3 Tips to Reach Your 2018 Reading Goals

We only have 19 days left of 2018 and I don’t know about you, but I still have 10 books I need to read before I hit my 75 book reading goal. By following these 3 tips to achieving my reading goals in a short amount of time, I know I can get it done and you can too! It’s important to remember that reading is not about reading X amount of books every year or reading JUST to reach that amount of books, but I do think it’s fun to set goals for yourself and stick to them. Reading always be fun and never a chore, but anyways, here are my 3 tips!

1. Audiobooks, Audiobooks, Audiobooks

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Audiobooks will be your golden key to hitting your reading goal in just a matter of a few weeks. You can listen to them when you are doing mindless tasks around the house like cleaning, making lists, or even getting ready in the morning. They are also great to listen to when you are commuting to work or school. For example, I listen to them when I’m walking to school or taking the bus and currently, I’m listening to City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. You can get audiobooks on Audible (but they cost quite a bit of money), but I prefer using Overdrive or other online library apps that allow me to use my local library card code to borrow free ones via my phone. Overdrive is a great one so I recommend checking it out!

2. Under 200 Pages? Awesome!

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Short books are also a great way to get a lot of reading done in a miniscule amount of time because if you sit down and read 50 pages, that is already a good chunk of the way through the book. Currently, I’m reading Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare which is no small book by any means (it’s 912 pages), but I balance it out with shorter books like the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (which I’m also reading right now and is just over 200 pages). Other short books you should check out are The Outsider by Albert Camus (115 pages), We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (227 pages), Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny (182 pages) and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (186 pages).

3. Balance Multiple Books at Once

Honestly, whether you are a student right now or not, this should be something you are familiar with. With my classes, I’m usually reading if not one, then two books at the same time along with whatever I read in my own time. Balancing multiple books at once is a really useful skill and also helpful when it comes to reading lots of books every year. If you have a really hard time separating the books you are reading or remembering what the hell is happening in each of your books, then give it a try anyway because you might get the hang of it. I can’t not read multiple books at once because I’ve gotten so used to it and I have also gotten really good at it!

Those are my 3 tips to help you hit your reading goal before the end of the year, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: 9 Anticipated Releases for 2019

 

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9 Anticipated Releases for 2019

There are quite a few books I am dying to have in my hands in the new year and today I am sooo excited to be sharing them with you because I am sure there are a few on my list some of you are excited for too. Anyways, let’s just get into it!

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – January 29th, 2019

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I haven’t heard anything about this book other than what I read on Goodreads, but it sounds pretty awesome if you ask me. This is re-telling of Beauty and the Beast but for part of the book, it takes place in our world before our main character is sucked into a fantasy world to save the prince who is destined to destroy his entire world if someone doesn’t help him break his dreaded curse. One thing that caught my eye when reading this book’s description was that the main character, Harper, has cerebral palsy. It’s really great to see that kind of diversity in a novel and it is something we need to see more of! Hopefully, this book is as good as it sounds though!

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi – April 2nd, 2019

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After Restore Me, the sudden fourth addition to her Shatter Me series, I am so, SO ready for Defy Me. I love Warner…a lot, and without him I doubt I’d love these books as much as I do, to be honest. Since I don’t want to spoil what this book is about, the first book, Shatter Me, follows our main character Juliette who has a deadly and terrible curse that kills anyone she touches. She has been locked away for years because of this until she suddenly gets a new roommate named Adam and he helps break them both out. This is a dystopian series and while I’m not a huge dystopian fan, I do enjoy these books and am looking forward to Defy Me!

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston – April 2nd, 2019

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I read Geekerella by Ashley Poston when it came out last year and really liked how quirky and relatable it was, so you bet I am looking forward to The Princess and the Fangirl this spring. This book follows two characters, Imogen who is a die-hard fangirl of the TV show Starfield, and Jessica who is an actress in Starfield who wants out. When the script for the new season of Starfield leaks, Jessica is put to blame and after unlikely events push the two look-a-likes together, Imogen and Jess work together to find the real snitch. I think this book will be a fun ride and I cannot wait for this fangirl-filled story.

