Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 End of the Year Bookish Survey

 
It's the end of the year already, and it's so hard to believe that 2015 is over. But you know what this means-- the 2015 End of the Year Bookish Survey, hosted for the 6th year in a row by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. (Who also made the button and banners.) She's one of my favorite book blogs! This is my first time filling out the survey, and I'm really so excited. I get to tell you all about my favorite books of this year! Yes, I leave some questions out and obviously some books out. Can't include everything after all!



Number Of Books You Read: 84, of my goal of 50 books!
Number of Re-Reads: 7
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy, of course!

Best Book You Read In 2015?

Oh no, just one? Nope. Nope nope nope. Here are my favorite books that I read:

                                                                              
                                                             
 
 
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I was quite disappointed with Blood Promise by Richelle Mead, I have to admit. I didn't like it as much as the other books in that series.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck was so surprising, but I loved it! It was surprising because I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. I didn't really like the previous books in the series, but read the third one anyway because I hate leaving series unfinished (bad habit, I know.) Luckily it paid off!

As for book that caught me by surprise with all the plot twists, Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. I never know what will happen!
 
 
Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Series Starter: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Series Sequel: Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck and Day 21 by Kass Morgan
Series Ender: The One by Kiera Cass and Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck.


 Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
 
Rae Carson blew me away with her book, Walk on Earth a Stranger. I also loved her Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, which I also read this year.

Special Mentions: Cassandra Clare, Morgan Rhodes, Colleen Houck

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Adult Thriller: Crisis by Robin Cook! I actually liked this!
YA Sci-Fi/Horror: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad was mind-blowingly awesome.
 
 Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Oh, this is hard too. I think Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge was really thrilling.
 
 Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. This was a re-read this year, but I tend to re-read it a lot. It's a middle grade book about four sisters who just have an adventure but not really. Anyway, it's good.
 
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
Ally Condie always has beautiful covers, and Atlantia was no exception.

 
Most memorable character of 2015?

The Penderwicks Sisters from The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. Specifically, Skye and Jane.
Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings.
Kelsey Hayes from Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. I hated her at first and then got so attached to her in the third and fourth books.


Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare! I know, I can't believe it!
 
Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

Quote:
"A love like yours burned bright like the sun but was always destined to end in darkness."
-A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
Passage:
" ' And people will say: "Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring!" And they'll say: "Yes, that's one of my favorite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn't he Dad?" "Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that's saying a lot". ' "

" ' But you've left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. "I want to hear more about Sam, Dad. Why didn't they put in more of his talk, Dad? That's what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam, would he, Dad?" '

'Now, Mr. Frodo," said Sam, 'You shouldn't make fun. I was serious.'

'So was I,' said Frodo "
-The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien

 

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Longest: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.
Shortest: The Twilight Zone: Deaths-Head Revisited by Mark Kneece. (It was a graphic novel)
 
 Book That Shocked You The Most
 
Again, Falling Kingdoms! It was just so plot-twisty with so much character death.

Honorable Mentions: Day 21 by Kass Morgan, Crisis by Robin Cook, Vixen by Jillian Larkin, and The Diviners by Libba Bray!
 
OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
 
Hahaha. Just one?!?! *sob*
Nope. I have to do more than one.

Kelsey/Ren from Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Maxon/America from The One by Kiera Cass
Chaol/Celaena from Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Sam/Evie from The Diviners by Libba Bray
 
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
 
Again, I have multiple.

Penderwicks Sisters from The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Theta and Henry from The Diviners by Libba Bray
SAPHIRA AND ERAGON FROM INHERITANCE BY CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI I WILL FOREVER BE SCREAMING OVER THIS AMAZING FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THIS DRAGON AND HER HUMAN OMGGGG

Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Fairest by Marissa Meyer was particularly twisted and excellent. Levana is so cruel and messed up.

I also enjoyed Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery very much! I had read Anne of Green Gables, but this was the first book of hers I've read not in that series and I thought it was so great and heart-wrenching.
 
Best Book You Read In 2015 that You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
 
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater! I have never been much of a fan of her writing so I was thinking "Ughhh fine but only because Tumblr always talks about it..."
And I kind of accidently fell in love with this. Oops?

Best 2015 debut you read?
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir was so worth the hype for me! Greatness and grim Fantasy and freaky masks. Give me all of it. Plus so much shipiness.
 
Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
 
Middle-Earth of course. Particularly the Shire. Can I give it to anyplace else, really?

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

VIXEN BY JILLIAN LARKIN UNDOUBTEDLY. It was just so fun and got me out of my reading slump and eurgh yes. Drama in the 1920s with Flapper Girls. What else could be so fun as that?! I do not know.
 
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien. The passage where Frodo is talking to Sam just made me cry buckets, and I never cry at books.

(I included the passage as my favorite of the year so see above!)
 
 Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Well, Jordan Sonnenblick never fails to disappoint. I wish his books got more attention.
 
Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck crushed me in the best way. Just... *still not over it even though I read it in January*
Don't touch me, I am a fragile Bookworm still hurt by these events.
 
 
Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen. The villians were sexist, racist, jerks and I hated them so much. Didn't even love to hate them, they just filled me with fury. So that is a solid no.

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
 
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo! I even own this and I've heard of so many great things.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater. Can't wait to continue this series.
Winter by Marissa Meyer!!! I need to read it!
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard because Rick Riordan is my favorite.
And I'd like to finish Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
 
Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima! Is this even a question for me?!?!

Also, I'm looking forward to Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (I need to read the rest of the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices first, though...) and The Crown by Kiera Cass.

Trials of Apollo is also very very exciting and something I very much need.
 
2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Of Fire and Stars  by Audrey Coulthurst is a YA Fantasy about a princess with magic who falls in love with her fiancé's sister?! Yes, please!

 Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

I know I'm only on Rebel Spring, but the fifth book of Falling Kingdoms is something I really need.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

I'd like to try to blog more than I do! I always say this, but it's true.

---

What were some of your favorite books in 2015? What books are you looking forward to in 2016? Also, if you have a 2015 End of Year survey please leave a link to it because I'm super interested in hearing what books you loved!

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fandom Mash-Up (#4)



Hello, everybody! It's been awhile since I've done a Fandom Mash-Up post, but they are just so much fun! They're hosted by Michelline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews every week. The idea is to be given a scenario, and then choose five characters from any five fandoms (book, TV, movies, whatever!) to help you out in this situation!

This week's scenario is:

You need to locate an ancient magical heirloom - but - there's a time-limit. If you don't find it in 72 hours, the world will be in unimaginable danger. You need speed, quick-thinking and more time than you have. Who's going to help you locate the trinket?

