Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

Since this was the week after the Biannual Bibliothon, I thought I would slow down on the reading this week so I wouldn’t burn myself out. However, I did do quite a bit of reading so I would still call it a successful week!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is a book I have read countless times so I decided to give it a shot on audiobook and I loved it! It took me about a week to listen to just but it was so much fun that it was hard to pull away. Last week I mentioned it in my Audiobook Recommendations post so I definitely recommend it if you are looking for an awesome audiobook! This week I also started re reading Just Listen by Sarah Dessen and am about 150 pages into it and really enjoying it! Like Fangirl, it is a fun and easy read that hopefully I will be able to finish quickly this week. Lastly, I started listening to The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series and of course I love it so far. It is pretty long, about 15 hours, and while I am only 5 hours in, hopefully I will also be able to finish it this week.

Writing has also been going well this past week. I haven’t done much writing for myself or literary magazines, but I have been blogging a lot and doing assignments for my creative writing class which obviously involves lots of fiction writing. Currently in the unit I am on, we are blending genres and writing for different audiences which I am loving and enjoying so much. There are a few writing contests I want to submit to though, so I have get on to planning and writing those stories this coming week which I am  looking forward to because I love writing!

That is all for my reading + writing update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Finding Your Voice, for some tips on how to find your writing voice and keep it strong!

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Finding Your Voice

What does it mean to “find your voice”? Well, today I am going to share with you how I found my writing voice and some tips that might help you find your own. Finding your voice in writing is something that comes with time, but it will come. It is all about being patient and persistent. After three years of actively writing, I feel like I am confident enough to share this with you, so I hope you enjoy and are able to take something away from this!

I didn’t realize until a few months ago that I had finally developed a clear and strong writing voice. It was when I was “forcing” myself to pump out stories for my creative writing class that I realized the words sounded like me. When I looked at stories written by me 3 years ago, it was like looking at a picture of myself ten years ago when I was six with a bad hair cut. Luckily, I like to think I have gotten a lot better by now. The point is, finding your voice is like finding that one piece of yourself that has been missing all along, and when it finally falls into place, everything clicks. Its the same with writing and discovering your voice. It all just suddenly makes sense. The good thing is, is that anyone can find their writing voice, and it may take more or less time than the person slamming their keyboard next to you. The important thing is to not give up, keep going. You’ll find it when the time is right.

Finding your voice can be frustrating, and while like I said, it will come with time, sometimes we want to speed that time up. If you want to find your writing voice fast, here are a few tips that I used in order to find my voice and some that you can follow to find yours too:

WRITE! – How easy is this? Super easy because if you are a writer that means you like to write. Shocker, right? No, but seriously. It is because I started writing so much these past few months that my writing voice really developed and became strong. I started setting goals and submitting to literary magazines and contests (which is how I sometimes motivate myself to write) and that is when I noticed a shift. Just sit down and write, and if you spend time doing that then you are on the right track.

Take a Writing Class – When it comes to finding your voice, developing editing skills, etc, the more technical craft side of writing, a writing class is a phenomenal way to lasso your voice and reel it in. I am taking a Creative Writing 12 class (almost done though, fingers crossed I finish by the end of March) and because you are being forced to not only write but analyze other people’s work, your sound really starts shining through.

Journal – When you journal you are writing about yourself. Through words you recap your day or your feelings, but the point is that writing about yourself means you are writing in your voice. Does that make sense? Not only is journalling a great way to find your voice, but it is also incredibly therapeutic! Try it out sometime.

Read, Read, Read – By reading other people’s work, and reading in their voice, you will be surprised that it will help you find your own. You also realize what not to do when reading other people’s books, and how you can improve as a writer yourself. If you are a writer you are also a reader though, so this one like writing, should be a no brainer for you!

Experiment: Write in New Genres and Styles  – Test the waters, find out what works best for you. Maybe you have always wrote fiction, but by branching out and writing creative non-fiction or poetry you developed a voice quicker. Or maybe you always write fantasy but once you try another genre like sci-fi, something just clicks and you are one step closer to solidifying your writing voice. Sometimes the genre you think is best for you really isn’t, so give different genres and styles a try! The point is, this tip is beneficial even if you already have discovered your voice.

That is all I have for you today and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s blog post: January 2018 Wrap Up and remember to keep on writing 🙂

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January 2018 Wrap Up!

