mute characters: I think I've read a couple of characters who are blind, deaf, or mute, but not many. Especially mute characters. I would love to have them in the lead for once.
  • Characters with a stutter: So, having a mute character reminded me of characters with a stutter! I don't see them hardly ever. I'm not sure if this counts as "diverse" but I'm going to count it anyway?
  • Native American character: Again, never read about one as the main character,
    although I'm sure they're out there. But having a Native American character who is not stereotypical or portrayed negatively would be awesome and it would make me so happy.


Today's photo prompt: Favorite ReadaThon reading spot! #myarmchair

This is my kinda old armchair! It belonged to my Grandma, and now it belongs to me. I like to read in it because it reminds me of her. (I apologize for the mess in the background...I really need to tidy up around here.)

I hope you all had a great first day of this ReadaThon, if you are participating. If not, I hope you had a great day otherwise, and I will (hopefully) see you again tomorrow with a new update. Until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Armchair BEA: Introduction Questions + TBR

Hello, everybody! Today, I am excited to say that I will be participating in the 2016 Armchair BEA! This is an event for all the bloggers/booktubers/etc. who are unfortunately unable to attend Book Expo America this year. It's a ReadaThon that takes place from May 11, 2016 to May 15, 2016.

Today, there were some questions on their blog to answer in order to introduce oneself a little. The entirety of the "first group" is to be answered, while only 4-5 of the second group are meant to be answered. Without futher ado, here are some of my answers!

Group 1:

1. What is the name you prefer to use?


2.  How long have you been a book blogger?

I can't quite remember... I think since Summer 2013?

3. Have you participated in ABEA before?

No, this is my first time!

Group 2:

1.  Do you have a favorite book? If you cannot choose a favorite book of all time, pick your favorite book today - just this second. Remember that favorites are allowed to change if something affects you deeply enough.

Unlike some (most?) people, I know exactly what to say when someone asks me for my favorite book: "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is my most cherished book. I love everything about it - Bilbo Baggins is the fictional character I relate the most to out of every book, movie, or TV show. I love Tolkien's writing style in this, the little bits of humor, the characterization, the fizzy, happy feeling that fills me whenever I so much as read the opening sentence. This will never change as my favorite book, I know that already!

2.  What is your favorite genre and why?

Fantasy is by far my favorite genre. To be specific, High/Epic Fantasies, especially if there are multiple books in the series! I love the magic, and how it transports me to another world when I want to escape this one. There is such variation in Fantasy, and I love the creativity that the authors always put into their work

3.  How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all?

It's kind of (mostly) random - I arrange by height, author/series, and the most recent books I bought!

4. What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by?

Now, for the TBR that I promised in the title of this post.

  •  The Warlock by Michael Scott - Currently reading this one, I'm a little ways through, but still have hundreds of pages to go. I'm excited for this!

  • The Enchantress  by Michael Scott - Aww, the last book in the series. I'm going to be so sad to be finishing up my reread of this series, since I like it so much! Hopefully I'll finish this during the ReadAThon, though I doubt I will...

  • Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare - For class. Not going to read all of it, but totally going to count what I do end up reading of it. Haha.

After that, if I finish those, no clue what I'll pick up! I'm excited about all of them, but I think The Enchantress" is my most anticipated.

5. If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why?

Ooh, this is a good question to be sure! I think I'd have to invite Bilbo Baggins, of course. Hobbits make the best tea, and we could talk about his adventures and maybe some books, since we both enjoy reading.
Luna Lovegood would be my second choice, as she is such a dreamer, and I would love to just learn so much about her and what's going on in her head. I'm sure she'd have many interesting factoids for me.

The last character I would love to have tea with is Mr. Tumnus from the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. These books were part of my childhood, and being able to talk with an actual faun would just be too cool. Again, he seems great at making tea.

This was my introduction and TBR, if you are also participating then you could link to your own post, if not you can tell me your answers, if you want! Have a great day!


Monday, May 2, 2016

May TBR | 2016

This is the second month in a row that I've done a TBR post! But I already have quite a clear plan of what I am hoping to start/finish reading this month. So without further ado, here are the books I want to read in May!