----

  1. Sabrina Grimm from The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley-- I think Sabrina would be the perfect choice to help me! She is a fast-thinker with snark and would keep the team on track. She also has inherited plenty of magical heirlooms, being the great-great-great grand-daughter of Wilhelm Grimm, so she would know her way around them!
  2. Indiana Jones from the Indiana Jones movies -- I haven't seen these movies for awhile, but I did love them, and I do remember that Indiana Jones was great when it came to finding things. (Wait! I need a Hufflepuff on my team! *remembers I am Hufflepuff and thus a good finder*. We're good over here, never mind.) He's very level-headed (except around snakes) so he would be good as well.
  3. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series -- Hermione is also very level-headed and extremely intelligent, as well as a quick thinker. If she can't find the artifact, I don't know who could. With her trying to solve the riddle, we can't go wrong!
  4. Jemma Simmons from Marvel's Agents of SHIELD -- Another quick thinker! She's really science-y so if we needed that, we'd be prepared. Plus she's good at thinking up solutions to problems in short amounts of time, so there you go!
  5. Rosalie from Grimm -- Nick always calls Rosalie and Monroe if he needs help and they always manage to come up with a solution. So maybe if I called them for help, they'd come up with a solution as well. Again, they're used to being around strange things so a magic artifact wouldn't be a surprise to them.
Those are my five choices for this week's Fandom Mash-Up! If you noticed, I got a new little "banner" thing for the top of these posts. It's just my aunt's kitty, Rainbow, with text but I think it'll do.

What would be your characters for this situation?

Have a great day!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Reads [#11] + NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

Hey, guys!

It's Friday again, thank goodness. It felt like a long week but finally it is the weekend. I don't have much planned out. I'm going to the library tomorrow and I hope to get a few books while I'm there. But that's really all I'm doing other than homework, of course.

Currently, I am reading Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, which is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling. I personally love the covers of her books, even though this is the first of hers that I've read. I'm at almost the third chapter, so not too far in, but it's pretty good.

I feel like I'm partly in a reading slump though because I just finished the infamous Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and I really, really liked it. Maybe even more than the previous book in the series, Crown of Midnight. Now I need to wait until my library gets Queen of Shadows, which is the next book, but that won't be for another year or so. The pain of having to wait. Waaah.

I am also sort of reading You Are Special by Fred Rodgers (AKA Mr. Rodgers from "Mister Rodgers Neighborhood" which I loved as a kid!) It's not really a book so much as a collection of quotes. I've been bookmarking my favorites, but I'm taking my time with reading it.

Now, as promised in the title, my NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up: I did better than I thought I would! My goal this NaNoWriMo was 108k words by November 30th, and I ended up getting 135k as well as a finished first draft! *cheers for myself*

I never finish first drafts so I was quite pleased.

The last day of NaNoWriMo I was so far from a completed draft. I thought I was still in the middle and wouldn't be able to wrap things up. But then, for some reason, everything just clicked and I sped typed as fast as I could to get it done by midnight that day.

And I did!

At 11:30pm on November 30th, I finished my book for a daily total of 10,333 and a grand total of 135,000. (Well, I got 135,014, but I like to end on even numbers so I went back and deleted 14 words.)

That's really all I have to update you on today. A few minutes ago, I went and read by the fireplace my new book, Cruel Beauty. It felt so cozy especially since it is freezing outside right now. I love the cold weather, but I also love warm fireplaces.

I hope you all have a great weekend filled with great books!

Until next time, happy reading.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NaNoWriMo - Day 22

This is my second NaNoWriMo "check up" for 2015.

I suppose I've been procrastinating on writing more "check up" posts. Partially because I've been busy with homework, etc. Partially because I've just been in such a writing slump.

I have either not been hitting my daily word goal (originally I typo'd and wrote 'faily'. So true.) of 3,333 words per day, or I've been just barely barely reaching it. For example, yesterday I wrote 3,370 words. Less than 40 words over. The most I've written in the past week is 3,535. And it's been like that for so long.

I'm just not liking my book or anything that I'm writing. At all.

I thought it was just the week two blues, and I would be over it by the time I got to this point in the month. But it hasn't blown over yet.

I'm afraid, myself, that this book, "Dragonslayer" is going to become just like last year's novel - I end up hating everything I write, but push through anyway to get the word count, and end up never touching it again because I didn't think there was anything worth saving.

This post is mostly just me rambling. I haven't written anything today but I know I have to. Otherwise I'll just keep falling more and more behind from where I want to be. I'm really sick (waaah. I have the snuffles again, it's true) and just overall very stressed out (maybe why I'm sick).

I hope your writing it going better than mine is!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Reads [#10]

Hello, everybody!

 I hope everyone had a great week. Mine was... stressful. A 5-page essay, 3 smaller papers, and a lab report due was not exactly my idea of fun, but hey.

Yesterday, I finished Defiance by C.J. Redwine, and it was good. I'm not sure if it was better than I thought it would be, or not quite as good, since I first discovered it on a "Top 10 Favorite YA Fantasies" list. I really liked the romance though, and the creature was very dragon-like and I like dragons. So that was enjoyable. I'll be continuing on when I can!

As for what I'm currently reading, I finally get to read one of my most anticipated, if not my very most anticipated, book of the years! *drumroll please*

LEGACY OF KINGS by Eleanor Herman.

Guys.
Guys.
I am so excited for this one. I'm around 160 pages in, maybe a little less and so far, soooo good! I am really loving all the point of views and I think it was a little confusing at first, but now I've got it down. I think. Hehe.

All the characters are just so dynamic, and I love it. There's lots of romance, which usually can be 'meh' for me, but it's okay so far on that point. Plus, I'm really really loving getting to read about a time period in BC since I have never read anything in that time period.

In NaNoWriMo news, I'll try to make a catch up post tomorrow (it's been too long!) but I am very proud at the moment because my word count is resting at exactly 66,666 words. Ah, what a nice round number.

I'll talk to you all next week (or tomorrow, if I get that post up. But I'm aiming for 75,000 words by Sunday so that might not happen...) Happy Friday the 13th.

Until next time, happy reading.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beautiful Books #2 // How I write!

 
 
Beautiful Books is a spin-off of Beautiful People. It is a monthly meme for writers to talk about their characters and, in this case, books. It is hosted as always by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up Further In.

Fun Fact: I've already made three four typos this post. And the NaNo-isms continue. (In early December I'm planning on making a masterpost of all my favorite NaNo-isms [aka: hilarious typos] I've made in my book this month. It will be glorious.)

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS. (Plus my answers.)

 
 