January just zipped by, but luckily it turned out to be a fantastic reading month. I read a grand total of 13 books this month…yeah, 13 books! That is the most books I have read it what feels like forever, and now all I want to do is read, read, read. Sadly I can’t just read, read, read due to school and other responsibilities, but 13 books is pretty damn good. Anyways, here are the books I managed to read in the month of January!:

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

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I felt like starting off the new year with a book all about being a #GIRLBOSS and taking control of your life, which in my opinion, is the perfect way because it fuels your motivation to start the year strong. This book is all about how Sophia Amoruso went from selling vintage clothes on eBay to being the founder of the massive online clothing store, Nasty Gal, and it is incredibly inspring and motivating to all creative people like myself! 3.5/5 stars

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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When Dimple Met Rishi was such a cute read that I really enjoyed, and now I cannot wait to read more Sandhya Menon! This book follows Dimple, a stubborn, independent girl who doesn’t want the “ideal Indian husband” like her mother wants for her, but to build a career and life for herself by going to a summer program for young web developers. But when Rishi, a hopeless romantic whose parents want to set him up with Dimple, attends the same program in hopes of meeting Dimple, things don’t go exactly as planned. A fun, adorable read that did make me a little frustrated at times, but overall I really enjoyed it. 4/5 stars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Oh my…can we just talk about how this is the first book in such a long time that actually made me stay up into the depths of the night to finish it? Granted, it is a short book, but I was glued to the thing until I finished it and got that shocking ending. This book follows a “perfect” family who spends their summers on their grandparents private island. However, our main character, Candence cannot remember parts of her fifteenth summer due to an accident which resulted in her unconscious and face down in the water. We follow her as she tries to uncover what happens, and all the secrets that unfold along the way. I really enjoyed this gripping and suspenseful book, and gave it a solid 4/5 stars!

The Selection, The Elite, and The One by Kiera Cass

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I didn’t plan on re reading this trilogy, but I was in desperate need of a fun, easy read and just blew through these in a matter of days. The Selection is basically a combination of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games, and if that doesn’t call you I don’t know what will. I love this series despite some of the flaws (and there are quite a few), and was so happy to give them a re read! The Selection: 4.5/5 stars, The Elite: 4.5/5 stars, The One: 4.5/5 stars

Learn to Manage Your Time by Lucy MacDonald

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I saw this while browsing in the library and decided to pick it up since I really, really do need to learn to manage my time. Lately I have been overwhelmed and I feel like this book definitely gave me some valuable tips and tricks when it comes to managing and prioritizing my time. It has exercises and pictures, and was a nice, quick read! 3/5 stars

Peter Pan by James M Barrie

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This might have been the first book I listened to in audiobook format, and it just brought so much life to the story that I don’t regret that choice. Peter Pan is the well known story that follows three young children, Wendy, John, and Michael who follow Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up, to Neverland and together they embark on adventures on the magical island. The book is magical and whimsical and I am glad I finally got the chance to read it! 4/5 stars

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

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This was another book I listened to as an audiobook and another I really, really enjoyed! I have read this book a few times before, so it was a lot easier to immerse myself in the story and understand what was going on, which is something that really helps people who easily get distracted…like me! Saint Anything follows a girl named Sydney who is used to being invisible with a brother who is always in the spotlight, but when her brother gets in trouble with the law, her entire family is suddenly thrust in the spotlight. We follow Sydney as she moves schools, meets a quirky, new group of friends and also, a potential love interest. 4/5 stars

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

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Yep, January was the month where I was obsessed with audiobooks so this was another book I listened to! This is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series, which follows a boy named Percy Jackson who discovers he is the son of a Greek God. One of my favourite series because these books are just a bundle of fun, and I really loved jumping back into the series! 4.5/5 stars

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

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Honestly, I am NOT a picky reader whatsoever. Most of the time I love or really like whatever book is placed in front of me, however I found a lot of things I didn’t really like in this book, writing, character, development, etc wise. This book follows a girl named Alex who moves to London to follow her dreams of being a scriptwriter. There is some girl on girl hate which is kinda poorly executed, however I did enjoy following a main character who wanted to pursue a creative passion. Overall this book was a light hearted read, but I don’t think I will be continuing on with the series or duology or whatever this book is a part of.  3/5 stars

On Writing by Stephen King

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I have been slowly making my way through this book, soaking up all the valuable information that Stephen King has offered us, and I think this might have been one of my favourite reads of the month. I actually just finished it last night (January 31), right on time for my wrap up! On Writing starts off by Stephen King sharing his writing journey, like how he got started and what he did to get to the point he is now. And then in the second part, we get to more of the technical aspect of writing which was just as interesting as the first half! I love books on writing and highly, highly recommend this one. 4.5/5 stars

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I was out of audiobooks to listen to so I decided to download Fangirl and see how much I liked it in this format…SPOILER ALERT, I loved it! I loved the audiobook just as much as the physical book, and am already itching to listen to it again. Fangirl follows Cath, a freshman in college who writes fanfic for her favourite series, Simon Snow. We follow Cath as she struggles to make friends, work through her fiction writing class, as well as conclude her fanfic series of Simon Snow. This book has amazing characters and a fun, cozy story line that I always adore. Highly recommend if you for some odd reason haven’t given this book a shot yet. 4.5/5 stars

Wow, that was long, sorry for boring you to death! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and definitely share what books you managed to read this past month. Was it a good or bad reading month, what was your favourite read? Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post: February 2018 Talk!

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February 2018 Talk!

Today is the last day of January of 2018 which is crazy, but I am also really excited because it means I get to talk about all the amazing new releases coming to us this next month!