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesely Chu – April 2nd, 2019

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April 2nd is going to be a busy day for book releases, and while I am excited for them all, I think I am most excited for this one. This is another book set in the Shadowhunter world, and it follows the adventures of Alec and Magnus after the events of the Dark War. While Alec has never been one of my favourite characters, as more books with him in it come out, I’ve learned to like him a lot more than I did in City of Bones. Maybe this book will help me really like him, but nonetheless, I am so excited to hear about what happened to Magnus and Alec after the Dark War. I can’t really say much about the plot because of spoilers, but yeah!

Again, but Better by Christina Riccio – May 7th, 2019

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I have been watching Christine (Polandbannasbooks on YouTube) for years and years now, so of course, I am going to support her and check out her book. Also, it genuinely sounds like something I would enjoy reading. This is a contemporary book that follows Shane, a girl in college who has felt like she was doing it all wrong, her daily routine consisting of her dorm, class, dining hall and repeat. Hoping to right her wrongs, she signs up to study for a semester in London but when she gets there, she realizes she hasn’t left the things that were holding her back at home like self-doubt. I think I will really relate to Shane and I am curious to see how much I like the story overall!

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – May 14th, 2019

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To be honest, I was not a big fan of From Twinkle, With Love, Menon’s last contemporary novel. I really did not like the main character, but I did really enjoy the overall story so I am willing to give this new book a try when it comes out this spring! It follows two characters, Ashish who was recently dumped by his girlfriend and whose parents are frantically trying to set him up with an Indian-American girl, and Sweetie who is tired of her parents saying she’s lacking because she’s fat and is determined to show them and the world how awesome she really is. Ashish and Sweetie don’t plan on it, but when they are thrown together sparks fly and they can’t help but fall for each other. This sounds really cute like Menon’s other novels, and I’m excited about all the mushy, gushy goodness.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – May 14th, 2019

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This book sounds so epic and again, I haven’t heard much about it, but I cannot wait to get my hands on it! The world in We Hunt the Flame is inspired by ancient Arabia and it follows Zafira who is a well-known hunter that has disguised herself as a man, braving the cursed forest to feed her people. We also follow Nasir who is a prince that assassinates anyone foolish enough to deny his father, avoiding any sense of compassion to stay alive and sane in his crazy world. Their paths cross when Zafira embarks on a quest to retrieve a hidden artifact and Nasir is sent after her, not to retrieve the same artifact but to kill Zafira. This book sounds sooo awesome and I cannot wait to sit down and devour it when it hits the shelves!

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare – November 19th, 2019

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Chain of Gold could very well be my most anticipated release of the year but I am not 100% sure yet. In this new Shadowhunter series, we follow the children of Will and Tessa from The Infernal Devices trilogy in Edwardian London, James and Lucie Herondale. We follow them as the Blackthorn and Carstairs families suddenly arrive in London, but they are not all that arrives because the plague comes too. Action, adventure and romance are inevitable for Shadowhunters, and they are no different when dark secrets are unravelled and the price of being a hero is made blatant. Actually yeah, this is my most anticipated release of the year.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman – Release Date Undetermined…

This is the third (and final?) book in the Arc of a Scythe series and if this is the finale, I know it is going to be one hell of a ride. If it’s not, it will still be one crazy rollercoaster. Thunderhead left me BROKEN and eager for more, and I am itching to get my hands on The Toll but who knows when that is going to be. The first book, Scythe, takes place in a future dystopian world where humans have conquered everything from death to disease. To keep the world in balance though, there are Scythes who choose people to kill every week at random. Our two main characters, Citra and Rowan are chosen to be the apprentices to a well-known Scythe but it is a burden neither of them thought they wanted. Neal Shusterman crafts such an interesting and terrifying world in these books and I am curious and nervous to see what he does in this next one!

There you have it! Those are 9 most anticipated releases for 2019 and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to let me know what books you are looking forward to next year because I would love to know. Also, make sure you check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which will all be linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I usually write these earlier in the day but here I am now, sitting down on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and Shrek on in the background (Shrek is one of my favourite movies, okay?), ready to update you all on what I got read and written this past week. So yeah, life is pretty good right now and let’s just get into this update!