  1. Is the book turning out how you thought it would be, or is it defying your expectations?It is a bit of both at the moment. For one thing, I'm 56k words in as of right now, and they still haven't started on their quest. Author fail. I got too caught up in the workings of the Dragon slayer academy, and forgot that there was such a thing as plot. Other than that, though, it's going fine.
  2. What’s your first sentence (or paragraph)?*clears throat importantly*
    It was pleasantly miserable, thought the lady cloaked in gray.
  3. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried both methods and how did it turn out?I've always considered myself a pantser, but I'm thinking I'm probably more of a planner. I haven't tried thoroughly (isn't that a fun word to spell?) plotting a novel yet, but maybe next year? I feel like it would help me stay on track.
  4. What do you reward yourself with after meeting a goal?I go to sleep.
  5. What do you look for in a name? Do you have themes and where do you find your names?Wherefore art thou Romeo?I like to find my names based off meanings, sometimes. My protagonist for my Camp NaNo novel in July was named "Corvina", which means crow. Was she a crow shifter? You betcha.
    For historical fiction names, I like to use Time.com's baby name popularity thing. Bascically, it lets you see what your name would be if you were born in the 1920's or any decade from now (2010s) to the 1890s. IT IS PRETTY MUCH THE BEST.
  6. What is your favourite to write: beginning, middle, or end — and why?The ending gives me such a sense of satisfaction. I like to write the ending the most.
  7. Who’s your current favourite character in your novel?PUPIL ONE. She is so innocent and fun, and thinks a lot. And she has such a love for her brother. Her voice comes so easily to me.
  8. What kind of things have you researched for this project, and how do you go about researching? (What’s the weirdest thing you’ve researched?!)Nothing for this project. #rebellious
    But for my first-ever NaNoWriMo in July 2013, I had to search the following:
    * How to break into a house through the window
    * How to kill someone with a shovel
    * Good places to bury a body
    Which is especially hilarious because everyone knows I would never even hurt a fly. But when writing a murder mystery, it is a different story.
  9. Do you write better alone or with others? Do you share your work or prefer to keep it to yourself?I definitely write better alone (unless it's word wars in which case I shall write furiously with all the people). I need complete silence when I write, I can't even listen to music or anything. I have tried sharing my writing, but I generally prefer keeping it to myself.
  10. What are your writing habits? Is there a specific snack you eat? Do you listen to music? What time of day do you write best? Feel free to show us a picture of your writing space!I don't listen to music, but I actually work better when it's raining? Weird, I know. It just gets me in the cozy mood which I guess I associate with late night writing. I love munching on candy when I write which maybe isn't the best thing ever for me but pfft who needs healthy during NaNoWriMo? (Me, probably.)
    I tend to write best at night, or I used to. Now, I think I work best in the afternoons. And the time of year I work best (I know, weird) is definitely Autumn and Winter, and now just because of NaNoWriMo.
    Voila! My writing space! It's a bit cluttered, so please excuse that, but this is where I work on my books.
This is my writing "routine", if you will? Link to your post down below if you would like, I'm always interested in seeing what others have to say!




 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NaNoWriMo - Day 3

NaNoWriMo 2015 has officially begun.

And, I'm actually very surprised at how far along I am already. The first two days, I was on a roll, and didn't even stop writing for long enough to have doubts about my story. But now... doubts are creeping in. What if I'm not good enough for this story? What if this story isn't good enough? The doubts are barely here at all at this point, but here they remain.

Anyway, quick summary of what's gone down the past couple of days:

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Words Written: 20,000
Total Words: 20,000

So... I kind of beat my "amount of words written in one day" record. That's a thing that happened. Probably because, where I live, we got to set our clocks back one hour, meaning that on November 1st we had 25 hours instead of 24. I had been aiming for 15,500 words on the first day but I surprised myself by far exceeding that goal!
I also attended my region's "NaNoWriMo Kickoff" but I'm an awkward person so I didn't actually socialize. Socialize? Me? Pfft. I just came for the sticker. (This year's sticker is rather nice, I'll admit.) Also the espresso fudge and Double-Stuffed Oreos over at the snack table. Those were delicious too. In all seriousness though, my region has some of the nicest people I've met, and they were all so encouraging and didn't even mind my awkwardness. Thank you, regional WriMos.

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Words Written: 6,714
Total Words: 26,714

Somehow I wrote almost 7,000 words?! On a Monday?! Someone tell me how. (Truth: I may have sacrificed some sleep time to write. Also some homework time. But shh. No one needs to know that.)
My writing only got interrupted by dinner (rice and cabbage soup, yum!) and the latest episode of Grimm because priorities, people. (The episode of Grimm was so intense. It was the season premiere, and since I had missed the previous season's finale, I was all kinds of shocked.) Also my family watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown because our power was out on Halloween so we couldn't watch it. Sad times.
And I got a piece of cake, so that was delicious.
Back to the writing part, though, almost all of my words were written thanks to this Word Crawl. It has the perfect amount of long sprints and short ones, and it has "Galleons" that you can use to skip certain challenges. (Did I mention it's Harry Potter themed? 'Cause it is.)

I hope everyone who is participating is having an outstanding NaNoWriMo so far! I will hopefully be back with more updates in the future so see you then.

Friday, October 30, 2015

October Reading Wrap-Up 2015

I actually read quite a good deal more than I expected during October. I finished three graphic novels/comic book bindups, and six novels (three of the novels were rather short, two were rather long, and one was average).

Let's get into it!

---

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - EVERYONE HAS BEEN RAVING AND PRAISING THIS BOOK. Tumblr is in love with it. So... I finally read it! I really liked the characters in this book, and I was so glad the writing went smoother (in my opinion) than the Shiver Trilogy. I couldn't put it down and I am highly invested in Blue's story. This one was so much fun and I read it really fast! ★★★★☆

The Twilight Zone: The After Hours by Mark Kneece with art by Rebekah Isaacs - So, I was bored and randomly found this in my school library's graphic novel section during lunch. And it was so good. I just love the Twilight Zone, what can I say? I feel like the reason I liked it so much was because I haven't seen that episode, so the graphic novel probably doesn't bring anything new to the table. Just in case you were wondering. (Here is my Goodreads Review for more in depth thoughts!)
★★★★☆

Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton - So, this was required reading for my English class. And it was so confusing? I could not understand anything. And having to do an assignment for this book caused me an anxiety attack which in turn caused me to miss the supermoon/blood moon eclipse thing which I was SO UPSET about after. I love astronomy and cool moon things. I wanted to see it, darn it!  So overall not a fan. It was important, though, so if you want to read it, I'm not stopping you.
(More Detail in Goodreads Review) ★★☆☆☆

The Twilight Zone: Death's-Head Revisited by Mark Kneece, with art by Chris Lie - Yes, another Twilight Zone Graphic Novel. I'm a little bit in love with the Twilight Zone. But this one was so... creepy? I'm not sure in a good way? It was just a bit off-putting I guess. Bascically, if I had to summon this book up with one song, it would be "Hellfire" from Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was just uncomfortable reading from this guy's point of view cause he was really... not a nice person. He was a Nazi commander and it describes him torturing people. There is blood. Sort of as a warning before.  (My Goodreads Review) ★★★☆☆

I Was Here by Gayle Foreman - This was my first Gayle Foreman book and... I'm not so sure it was the best place to start? I mean, I can definitely tell the writing was awesome. And it made me want to read more of her work (as a non-contemporary fan, that's something!) but, the romance. The romance was just so... uncomfy? It didn't make me feel good and I couldn't ship it. Also, trigger warning suicide for this book. (My Goodreads Review) ★★☆☆☆

Ms. Marvel: No Nonsense  by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphona - I'VE BEEN WANTING TO READ THIS FOREVER. And I got even more excited when I got obsessed with everything Marvel this past month. (Thanks, Maddie.) So I finally got it from the library and read it in two sittings. Yay, comic books! I liked this and the art was stunning. I will try to read the next book! The only questionable part about it kinda might spoil something so I won't talk about it, but overall yes. Approve. ★★★★☆

Moonwar by Ben Bova - I got this from the little lending-library I mentioned up above. I wasn't expecting much, admittedly, since I don't read much adult, and I don't read much Sci-Fi. (Guess what this was? An adult sci-fi about a war fought on the moon. It was very political. I liked it. But not really the politics specifically.) The characters were very strong, I thought, and it was just a fun book. I mean, come on, who doesn't want to read about a war fought on the moon? That's awesome! ALSO HE ISN'T AFRAID TO KILL OFF HIS CHARACTERS. I obviously am not adjusted to reading adult because my heart wasn't ready to be parted from all my faves. Why. You cruel man. Trigger warnings for murder, gore, and rape. ★★★★☆