I'm hoping to (re)read The Sorceress, The Necromancer, The Warlock, and The Enchantress by Michael Scott this month. These are books 3-6 of the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, which was a childhood favorite of mine. Now that I'm closer to the age of the protaganists, I wanted to read it again with new eyes! I read the first two books last month, and I'm anxious to finish up my second time reading this series.

Next, I want to pick up Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I currently have this one out from the library, so I'm definitely hoping to read it before I have to return it! This is a YA High Fantasy following two girls with powers? I think? It was really hyped after BEA last year, and this year when it came out, it seemed many people enjoyed it. So, hopefully, I will too!

I also have out from the library Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, a historical fiction novel set around a really bad marine accident that took place near the time of the second World War. I've heard nothing but great things about it and I've been wanting to read more Historical Fiction, so I checked this one out.

For school, I have to read Taming the Shrew by William Shakespeare which I am (gasp) actually looking forward to. Though I haven't read much by Shakespeare, I've enjoyed what I have read, so this is one that I am going to try to power through (because the language can be super confusing, to me).

Lastly, if I manage to get to it, I want to read (or at least start reading) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. This is one of my favorite Harry Potter books, and I was hoping to get to it in April, but sadly that didn't happen. This month, though! *crosses fingers*

I'm going to be really busy with school in May, because it's almost the end of the school year, which means preparations/last big push before finals, and of course, AP Testing. Which I dread. A lot. Wish my luck.

Until next time, happy reading!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Wrap-Up | 2016

I read a pretty good amount of books this month! It didn't even come close to how many I read last month, and the enjoyment level for me unfortunately dropped slightly, but that's alright.
In the end, I read 7 books. Here are the titles, a short overview of my thoughts, a link to my longer Goodreads reviews, and a rating out of 5 stars for each!

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott : A childhood favorite of mine that I was so happy to read again! I see this getting so many bad reviews, but I still really liked it. Yes, it does have its flaws, and I may be a bit biased due to the part it played in my growing up and my love for books, but I still love the world-building and the action-packed plot! Such a fun adventure.
3.5*'s / Goodreads Review

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman : This book follows a teenager who has a mental illness called Schizophrenia. I didn't know too much about this topic going into it, but as a teenager who has to deal with mental illness, I was really interested to read this book and really grateful that it exists. It was very eye-opening. But it just made me feel weird and uncomfortable when I read it, and I know that was partly the point, but I never really looked forward to reading it and it took me awhile to read despite the shortness. I still really appreciate it though. It's also becoming a movie!
3*'s / Goodreads Review

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson : After finishing one emotionally heavy book, I just head straight into another one because that's a good idea. Eep. This book wasn't quite as high on emotions as I was expecting it to be, especially since I have been through a similar situation to the protagonist. It still was very emotional though, and I liked the main character and the small town setting. The themes of family and friendship within this book were amazing as well!
4*'s / Goodreads Review

The Brothers K by David James Duncan : This was a family saga set in the 1960's to around the Vietnam War. I had to read this book for school, so I don't think it's much of a surprise that I found it quite tedious at points. The character development was so interesting and I definitely felt sorry for the characters. Sometimes I forgot they weren't real!
3*'s / Goodreads Review

Ingenue by Jillian Larkin : I loved the first book, so I was pretty excited to pick this one up. It's set in the 1920's (which is my FAVORITE time period. More YA needs to be set in the 1920's, please!) and has flapper girls and speakeasies and jazz music and drama and it's just so much fun. Is it the most well-written book ever? No. And I probably enjoyed this more than I logically should have. But I personally really liked it.
4*'s / Goodreads Review

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury : This is an Aladdin retelling following the point of view of the Jinni, who in this interpretation is a girl named Zahra. And oh gosh, I did adore this book. It was so fabulous, and Zahra was such a great main character. ALSO it had a band of lady assassins/protectors. The setting was super cool and the world-building done really well. I just loved it!
5*'s / Goodreads Review

The Magician by Michael Scott : The second book in "The Alchemyst" series. We get introduced to a new villain, whom I like much more than the other villain (s). He's just great. Also, I love how morally gray every single character is in this book (I don't even trust one of the main characters at this point). I can't wait to finish up my reread of this six-book series.
3.75*'s / Goodreads Review


My favorite book this month was clearly the Forbidden Wish! Though I also had a lot of fun rereading The Alchemyst and The Magician. I would love to know your favorite book from April, if you had one.

Until next time, happy reading!