So far, I am 350 pages into the glorious Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare which came out this past Tuesday and I am absolutely loving it. Every morning when I wake up, I make some coffee and sit down with this book for a good hour before I start getting ready for the day. Since it’s like 912 pages, I am nearing that halfway mark but I am taking my time with it because I never want it to end. I will probably be doing a review for it sometime this month so stay tuned for that but yeah, it’s amazing! I have also been keeping up with listening to my audiobook which is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, the fifth book in her first series, The Mortal Instruments. This is a book I’ve read a million times, but the narrator for this book is actually an actress from one of my favourite TV shows (Castle), and she is so good at narrating all the characters and bringing the story to life in a new way. I’m only about 4 hours in meaning I still got a good 12 hours to go, but hopefully, I’ll be able to finish it by the end of this coming week. Lastly, I requested the novel adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen and it finally came in for me from the library! I picked it up earlier this week and absolutely flew through it. It was exactly how I imagined and it was a lot of fun to see the musical translated into a YA novel. If you like the soundtrack or the musical or if you just like contemporaries I definitely recommend checking it out!

This week has also been productive writing-wise and I’m hoping the rest of December is like that as well because I really, really need a good, productive month when it comes to both reading and writing (I need to read 10 more books to reach my Goodreads goal…). Tomorrow I have a creative non-fiction assignment due for my writing class, and I’m not going to lie, it has been a struggle to write. I don’t read much CNF (but I really want to so if you have recommendations, let me know!) so it has been difficult to find what I want to write about and then how to do that. I do have a story finished, I just need to edit it profusely, and I am not sure how I feel about it but it’s going to have to do! I already wrote like 4 drafts of it and I don’t have time (or energy) for anymore. Apart from that, I started a new short story that is kind of a playoff on my idea for Project Mystic (a novel idea I’ve been working on since March of this year) and I am having a lot of fun with it but haven’t spent to much time because of my CNF assignment. I’ll probably work on that a lot next week as well as all the scholarship essays I need to write that have looming deadlines. Since I’ve been running myself down with writing and homework lately, I am thinking of taking January off writing to replenish my creativity and all that jazz but I will keep you all updated on that.

Other than that, that is all I have to update you all on and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which will be linked down below. By the way, I started posting again on Instagram so that account is no longer dead! Anyways, thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: December 2018 TBR

 

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December 2018 TBR

This TBR should be super long since I need to read 12 books to meet my Goodreads reading goal, but I don’t want to force myself into reading specific books all month so I am only going to list five books I want to get to. Anyways, let’s keep this short and just jump right into all the books I plan/need/want to read in the LAST MONTH OF 2018. I’m not freaking out, you are.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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This is the second book in the Dark Artifices trilogy which is my FAVOURITE trilogy/series in the entire world of books. By the time you see this post, I’ve probably already read it because on Sunday I only had 99 pages left so that’s awesome! This book takes place in a world of Shadowhunters with a massive cast of amazing characters, our main one in the first book being Emma Carstairs who is trying to uncover the mystery of her parents’ mysterious death. I am so excited to finish this book but I am also really sad because these books are so good. I don’t want them to end!

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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This is the THIRD AND FINAL book in the Dark Artifices trilogy, and I am not emotionally ready…I wish this was a long, long series, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on this massive beauty. Actually, since it’s Friday and it came out Tuesday, December 4th, I have already picked it up and am probably reading it right now!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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This TBR is just jammed pack with Cassandra Clare, but I am NOT complaining. A few months ago I started re-reading The Mortal Instruments series via audiobooks and am still working my through. Currently, I am on book five so that is what I will be listening to this month. The Mortal Instruments series follows our main character, Clary, whose mother is kidnapped and to get her back, Clary has to uncover the secrets of who her mother truly was, and who she really is as well. I’ve read this book…quite a few times already, but I am, of course, looking forward to re-visiting the world and characters and all that fun stuff.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