Fairest by Marissa Meyer - AHHH. MARISSA MEYER, YOU GENIUS. I loved this book. It was short, but awesome. Getting into the head of Levana was so weird since she was twisted and truly believed what she was doing was right, which honestly makes a villain scarier. This just made me dislike her even more! If you're looking for a villain sympathy story, avoid this. If you are looking for a book with a twisted villain you love to hate, definitely give this a try. I read it so fast. And I liked it. Like, a lot. ★★★★★

The Diviners by Libba Bray - This was posi-tute-ly the cat's pajamas! I actually own this book and have been waiting specifically for Halloween month to read it. And read it I did! It's a long book but I read it really fast! I just love the 1920s, I love murder mysteries, I love magic... this had it all. Some people say that they don't like Evie, but me? I loved her character! She was just a relatively normal girl, which helped me to relate to her (well, normal minus a couple small details of course... heheh...) Actually, you know what? I liked all the characters (except for maybe Jericho. Not his biggest fan for whatever reason?) I would totally recommend this as a Halloween spooky read. OooOoOooOo. (My GooOoOoodreads Review. Spooky) ★★★★☆

----

I'm probably also going to be reading and finishing Through the Woods by Emily Carroll since I'll be reading that tomorrow, but I can include that in my November Wrap-Up, right? (Right, I say back to myself.)

My favorite books this month were Fairest and the Raven Boys. And maybe the Diviners. I just read so many good books! What was your favorite? Have you read any of the ones I did this month, and what did you think?

Have a GREAT day!


Friday Reads [#09]

Hey, people! It's me, back again with another of my favorite posts to write: Friday Reads (also just so you know, I didn't make this up, I think I first saw it on Sam from Novel and Nonsense Booktube channel. She's amazing and I love Sam. But just so I don't accidentally "take credit" for this or anything).

This week I finished The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray, and I liked it a lot! It got me in the spooky Halloween spirit because YIKES. Just, Naughty John. That's all I'll say since I don't want to spoil. It was pretty scary. (Also 1920s!! My favorite!! Give me all the 1920s fantasy books please thank!!)

I liked it so much that I was inspired to pick up Walk on Earth a Stranger (Goldseer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson. It's a new release that I checked out from my library. It's about a girl named Leah whom has a special gift to sense gold, whether it be a locket, a speck, or a huge vein of gold. And it just so happens to take place during the California Gold Rush. It gives off the same historical-with-magical-powers vibe as The Diviners did, so that's a thing that's cool. I'm around 200 pages in and already liking it more than her other book. So glad this seems to be going well! (not that I disliked her other books, I just personally had a bit of struggle getting into them!)

I have like two other books checked out from my public library and one graphic novel checked out from my school library and one that I'm borrowing from the clubhouse lending-library. So many books, so little time! All of them are so exciting though.

I'm planning on reading the graphic novel on Halloween Night (/NaNoWriMo eve. *squeak*) as I give out candy to trick or treaters because it's supposed to be a terrifying book (Through the Woods by Emily Carroll... has anyone read it? Thoughts?) and what better time to read it than Halloween night, am I right? We'll also be watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as well as possibly "Punkin Chunkin" (don't ask. It's not as redneck as the title suggests. It's actually quite science-y and was hosted by the MythBusters one year).

My almost-seven year old neighbor also invited our family to the Halloween/Birthday Party he is having tomorrow night, so I (might) be attending that (let's see how high I rank on the 'avoid society' scale tomorrow night, shall we?). I also have a lot of homework to do. (English essay, emailing something to my Spanish teacher, 4 math worksheets, AP Government current events and textbook notes, etc.) and I want to get that done tomorrow so I can have all of Sunday to write! (And also celebrate my dad's birthday because Nov. 1st is his birthday so happy birthday to him!)

Have you ever noticed my Friday Reads post always go out on a tangent and end up a big, rambly, mess of post about my life? Huh. Weird. (Not really though. That was half-sarcasm. I don't even know. It's late and I should stop.)

What are you doing for Halloween? Or NaNoWriMo?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The NaNoWriMo Tag

Surprise... I wasn't tagged for a thing but I decide to do it anyway! Woah... hehe. This was created by the absolutely lovely Kristina Horner on Youtube so all credit for the questions goes to her!


1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?

This will be my third time.

2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?

Okay, this is actually a bit of a long story so feel free to skip and look at the next question instead.
I used to frequent this site (I won't say the name of it) but it was not in anyway a writing site. Anyway, someone held a competition where they provided a prompt and you had to write a ~10,000 word story in one month. The creator mentioned that it was a lot like the NaNoWriMo challenge. I had no idea what that was, so I looked it up and the rest is history!
That wasn't as long as I thought.
3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?
Ominous Waters. It was about magic and pirates and sirens and things. I still rather like it.

4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.
A girl and her brother try to slay dragons. That is awful. These one sentence summary things STRESS me out.

5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
I'm not sure I've ever been given writing advice, actually! But a couple of my favorite writing quotes are:

"Good fiction creates its own reality." ~ Nora Roberts
"Whether or not you write well, write bravely." ~Bill Stout

6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?
Not yet! I might one day though. Sadface.

7. What's your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?
a) Music is always a big one. Specifically, a composer called Thomas Bergensen.
b) I have really weird dreams. I write them down sometimes. Then I can create a novel or short story based off them later. I had a weird one last night actually, that I have yet to write down...
c) When I was younger (elementary/primary school...) I had a lot of, erm, interesting, ideas that I jotted down. Occasionally I'll use those.


8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.
"The Pig Snout Bar lived up to its name." (Ominous Waters, 2013)
Yeah, that's one I still need to edit...


9. Why do you love writing?
Writing has always been a part of my life, ever since I was very small. I'm also a third generation writer, since both my Grandma and my Mom loved to write. Some of my only memories with my mom is writing a book with her! (It was about dragons who baked cookies for their Grandma when they went to their Grandma's house. I was obviously in charge of the plot. It was a masterpiece, tbh.) I love how I get full control over what happens power is mine at last! mwahahahah and I can create something from nothing.
I work much better with a deadline, so NaNoWriMo is honestly a real motivator for me.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Reads [#08]

Happy Friday everybody!

It seems like it's been a long week. These past two weeks have been three-day weekends (aka four day school weeks) so getting back in the flow of things with a regular week again was difficult. I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. Three tests at school today didn't make things easier. But I made it! Whoo!

I completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 75 books this year, this past week. (I didn't read 75 books in week. Rather, I've read 75 books this year as of this week. I hope that clears up any confusion you may have had ;D). I read a couple of books, including Fairest by Marissa Meyer, which was very twisted and weird and I LOVED IT. It was grand, in a dark sort of way. Levana is definitely a complex villainess.

Currently, I'm getting into the Halloween spooky spirit by reading The Diviners by Libba Bray for the very first time! I've had this book for over a year now and I still haven't read it (The shame!). I've actually been specifically waiting for around this time because I had heard it was a good hide-under-your-covers book for when you need a good scare. I've also heard it's a good book in general.

