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.
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? 
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!

  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!