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I started reading this book in November but did not get very far which sucks because this book is so, so short. I will make it a priority to read it in December though since short books are going to be my saving grace when it comes to reaching my reading goal. Perks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie, a freshman in high school who struggles to fit in until a ragtag group of friends take him in and transform his life for the better. This is a great coming of age story that is both sad and heart-warming, and honestly, it is something everyone needs to read.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

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This is another short book, but it is also one I’ve been meaning to get to ever since I saw the movie last year. Also, I still have yet to read a Stephen King book other than his book on writing, so I need to change that before the new year. While I’ve seen the movie, I can’t really remember anything about this book other than it has something to do with children being special for some reason…and that there is a gunslinger. Yeah, that’s all, but I am excited to read it and find out what exactly happens!

While I have to read 12 books this month, I don’t want to make a super strict and confining TBR so I am going to leave it at these 5 books to give myself some wiggle room. So, yeah! That is all for my December TBR and I hope you enjoyed. Make sure you check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: November Reading Wrap Up

 

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November Reading Wrap Up!

Looking back at my Goodreads page, I realized I read a lot more than I thought…but I was still hoping to have read a few more books than I did. However, I did read 4 books this month and one of them was pretty long (like 700 pages), so I’m not complaining. It does mean I’m going to have to read 12 books in December though…but I can do it, right? Anyways, here are the books I read in November!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

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I was in need of a fun contemporary and while it took me a while to really enjoy myself, by the time I hit halfway I loved the characters and story. Some parts were painfully relatable, and while I didn’t love it, I did like it! Emergency Contact follows two perspectives, Penny who is a freshman writing major, and Sam who is an aspiring filmmaker and works at coffee-shop. Their paths cross when Sam goes to the hospital after Penny witnesses him faint, and suddenly, they become each other’s emergency contact but their relationship develops to something more over time. Again, I did really like this book and it was the fun contemporary I needed! 3.5/5 stars

Bent Box by Lee Maracle 

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This is a poetry collection that I picked up for one of my writing class assignments where we had to pick a living, Canadian poet, read their work and then write a really short summary and response to it. Lee Maracle is an Aboriginal writer, so many of her poems spoke of her struggles of the past. It was a really emotional and powerful collection of poetry and while I am not a HUGE poetry fan, I did enjoy this book and there were quite a few poems that I actually adored. If you like poetry, I definitely recommend giving it a read! 3/5 stars

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Surprise, surprise, I LOVED Lady Midnight! I think I’ve read this book three or four times now, and each time my love for it grows dramatically. This world…the characters…the story…ugh, just everything is so amazing and wonderful and I wish I could meet these characters and live in this world. Lady Midnight is the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy and a continuation of her massive Shadowhunter world. It follows a large cast of characters, but specifically, Emma Carstairs who after her parents were murdered and their bodies washed up on shore, she has been hunting for the justice of their deaths. The last book in this trilogy has come out by the time you are reading this, and I already know it will ruin me like all the other books have so that will be fun. 5/5 stars, obviously!

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

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Usually, I fly through these audiobooks but after watching Bohemian Rhapsody, my already crazy obsession with Queen grew and suddenly all I wanted to do was just listen to their music. I forgot all about audiobooks and listened to music every time I had to walk or take the bus…so, yeah, it took me a while to get through Emerald Green, but I did! Emerald Green is the third and final book in the Ruby Red/Precious Stones trilogy, that follows Gwen, a girl from a family of time travellers. Her cousin, Charlotte, is the one believed to have the gene but when Gwen suddenly travels back in time, she becomes a part of a world she thought she had escaped. I love this series. It has its many, many flaws, and to be honest, the ending is NOT as satisfying as I hoped…but it is one of those fun and warm-hearted books you can’t help but like. 4.5/5 stars

I was so, so close to finishing Lord of Shadows in time for the end of November but it is 699 pages! It’s so, so long but honestly, I wouldn’t want anything less. I did finish it today though so I am already one book down in December…only 11 more to go, ha ha ha. Anyways, that is all for my November 2018 Reading Wrap Up, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: My Queen of Air and Darkness Theories

 

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My Queen of Air and Darkness Theories