I'm ~150 pages in, and loving it! It's set in the 1920's, and that is my absolute favorite time period to read about. I love the flappers, the jazz music, the speakeasies, the lingo... just everything about it is so fun to read about!

I have no big weekend plans, so mostly I'll be sitting inside and reading. Maybe hop to a couple of bookshops or go on a hike. I know the rest of my family is going to a football game tonight, so I might go along with them (though I don't understand football in the slightest)!

What is everyone else doing this weekend? What are you currently reading?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sweater Weather Tag

I wasn't actually tagged by anyone to do this but I saw it on Aimee @ To The Barricade's blog, and I just had to do it myself. I love Autumn, Winter, cold weather, oversized sweaters, hot drinks, pumpkin spice... just give me all the cozy things!

Favorite Candle Scent During Winter and Autumn, my family loves to put candles everywhere to get in the mood. I really love the Peppermint ones.
 
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Okay, so... I've never... tried... coffee? I am a disgrace, honestly. But I do love the smell of coffee and have always wanted to try it.
I love tea, especially peppermint teas (peppermint everything is my favorite, okay?) or green tea with a bit of honey and lemon... mmm...
I think Hot Chocolate wins out though. I love putting those little marshmallows on top, and adding some peppermint to the bottom of the mug. Hot Chocolate is just so warm and cozy.

What's the best fall memory you have? 
Okay, unpopular opinion time: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It combines family and food, my two favorite things!
Every Thanksgiving, my extended family on my Mom's side (so... just over 30 people? Sometimes more, depending on who can make it) all gather together and bring a bit of food from our own homes. It's seriously a feast, and I love my extended family on that side so much. The energy is just the greatest.
Plus, I have two little cousins (5 and 3) who love to play with me. We play everything from Hide and Seek tag to Air Hockey.
It's grand.
 
Best fragrance for fall:I'm not sure? Pumpkin Spice definitely gives off the Fall vibe, but I actually like the smell of strong coffee.
 
Favorite Thanksgiving food: WHY.
I love love loooove Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. I could eat five helpings of it and not get sick. It's just so delicious and one of my favorite comfort foods (just after homemade macaroni and cheese). I also like the green beans that we have, and the stuffing is very good.
Ooh, and my cousin makes the best baked goods. Cookies and cupcakes and brownies. So delish.
ALSO PUMPKIN PIE.
Can I just say all of it?
 
What is autumn weather like where you live? Currently? Frustratingly hot. It's supposed to be 80 degrees Farenheit today. No. Nonono. I want cold and rain and below freezing, thank you.
Normally it's very rainy and pleasantly miserable. I love it.
 
Most worn sweater:
 
I had this pink sweater that I used to wear all the time. It was my only overlarge sweater. It's retired now.
 
Football games or jumping in leaf piles? Bugs scare me.
I don't understand football at all but I love the football season because of how much my family loves it. They get so into it. And I get chips and dip so it's all good there.
I love the energy of my High School's football games as well. I went to one last week, and even though I didn't get any of it (and I just mostly talked and laughed with my friend the entire time instead of watching the game), I love cheering with everyone and just enjoying a good-natured game.
 
Skinny jeans or leggings?Neither. I don't think I one a pair of either one. But, probably leggings because they look more comfy.
 
Combat boots or Uggs? Again, I don't own any. Sadface. I feel like I would like the comfiness of Uggs though. They look very soft.
 
Is Pumpkin Spice worth the hype? 
YES.
I love Pumpkin Spice everything. Give me all the Pumpkin Spice lattes, M n' M's, candles, donuts, everything.
I tried Pumpkin Spice Soda yesterday and it was very good. 10/10 recommend.
 
Favorite fall TV show: 
I really love a lot of Fall TV shows. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Goldbergs, The Middle, Modern Family, Worst Cooks in America, Grimm. But my favorite has to be Once Upon A Time. Love that show!
 
What song really gets you into the fall spirit? Instrumentals.
Before October Ends from Cimorelli, even though it's rather depressing. (I think a lot of depressing songs go well with fall).
But, of course, the ultimate song of Fall... This Is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas!
 
Hats or scarves? Both! But especially hats because they can hide my messy hair.
 
What's your #1 favorite thing about fall?Apple cider, pumpkin pies, football games. Thanksgiving, and Halloween. Carving pumpkins and the ridiculous Halloween specials that come on TV. Rain. Reading scary books beneath the covers at night. Donuts and hot chocolate. Darker days and longer nights. NaNoWriMo. Sweaters, jeans, and jumping into puddles. Coziness. Not as many bugs. No more hot sunny torture season. Family.
I just love everything about Autumn.
It's my favorite season!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beautiful Books #1 // Meet Dragonslayer

 
 
Beautiful Books is a different take on Beautiful People -- a monthly writerly meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up Further In so if you're a writer too, check it out!

It's been much too long since I've participated in a Beautiful People link-up, and when I saw this post on Cait's blog I knew I had to post my own Novel Introduction. This month, instead of Beautiful People, the topic is Beautiful Books, and the idea is to introduce your novel to the world!

So, world... meet Dragonslayer! This will be my NaNoWriMo 2015 project, and my aim is to write at least 100k words of it in November! Plausible? Not at all. Possible? Well, sure!

Questions:
 
  1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
    Okay, so fun story time: I still act like a little kid. All the time. My neighbors across the street, me, and my brother (and step-brother, this time) enjoy playing adventure games where we all act out random adventures together. Our favorite game to play is called "Hungry Dragon", wherein we all vote on whom to sacrifice to the Hungry Dragon. Then we promptly sacrifice that person and play continues.
    This was one of our adventure games that stemmed from that. I'm thinking of posting a longer in-depth explanation about it in a future blog post, so let me know if you want to see that? I think we played this game, what, a couple months ago? Early September?
  2. Why are you excited to write this novel?I'm really in love with these characters, especially the main character, Pupil One. She's just so bubbly and optimistic and outgoing and everything I'm not. It's going to be so great writing about her.
    Plus, I love dragons, so I'm excited about that too.
  3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?The title is... *drumroll* DRAGONSLAYER. If you hadn't figured that out already, hehe. It's pretty self-explanatory by the title. There are these young kids, somewhere in the 7-15 age range and it follows their journey and life growing up at this academy their enrolled in to slay dragons, and in a few rare cases, tame and ride them. (Also, at this academy they are assigned 'Pupil' numbers, rather than names).
    The main character, Pupil One, has her mute brother go missing after he discovers he has magic. It's all about her being determined to get him back and defying age-long prophecies and proving things wrong and slaying dragons. It's gonna be fun.
  4. Sum up your characters in one word each. (Feel free to add pictures!)Pupil One: Determined
    Pupil Two: Conflicted
    Pupil Five: Dense
    Professor: Legendary
    Secret Enigmatic Person: Enigmatic. Also secret. And a person.
  5. Which character(s) do you think will be your favourite to write? Tell us about them! PUPIL ONE. She's so great. I love her because she's so curious and inquisitive and isn't afraid to ask a lot of questions. It's just who she is. She also is so determined and stubborn and stands true to her beliefs. She starts the book optimistic and seeing the best in everybody, but as her brother goes missing, and she starts to grow up, she realizes that maybe things aren't as great as she thought they were when she was a kid. Her journey is just going to be so emotionally impactful for me to write, I think, and difficult too, since these gradually pessimistic changes are things we all experience growing up, I think. Just to a different extent. It'll be super fun and interesting.
  6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
     
    She has two driving forces throughout the novel:
    a) getting her brother back and
    b) slaying a dragon
    What stands in her way is the strange old man she keeps running into (though she doesn't know it yet) and an age-old prophecy claiming that her brother will die. Slightly problematic.
     
  7. Where is your novel set? (Show us pictures if you have them!)
    I'm not quite sure where this is, but I'm 99% sure it'll make an appearance in my novel at some point.
    MY WORLD. It's kind of like Medieval England, I gueeessss? (Yes, I'm gonna be that person. Again.) Except there's no royalty. And no knights. And no castles. Also there's no unnecessary sexism. (Not that I have anything against royalty and knights, of course.)
  8. What is the most important relationship your character has?Oh, this is such an easy one. She loves her brother very much. She always asks for his opinion on things and he writes the things down. Pupil One is just really protective of him and kind to him. They're very important to each other.
  9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?I mentioned this earlier, but she does go through a huge journey as a character. However she still has some of the things that make her her. You know what I mean? I'm a pantser and we never finished playing the game so I don't know really where she'll end up.
  10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
    I'm not sure, as I haven't planned out anything yet! :)
  11. BONUS! Tell us your 3 best pieces of advice for others trying to write a book in a month.
  • DO NOT DELETE. Seriously, here guys. If there's something your unhappy with, highlight it in yellow or something, or use the strikeout feature. That way you know to cut it out when editing. But when your writing NaNoWriMo-style? Resist the temptation!
  • WORD WARS. These things are the best. The idea is, you write as many words as you can in a limited amount of time. So, say, 10 minutes. It's fun to race against friends, too! (Feel free to buddy me on NaNo as Waffle Writer so we can word war against each other!)
  • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY SPARE MINUTE. At lunch during work? Write. Got a few spare minutes during passing time at school? Pull out a notebook and write. You'd be surprised at how those minutes add up.
Also, most importantly, guys: stay healthy and hydrated! Get plenty of sleep, please. It can be tempting to sacrifice sleep or hygiene or society for the sake of getting in the daily word count, but it is so, so important to take care of yourself.
 
Thanks for reading! Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

Friday, October 2, 2015

September Wrap-Up | 2015

Hey everybody. Today I have an update on what I read in the month of September! I didn't read a huge amount for a variety of reasons, but what I did read was generally pretty good! I ventured into the world of comics a bit, finished a series I've been reading since Elementary School and read a new favorite of 2015!
 
This month I read
  • 1 Comic Book Series (equivalent of 3 trade paperbacks)
  • 1 Graphic Novel
  • 4 Books
 
Young Avengers Omnibus by Kieron Gillan, with art by Jamie McKelvie : This was the comic book series I read, based off a recommendation by Engie @ Musings From Neville's Navel whose reccomendations are always super on-point. This was the first comic book series I've read (I think...?) and I read it in one sitting! I was addicted. The art is so awesome, and though I was a tad bit confuzzled at points, that has more to do with my lack of experience than the storytelling itself. I would definitely recommend this as a good starting place for comics! (Also every single main character was queer or implied so, including a canonically bisexual character! Hurrah for diversity!) ★★★★☆
 
 
Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani with art by Maris Wicks : Okay, so talk about a title. This was the graphic novel I read this month and it was definitely informational! I'm super interested in both Anthropology and Femininism so I thought I would really love this novel! And it was great, a fast and fun read. I think it would be a great addition to any elementary or middle school level classroom. Again, confusing, mostly because of some point of view shifts that weren't quite clear? THE ART WAS SO SUPER CUTE GUYS. I could stare at it all day. *heart eyes because adorable art* ★★★★☆
 
 
Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4)  by Christopher Paolini : I can't believe I've been reading this series since elementary school. It's absolutely crazy how long I've been reading these books but finally I can say I've finished them! I had some major problems with the ending of this book, which I go into further (with full warnings before all spoilers) in my Goodreads Review of this book. Overall, I did like it a lot and think it a solid conclusion to the series but again... can't get over the things that irked me! I was really conflicted, but nostalgia overruled on this one. ★★★★☆
 
Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1) by Kate Elliott: I saw this one at the "New Releases" section of my library and instantly pounced to get it before someone else could! This is a young adult Fantasy novel, and even though it was getting mixed reviews I was anxious to read it. And, it was... it was okay. Again, conflicted feelings on this one. I felt some flashbacks to other books I had read, but overall it was a fun time! I did feel like it was very much a set-up book and that hopefully the next books in the series will be stronger. ★★★☆☆
 
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir: OMIGOSH GUYS. I don't know what it was about this book, but something about me and An Ember in the Ashes just clicked. I loved the writing style so much, and I was really invested in the plot the whole time. Also, I had like three different ships. No, make that four. And I loved all of them and I was shipping all the things. Also angst and tension and tears and intensity. I just loved all of it. It's definitely my favorite book of the month, and a new favorite of 2015. ★★★★★
 
Rook by Sharon Cameron : I read this for the Perustopia Book Club which is hosted by abookutopia and PeruseProject on Youtube. I thought this book was interesting, but very very slow. I felt like some parts of the book could have been cut out or shortened. But! There's a but! The romance was slowburn and very cute. I loved the characters and WOW THE WORLD. It was so interesting and I wanted to know more about it! The historical references were so clever and well done and the characters were very dynamic and I loved following their journey. This one was probably a 3.5 but then at the end I just felt so much admiration at this being wrapped up in a standalone and I got emotional over the characters and having to leave them so. CONFLICT. What do I rate it? I ended up on a ★★★★☆
 
Thanks for reading my wrap-up! Have you read any of these books, and what did you think? What was YOUR favorite book of September? Have a great October!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (5)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews and by Uncorked Thoughts blogs. This is a weekly meme that celebrates and contemplates all things Harry Potter-related. Each week there is a question or prompt. Today's question is:
 
Which one of the 6 trials the trio faced in Philosopher's Stone would have been your downfall? (Quirell's Troll, Flitwick's flying keys, Sprout's plants, Snape's potion riddle, McGonagall's chess match or Dumbledore's Mirror/Stone trick)
 
---
 
This is an awesome question for this week! I would honestly fail all of these trials. However, I think my worst trials would be the troll, and the plants. I don't remember much about  the keys, but I have terrible balance so I would never be able to fly up to get that one either!
 
 
However, I think I would do worst at Sprout's plants. I panic very easily, and I would be just like Ron, freaking out and flailing my arms whilst trying to get out! Even if I had read up on the plants, or overheard something about them in the Hufflepuff common room, I would still find it hard to take the advice as I am extremely claustrophobic!
 
Which one would be your downfall?
 


Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Reads [#07]

Happy Friday, everybody! It's my first Friday back in school, and already I have a lot of homework to complete. And, I'm going to a walk thing tomorrow with my family, which should take most of the morning, so I'm not sure how much reading I'll actually be getting done this weekend, but I am going to try to sneak in a few pages here and there.