I am currently taking a break from writing an 8-page essay for English that is due tomorrow to share with you all of my theories for Queen of Air and Darkness which is out TOMORROW. Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows both killed me so I can only imagine how much this book is going to destroy me…but yeah, if you haven’t read Lady Midnight or Lord of Shadows I would advise you not to read this because I will be spoiling both books a lot. If you have though, let me know what your theories for this epic conclusion are because I would love to know! Here are my theories:

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  • Ash is the son of the Seelie Queen and Sebastian Morgenstern – I am definitely not going to take credit for this theory because it is something I have seen going around the Shadowhunter community a lot but I wholeheartedly agree with it. I mean, Ash is described as a 13-year-old boy with blond hair and green eyes. 1) Sebastian had blond hair and 2) he also had green eyes…well, he would have is Valentine didn’t inject him with demon blood. While in reality, Ash would only be like 5 since that was when Sebastian was alive, he would be living in Faerie and as we saw with Mark in Lady Midnight, time works very differently down there so he could easily be older than he really is. A lot of people also think Ash is being held captive by the Unseelie King which is why the Seelie Queen wants the Black Volume; to exchange it for her son. I think this definitely makes sense because when Dru is transported to Faerie, Ash is like “‘Did my mother send you?’ He sounded hopeful. ‘Is she worried about me?'”. It would make sense, right?
  • Shade is Ragnor Fell – Again, this is another theory I’ve heard floating around and I don’t have any hard evidence but it would be an interesting twist to the plot. While Ragnor Fell supposedly died in City of Glass, the third book in The Mortal Instruments series, he easily could have not. Also, he was supposedly really good friends with Malcolm so maybe that has something to do with how he comes into the story.  However, while I don’t have a lot of evidence, there is this snippet Cassie shared that kind of makes me feel like he is someone we know or heard of before: Shade glared. “I was asleep. It’s three in the morning.” The sleeping bag wiggled. A moment later Church crawled out, making chirping noises. He curled up on the top of the bag, blinking his large yellow eyes. “That isn’t very loyal,” Ty said, looking at Church sternly. Shade yawned. “We’ve known each other a long time, that cat and I. We had some things to catch up on.” 
  • Ty is going to use necromancy to bring back Livvy – No way would the Blackthorns not try and bring back Livvy, especially since they have the Black Volume. Livvy is Ty’s twin and the person he loves most in this world, and of course, as Julian repeatedly says throughout the book, he would do anything for his family. I even think they will succeed in bringing her back in some shape or form, but I don’t think it’ll be what she wants and she won’t stay. However, I think the Blackthorns will get the closure they need because of it.
  • Julian is going to do something he can’t take back, and a lot of people close to him are going to hurt because of it – Whether that is severing all parabatai bonds because we all know Julian would do that in a heartbeat as he mentions on page 612, “‘They are not us…This isn’t just about you and me, this is about the children. About my family. Our family.'” in reference to why they need to break their parabatai bonds. Throughout Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows Julian keeps thinking to himself or saying to someone that he would do literally anything for his family. I tabbed some of the many spots he says something like this…and it’s a lot. Like a lot. On page 406, he is talking to Annabel who is telling him that if the book was out there, so much could be destroyed. However, Julian is all like The world can burn if my family lives. And we all know that by giving the Black Volume to the Seelie Queen, he will get Helen back and also learn how to severe the parabati bonds. To him, there is no higher cause. If Julian does try and severe all parabatai bonds to be with Emma, we all know she wouldn’t stand for that. Either he is going to succeed and Emma is going to grow apart from him because of it, or she is going to give up being a Shadowhunter (which I still know she would never want to do) so he doesn’t. There is a snipper that Cassandra Clare shared that kind of makes me think she is going to give up being a Shadowhunter for some reason because the snippet is like: “Emma,” Julian whispered. “Your Marks…” She shook her head, tears bitter in the back of her throat. “It’s done.”…LIKE WHAT? So yeah, that’s another theory on top of my “Julian is going to do something he can’t come back from” one…Emma is going to give up being a Shadowhunter.
  • Christina, Mark, and Kieran are definitely going to engage in some sort of romantic thing with all three of them – While I am Christina&Mark endgame stan, all three of them clearly care about each other and I feel like there might be a moment that includes all three of them. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I do love all three of them…I just love Mark and Christina more but I do want Kieran to be happy. I don’t know. Either that or Christina starts developing more intense feelings for Kieran rather than Mark. I also don’t know how I would feel about that…if there were more Christina and Kieran moments romance rather than friendship wise, I feel like I might be able to get on board but I’d still be heartbroken because of MARK. Anyways, just something we aren’t really expecting will happen between them all though, I just don’t know which one.
  • Ty and Kit are going to make it official – I think that with the death of Livvy, Ty is going to go crazy but Kit will be his shoulder to cry on and also his necromancy partner. Kit is definitely confused about his emotions and I have no idea how Ty is feeling (I’m 99.5% sure he will have lots of POV chapters in QoAaD though) but I think things are going to sort themselves out between the two of them. I definitely ship them so…