First, I'm going to try and finish up Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. It's the fourth book in the Inheritance Cycle and the supposed final book (I'm not sure, but I think he has said he will write a fifth book in this world?). I read the first book when I was still in Elementary School but although I re-read the first couple a few times, I've never read this one. And... I have mixed thoughts on it. I'll probably have a series review, or at least an individual review for this one up on my blog when I finish it, because I have a lot of feelings about this one. Some are good, some are bad. CONFLICT.

I'll also be reading more of Court of Fives by Kate Elliott. This is the first book in a Young Adult Fantasy series (or trilogy, I'm not sure). It was in the new release section of the library, and I recognized it from Goodreads browsing, so I picked it up. I'm about 200 pages in, and it's okay so far. I'm sure I will get into it more in the future, if  I have time to just read and nothing else. It reminds me a lot of a mix between The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson and Atlantia by Allie Condie. The writing style is really familiar as well.

And, if I have time, I will read a bit more of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I've been reading this off and on for a couple months, but that's no surprise since I don't read many classics, and I can be a pretty slow reader. I'm just over two-thirds of the way through, I believe and I'm finding it really enjoyable! Jane is such a great character. However, I'm a bit wary since I have it as an eBook I got for free and I'm not sure if it's abridged or not?? Yikes? I hope it's not.

And, I will be reading my history textbook as well of course. Fun times.

What are you reading or doing this weekend? Anything exciting? Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Top Ten Series That I Need To Finish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme featuring lists. As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish blog.
 
This week's topic is the top ten book series that you need to finish (or it looks like you can also add series you need to catch up on?).
 
Here's my list!
---
  1. The Inheritance Cycle by Chistopher Paolini - I feel like I'm cheating by including this one since a) I am reading the last book, Inheritance right now and I'm ~130 pages away from finishing it and b) the author has stated there will be a fifth book in this world. But, I'm going to add this one anyway since I started reading this series when I was very young but never finished it. Plus, dragons.
  2. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - I've read the first three books in this urban fantasy series, but have yet to read the last three. This series is pretty popular so I'm definitely going to be diving back in, I just don't know when.
  3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - I absolutely loved the first three books in this series, despite my so-so attitude when it comes to vampires in books. The fourth book wasn't my favorite but Mead's writing is so addicting that I definitely will be reading the last two books!
  4. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo - I read the first two books in the trilogy last year, and I just never got around to Ruin and Rising. This is another popular series, and since I am highly anticipating Six of Crows, I know I need to finish this one!
  5. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu - Confession: I've only read the first book and I wasn't the biggest fan. But maybe if I re-read this and get onto the second book, Prodigy, I will discover a love for it? This isn't at the top of my list, but it still is there.
  6. WondLa by Tony Diterlizzi - This is a middle grade science fiction trilogy that I own a complete set of, and the illustrations and story are so much fun. I've read the first two, and the third one will hopefully be just as fun.
  7. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull - This is another middle grade book series, but this time fantasy. I've read the first two or three books and they are so much fun! I really got into this world when I read them so I need to read the last couple of books.
  8. Howl's Moving Castle Series by Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle is still one of my all-time favorite books. I have the second book in this companion trilogy sitting on my shelves right now, so I don't know why I haven't read it! I think I'm scared I won't like it as much as the first book.
  9. Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman - I've only read the first book, but so many people like this young adult dystopian series that I feel a need to complete it. One day.
  10. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - This is the one book series on my list where not all the books are out yet. I've read the first two books in this series: Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, but have yet to read the prequel novellas or the other two books that are out. But there has been so much hype for this lately that makes me want to carry on!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fandom Mash-Up (#3): *X-Files Theme Music Plays*

Fandom Mash-Up is a weekly meme hosted by Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews. Each week, a new situation is given, and you get to choose five characters from any fandom (bookish or not!) to help you out.
 
This week, the situation is...
There's been a murder *gasp* and the police are calling it an accident but you know they're wrong. Who do you call up to investigate with you?
 
-----
 
 
  1. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from X-Files

    Yup, totally bringing both of them. I can't just have one or the other with me. They're a team!

    I would need the X-Files investigators with me, because come on... if the police are calling it an accident... there's a 50/50 chance I'll need someone from the X-Files Division with me. If I'm with them, there's a good chance I won't get killed as well, which is always a plus.

  2. Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson from Elementary

    What do you mean I have four people already? I have two groups of two, and it's definitely not the same thing. In my defense, I want both of these people as well, and they too work best as a team.

    You just can't solve a mystery without some adaptation of the classic Sherlock Holmes helping you out, I think. So, this is the take on Sherlock and Watson that I will be enlisting to investigate with me!


  3. Emma Swan from Once Upon A Time

    Emma Swan is a cop, and she regularly has to deal with... unusual crimes, let's put it that way. I think it would help to have her on the team, since she's also a fighter and knows how to defend herself!

    She also has some experience in the field, so she would be able to figure it out, whether it's your every day solution, or something more... magical.

  4. Nick Burkhardt from Grimm

    Also a cop. It seems like most of the people I choose for today's scenario are cops. But, just like Emma, he deals with things that aren't so ordinary.

    I want to make sure there's a good variety here with the types of unordinary that the cops deal with, and Nick's is different from anyone else's. Another benefit is that he's smart, and strategic.

    And, he can always call on his friends Rosalee and Monroe if we needed backup. They'd be able to do something about it, for sure...

  5. Nancy Drew from Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene

    I used to read Nancy Drew books all the time. I own nearly every book in the series (because my step-mom collected them all when she was a kid... thanks, Mom!) and I've read nearly all of them. So I know well enough by now that Nancy would make an important addition to the team.

    For one thing, she's very observant. She would catch clues that nobody else would, and that's very important in a good detective! Even better, she'd know how to put those clues together to solve the puzzle. I'd be very glad to have her on my side!


    Special shout-out to Scooby Doo and friends, whom sadly couldn't be depended on in this expedition. If one of the detectives above can't make it, you guys can be my back-up. I hope everyone has an awesome three-day weekend!
    

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Summary (via Goodreads): "In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.


Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword....
"



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My Spoiler-Free Review (also on Goodreads):

First off, I have to say: it's been two weeks since I read this book and I still can't get it out of my mind. There were so many aspects of this book that made it hard for me to stop thinking about it! Twists and turns, surprises around every corner. Several of them I did not see coming. And let me tell you this: in the land of Mytica, no one, not even your favorite characters, are safe...

In Falling Kingdoms, we follow several different character perspectives. I thought this would get confusing, since I don't read too many books with multiple perspectives, but I had no problem at all distinguishing the separate character voices and plots.

The characters we follow are:

Cleiona Bellos: The feisty youngest princess of the land of Auranos. I really enjoyed reading from her point of view, and I have to say she was one of my favorite characters! I liked how if she wanted something done, she would get it done, and wouldn't let anyone stop her or get in her way. Although she could be selfish and reckless at times, I have a feeling she will really get a lot of character development in future books.

Jonas Agallon: The rebel from the land of Paelsia. Oh, Jonas. I should have loved you, but I just felt no connection. His chapters were probably my least favorite, but his determination and dedication were extremely admirable. Hopefully in the future I will grow to love him!

Magnus Damora: The crown prince and heir to the land of Limeros. So many people love him. I liked him, but there was a certain (slightly spoiler-y so I won't include it here) aspect that I just found to be slightly creepy. I did like his character though and I think I might have liked his chapters the best. It's hard to say whether I liked his or Cleo's better.

Lucia Damora: The princess of the land of Limeros and younger sister to Magnus. Lucia was an interesting character. She was the only one of the core four who didn't have any desire to fight. She was young and innocent and I very much liked her. But just because she didn't want to fight didn't mean she didn't lose her temper and blast people out of her way when angry. I have a feeling she too will change vastly in the next books.

There were a couple other point of view's that we got glimpses of, but we never really got into their heads like we did with the "core four".

As for the plot of this book? I loved it. It was exactly what I love in a good fantasy novel. Although I've never read or watched anything Game of Thrones, I've heard Falling Kingdoms compared to it many times, and I think, based off what I do know, that it's a worthy comparison. There's multiple point of views, there's romance, there's war, there's brewing tensions, and there's definitely plenty of bloodshed.

The bloodshed was part of what made this book stand out from the other dozens of YA Fantasy that I've read this year. Sometimes, to me, it feels like characters in books are invincible. In this book, that's not the case.

I've begun rambling, I can feel it, so I'll make a few last, quick, points about this book. The worldbuilding was done so well that it felt like I could be transported to Mytica if I just closed my eyes. This is a world that's falling apart, that's for sure (hence the title of the series), and I honestly have no idea in what direction the series will go. No matter what happens, it'll be a surprise to me, I'm sure!

 Despite it's decent size (412 pages), Falling Kingdoms was a book I devoured in just two days. It was full of action, and each new revelation had me turning the pages eagerly. I was so sad when I came to the end of this book. Luckily for me, it's going to be a six-book series, so I will have plenty of chance to return to this world in the future!



Short and Sweet Thoughts: Probably one of my favorite books of the year, Falling Kingdoms was the first in a YA Fantasy series, full of fleshed-out, interesting characters, and surprises that kept me turning the pages deep into the night.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (4)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a weekly meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and by Lunar Rainbows Reviews. There's a new topic every week, and you respond to the question accordingly! This week, the question is:
 
 Place you wish we'd explored in the series but didn't?
 
Image is not mine!
 
 
As a Hufflepuff, I have to say the Hufflepuff common room. While it does make me feel rather special to belong to the one house that Harry did not explore the common room of, I do wish we had gotten to see it in the series! Maybe seeing more of the Hufflepuffs would eliminate the typical "potato house" comments (though probably not).
 
I just love the common room as it is explained on Pottermore, and it sounds exactly like a Hobbit Hole. Everything seems very cozy and friendly and welcoming, which is exactly what the Hufflepuff house is all about!
 
Since not everybody uses Pottermore, I would like everyone who had read the series to know what the Hufflepuff common room is like, and that would have been achieved if it had been added to the series! Of course, I can't think of any reason Harry would have gone to the common room, but theoretically, it would have been fun to explore.
 
 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Wrap-Up

Hi, everybody! It's time to wrap up the reading from August. August was a pretty chill month for me, I didn't really go anywhere or... do anything... so I got  a lot of reading done! (By my standards, anyway.) Despite some slumpiness halfway through, I did finish 9 books this month!
 
 
(All the links lead to my review on Goodreads, so if you want more in depth thoughts, check those out!)
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Lucky You by Carl Hiaasen - I wanted to like this one since it was a gift for my recovery, but I had such problems with the antagonists. They were basically racist, sexist, and infuriating. They weren't even people I loved to hate. I just flat out hated them because of the qualities listed above. I thought the writing was fine and I liked the style! I just didn't enjoy the plot of this particular novel of his, and couldn't connect with the characters, not just the villains.  ★★☆☆☆
 
Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery - I loved Anne of Green Gables by the same author, so my expectations were high for this one. (Plus I bought it with the gorgeous yellow Sourcebook Fire cover! And it did not disappoint. Gah, my love for this book! I loved all the characters. All of them. (Well, almost all.) Even Aunt Elizabeth. As an aspiring young author myself, I could connect with Emily and found a kindred spirit in her. I also just really enjoyed the writing style of this book. And something that happened at the end really took me by surprise and almost made me cry. ★★★★★
 
Spirit Animals: Wild Born by Brandon Mull - This was a middle grade, and also a book that I bought this month! (I don't buy books often, so I'm always happy when I do.) I just really like the concept of familiars in general (such as the Daemons from The Golden Compass). So I liked that aspect! I really flew through this quick, and I think that younger audiences would really enjoy this one. I certainly did, and I'm not really the target audience. It was a bit young in writing but had lots of diversity with characters and an interesting and engaging plot! ★★★★☆
 
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling - I was very much in a Harry Potter mood this month, so I re-read this one! (Why this one? It's one of the only Harry Potter books we own. We really need to buy a whole set.) It's one of my favorites of the series and I very much enjoyed it this time around as well. Quidditch! Luna! Hogwarts! ★★★★★
 
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer - I also have a review of this one on my blog, but it's pretty similar to what I said in my Goodreads review. This one was entertaining and a fast read with an interesting idea behind it. It's not often you see time travel in contemporaries, after all. However there was quite a lot of insta-love! I didn't really know what to rate this one since I did enjoy it but had problems with it in certain places. I did end up settling on ★★★☆☆
 
The Novice by Taran Matharu - So many people dislike this one, and so I went in with the lowest of the low expectations. However I actually quite liked it? Was it an epic masterpiece, no. But it did have Pokémon elements and I'm always a sucker for that. Plus it had a great friendship dynamic and was easy to read. I thought it was a very fun and light read and I actually really liked it! ★★★★☆
 
Homecoming by Kass Morgan - Speaking of disliked by the general population, I read the third book in the 100 trilogy this month! I'm one of the few people in this world who actually find the books quite fun reads? I didn't like the first one, but the second I loved. And this was pretty good too. I thought it wrapped everything up nicely and I can't wait to watch the TV Show! ★★★★☆
 
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes - My favorite book of the month, people. Hands down. Maybe even of the year so far. This one was so good and I can't believe I waited for so long to read it! I loved how complex everything was underneath the surface, but I never got confused. I have a feeling that the books will just keep getting better and better. All the twists and turns and shocks from this book have stuck with me and it's been more than a week since I finished it. I just can't get it out of my mind! I'll be writing up a blog review of this soon, I hope! ★★★★★
 
The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove - Another middle-grade book, and this one was so beautiful. The design crew of this book should be hired for every book, ever. There were ruffled pages. And the cover of the hardback has this awesome thing where there's a  silhouette on the book itself, and you can see it through the jacket... hard to explain, but so pretty. Plus this book was all about maps, which was awesome. It had one of the most unique worlds I've ever read, and everything I want in a Fantasy Novel. Pirates! Epic Train Escapades worthy of Mission Impossible! Spunky Heroines! Creepy Villains! Maps! It was a great time. ★★★★☆
 
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That's it! That's all the books I read in August and I'm a bit prouder of it than I should be. I had a good reading month as far as quality goes too, so that could be why. I hope you all had a good reading month and have a great reading month this September!
 
Until next time, happy reading!