Wow, this was long but those are my most developed theories about Queen of Air and Darkness and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know which ones you agree with, and also what theories you have yourself because I’d love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I’m not going to apologize for once again, for NOT having a blog post go up on Friday because it’s gotten to the point where I’m just like whatever. My Friday blog post was supposed to be all about my theories for Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, but since I am re-reading Lord of Shadows right now, all my theories have upgraded or changed completely. So yeah, I finished Lord of Shadows today so now I have all of my thoughts and theories are ready to go for tomorrow’s blog post and I am so excited! Anyways, here is what I read and wrote this past week.

Earlier this week I finally finished listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier which took me the entire month to get through, but I did it. I’ve read this book a million and one times, but I do really love the audiobooks for this entire trilogy, so I always have a lot of fun re-visiting them. I read them quite a few times this year though so I think I’m going to take a little break so I don’t wear them out. My next audiobook I am going to pick up is City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare since I am still working my way through The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook. I also finished reading Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare today, as I mentioned already…and I don’t know what else to say except it is amazing, I love it, and re-reading it has only magnified my already dangerously crazy love for it. I am SO excited for Queen of Air and Darkness and am really happy I decided to re-read both Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows before because I picked up on so many things I didn’t before. Since I am done re-reading LoS which is like 700 pages, I’m going to be focusing on finishing Perks of Being a Wallflower next, and since it’s so short, hopefully, I’ll finish it in the next day or so. I have a December TBR coming out later this coming week so stay tuned for that to see what other books I want to pick up this month!

As for writing, a lot of writing got done this week and I am pretty proud. In terms of homework and school related things, this week was really slow so I was able to put a lot more effort into my own personal writing. I think overall, I wrote about 6,000 words which I haven’t done in a while. I’ve been re-writing old short stories and editing them like crazy to get ready for portfolio scholarship I am submitting to this Tuesday and if I had school work to do I don’t think I’d be able to get as much done as I did. I still have a lot to get done though so fingers crossed it all gets done.

That is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Coffee Talk – Are Schools Killing Reading?

 

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Coffee Talk – Are Schools Killing Reading?

This is a topic I think about a lot, so I thought why not discuss it with all of you because, in my opinion, it is an important discussion to be had among us readers.

So, ARE schools killing reading?

Long story short, I think they are, and here is why.

 

As someone who absolutely LOVES reading now, I can’t say I was always like this. Up until grade 5, I was by no means a reader. I got into reading when I was 10, almost 11 years old because my cousin finally forced me to watch Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and spoiler alert, I adored it. It is the reason I read the rest of the series, thus falling in with reading altogether. However, before that, I only read books when school forced me, and they were books way, way under the level of reading I should have been reading according to my teacher. That little bit of criticism on what the little I enjoyed reading drove me away from reading…until I got into Percy Jackson that is.

Even as a reader now who is in grade 12, I am still not a huge fan of reading in school or reading for school. To me, they feel like two separate things and when I read something for English class, it just isn’t something I really enjoy and it always feels like a chore. Why is that? Well, the choice of reading is a large part of it, but it is also because of what follows after reading the book. Usually, an essay or paragraph response is written after we read a book or essay or short story in English class and like I said I love reading, and I also love writing, but something about reading and writing something I don’t really want to, takes away the enjoyment out of it all. I can only imagine how someone who doesn’t like reading or writing at all would feel about it, but I can definitely see how it would drive them to permanently retreat to the idea that they are not the reading or writing type. Reading in schools should be fun and free, not constricted to not even being able to choose what book you spend the next two weeks trudging through! And afterwards, literary circles are a much more efficient way of gathering everyone’s understanding of the book and can still be paired with a written response.

Reading can be made a much more entertaining and interesting assignment in school, yet it is treated like being forced to run a half-marathon in gym class. READING IS AMAZING! Yet, I almost feel ashamed saying that at school not because I think reading is “un-cool”, but because I too, sigh reluctantly every time we are given a book to read in English class. Before looking at the cover, I determine that I don’t like it and to be honest, that’s true most of the time! Sometimes I don’t mind what we read, but because of schools preference of clinging to old, boring books by only white, male writers, I usually lean towards not liking them. Schools need to branch out with their reading taste because there are so many amazing books now that cover important subject matters to the world today, and have concrete messages students can dissect. Not only are they still teachable books, but they include more diversity that will allow students to connect and enjoy them better.

 

PJOIn grade seven, my teacher let us read Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. At this point, I had read it a million and one times, but I was still so excited that entire month or so we spent on the book and lots of my peers were too. We did fun, colourful projects and assignments, even Jeopardy at the end of the unit, that got everyone interacting and pumped about the book. The energy surrounding reading was bright and bubbly in response to the bland and heavy one reading in class usually brings along. That was the first and last time I ever felt that energy in a classroom when it came to reading!

Schools need to fix their curriculum to paint reading in a better light. Not one that advertises reading as something only required in school, but something that you can do for your own personal enjoyment. With more choice and more interactive activities, reading can be enjoyable, if not fun in the classroom and show students that reading is for anyone and everyone. The lack of young readers today is alarmingly low with all that technology now has to offer, but with reading people will become more compassionate and educated on subjects happening all over the world. Reading overall is only amazing, and is something students are being taught to hate rather than love.

Anyways, that is all for this chatty coffee talk, and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any thoughts on this topic you want to share, let me know in the comments below. Do you think schools should change? Or should they not change? Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog, as well as my social media accounts below! I haven’t been too active on social media lately, but hopefully, I’ll get back on that soon. Thanks for reading 🙂

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NaNoWriMo Week 4 – Last Week Check Up

Happy Monday!

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I can’t believe it is already the last week of NaNoWriMo! Where has this month gone? While I haven’t been participating in writing 50k this month, I’ve still been celebrating writing and writing a LOT this month. I wanted to use this last NaNoWriMo weekly blog post to do a little last week check up and give some tips on how to really take advantage of these last 5 days so I hope you enjoy!

  • Write During Every Bit of Spare Time – There are only a few more days left of NaNoWriMo, and even if you are close to your goal or not, use every last bit of November to get some words down! You might not have time or energy once the buzz of NaNo is over, so take advantage of all this fun and write, write, write. Instead of reading, write. Instead of watching Netflix, write. Instead of eating…just kidding, eat AND write!
  • Use NaNo Sprints – NaNo sprints on Twitter will be your LIFE saver these last few days in motivating yourself to sit down and WRITE. These are different lengths of sprints where after them, you can talk with other writers about what you got done and how you’re feeling after each writing session. It’s really helpful because the last half of NaNo can be an uphill battle I tell you.
  • Check Out the Write-In Live Streams – Make sure you check out NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel for some past live streams where the amazing people of NaNoWriMo film videos of them doing writing sprints. They are really motivating and I recommend them if you are having trouble sitting down and writing. Usually, they are an hour long and a lot of the time I sit down and write for that ENTIRE hour…even when they are talking about what they wrote. Super helpful!
  • Reflect On the Writing You Got Done – Even if you are nowhere close to the overall 50k goal, as long as you wrote SOMETHING that is still worth acknowledging. Writing is NOT easy and it’s important to recognize that and reward yourself for what you got done. November is a busy month for a lot of us because it is so close to the end of the year and everyone is trying to wrap up everything, so if you got some words down this month, celebrate!
  • Figure Out What the Next Step Is – Do you still need to finish writing your draft or did you completely finish it? Figure out where you’re at so you can start your attack plan for next month, or for whenever you plan on writing next. That way you know what will happen next and you will be better prepared! For example, I didn’t get my 50k written at all…but I have been working on a lot of short stories, essays, and articles. In December, I am going to keep working on different short stories, essays, articles and whatnot, to build up my portfolio which is seriously lacking material. I would LOVE to work on Project Mystic (the fantasy novel that I’ve been working on since March), but I just don’t have the time to work on one project but the point is that I know I don’t have the time, so now I won’t be wasting any trying to work on it.

Those are 5 tips for your last week of NaNoWriMo, and I hope they were helpful! Hopefully these last few days are good and productive, and remember, if you don’t reach your goal it’s okay! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Once again, sorry for no blog post on Friday! I promise this coming week there will be though because I’ve written and scheduled it already. Haha, look at me kind of being ahead of everything for once! Sitting down at the end of the week to write this blog post has been kind of difficult for me because it’s been hard to remember what I’ve gotten done writing-wise. With reading, I have been good at updating my Goodreads page every few days, but I have been lacking with my sticker tracker in my planner! This week I’m going to try and get back on top of that but these weeks have just been so jammed pack that it keeps slipping my mind. Anyways, onto what I read and wrote this week!

I wrapped up reading Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare on Tuesday which was bittersweet because I was so excited to get to Lord of Shadows for my first re-read, but I do think Lady Midnight is my favourite in the trilogy…however, I am 250 pages in Lord of Shadows and LOVING it, so I’m not THAT sad about finishing Lady Midnight, to be honest. Re-reading these books is getting me so pumped for Queen of Air and Darkness’s release which is only in 9 freaking days, and ugh, I’m so excited. Apart from Lord of Shadows I have not made much progress in any other books…I’m still on page 50 in Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, but since it’s so short I’ll probably try to bring it with me to school this week and hopefully squeeze in some reading time. I was also listening to the audiobook for Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier but I forgot to renew it so I had to wait a few days before getting it back, but I have it now and only have about 3 1/2 hours left to listen to so hopefully I will also get that finished this week as well. Apart from that though, I am just enjoying Lord of Shadows and getting ready for Queen of Air and Darkness! (Let me know if you’re as obsessed with The Dark Artifices trilogy as me…it’s definitely Cassandra Clare’s best series, right?)

Writing definitely happened this week…I’m just trying to remember exactly what. I know I did a re-write of my short story for my high school’s writing contest, as well as a LOT of editing because it was due Thursday. I also had to write an entire 8-page essay for English in one night because yep, I put it off to the last minute as one does. We only had to have it ready for a peer edit session but I did get it done luckily. It was complete trash but I still have a few more days to edit it before handing it in for marks. I’ve also been working on two short articles because I am applying to be the student writer for my local newspaper which is super exciting and nerve-wracking! Working at a newspaper or somewhere like Buzzfeed has been something I’ve always considered, along with writing books and short stories of course, because I do love writing articles and essays. I’m also to extroverted (and introverted…I am definitely an ambivert) not to work with other people so apart from writing my own books, I need to have some sort of day job to keep me a part of society. It also would be AMAZING to get paid for writing an article every month so fingers crossed I get the job! Since we only 5 days left of November (where did this month even go?!? I’m not complaining though ’cause I think we can all agree November is not an easy month), I want to squeeze a lot of writing into this week. I need to edit the four short stories/essays/articles in my portfolio and finish writing a few more for a portfolio scholarship I am submitting to which has a deadline of December 4th…so yeah that is coming up and I am NOT ready. Lots of writing needs to get done so I’m going to end this blog post and hop to it.

Anyways, that is all for this reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts below. Thanks 🙂

P.S. I know my Instagram pic below has been acting up but to be honest, I’m too lazy to fix it. Hopefully, it will fix itself!

Last Blog Post: 3 Things I’ve Learned From My Writing Class

 

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