Before I get into this blog post, I just wanted to quickly feature the wonderful Elle from LaBeaute.org. Elle blogs all about fashion, beauty and lifestyle and has a whole bunch of amazing posts on these topics. If any of you guys want to feel motivated and inspired, check out her blog and give her some much deserved love!

Okay, now on to some new releases I am looking forward to in the month of February:

~Movies~

Black Panther

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I can not express to you how excited I am for this movie. The trailer makes it look like a kickass, action packed film and right now, that is exactly what I am in the mood for! Black Panther follows this prince of the African nation of Wakanda, T’Challa, who after the murder of his father, must take over the throne and become the king. Cannot wait for this movie to hit theaters on February 16th, and hopefully you are excited too!

Every Day

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This movie is based of the YA novel by David Levithan, and follows our main character, Rhiannon, who falls in love with a spirit named “A”, that changes their physical form every single day. I am curious at how this story line will play out because it is quite peculiar, but that only makes me want to see it more. Hopefully it will be the emotional and impacting movie I hope it to be, but we will find that out on February 23rd!

~Books~

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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The Belles is a very hyped up book for the month of February, and after reading the synopsis I completely see why. It follows a world where beauty is controlled, and in this world there are those who are born gray and with the help of a “Belle”, they can turn beautiful. However, for our main character Camellia, being a Belle isn’t enough because she wants to be a favourite too; someone chosen by the Queen. When Camellia gets the opportunity to become a favourite though, she realizes it may not be all that it seems. Is it just me or do I get some Uglies by Scott Westerfield vibes? Overall this book seems so cool and I cannot wait to check it out on February 6th

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

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This is a book I have heard little to nothing about on social media, yet it sounds so incredibly cool. Ink, Iron, and Glass takes place in a world where you can create new worlds with a science called scriptology, and our main character, Elsa’s mother is a noted scriptologist. They live in a world that her mother created, but when that home is attacked and her mother is abducted, Elsa must venture into the real world to find her. I just find this story concept really interesting and intriguing, and I am really looking forward to getting my hands on it on February 20th

Those are all the movies and books I am looking forward to in the month of February, and hopefully you are looking forward to some of these too! Don’t forget to check out Elle’s blog which you can find linked above, and also check out my last blog post: February 2018 TBR 🙂

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February 2018 TBR!

Before I get into this TBR, I wanted to quickly announce that my post for the day 1 challenge for the 2018 winter Biannual Bibliothon was chosen as a winner! I am ecstatic and want to thank the host Victoria, from @LatteNightsReviews for choosing me and taking the time to come up with this great challenge 🙂

January just flew by, and now February is upon us which is insane, but I am also so ready to dive deeper into the new year. January was a fantastic reading month (my wrap up will be coming later this week) and hopefully February will be just as good. I would say that I hope for it to be even better, but this was a rare month, and honestly I doubt I could read more than what I managed to read in February. Anyways, enough rambling so here is my TBR!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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I started this book during the Biannual Bibliothon, however it is a really dense book and I figured I wouldn’t rush myself to finish it. So, I plan to read a bit each week and then hopefully finish it by the end of February! This book takes place during World War II and follows Marie-Laure, a French blind girl, and Werner, a German boy who after their paths collide, they try to survive the devastation that is the war. Currently, I am studying World War I in class so it is fun reading a fiction book that takes place during a war, even if it is a different war. This book has nothing but amazing hype and I cannot wait to finally join it.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Honestly, I think this book might be the most hyped up book of 2018, even though 2018 has just began. I have heard nothing but fantastic things, so I bought this book a few weeks back and cannot wait to dive in to it. Despite the hype, I know nothing about this book apart from the fact that it includes faeries which is good enough for me!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

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It’s the dead of winter, so why not read a summer contemporary? Even though I heard this is a sad book, it is the only Morgan Matson book I haven’t read yet so I am really excited to see how much I like it compared to the others. I did start this book several months ago, but for some reason I never finished it…but I am determined to, now that I have my own copy. Second Chance Summer follows a girl named Taylor and her family, who after getting some devastating news about their father, venture back up to their old summer house for one last summer together. I am a sucker for contemporaries so I have no doubt I will love it.

I know I only have 3 books on this TBR, but that is because I realized that setting 4 or 5 books that I tell myself I have to read in a month makes me a little reluctant to read them, so I figured just giving myself a smaller TBR will help. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post: Audiobook Recommendations!

Happy reading 🙂

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Audiobook Recommendations!

Hello! I am back after my two day hiatus after the busyness that was the winter Biannual Bibliothon. While it was loads of fun, it was a little draining but over the weekend I recharged and am ready to blog! Lately I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks, I think I listened to about 4 this past week, and have been loving them, so I decided to share a few audiobook recommendations with you guys and some tips if you are just starting out. I hope you enjoy!

Audiobook Tips for Beginners:

  1. Choose An Audiobook That You’ve Read the Physical Book Of – When it comes to your first few audiobooks, I find that it is a lot easier to ease into the world of audiobooks when you listen to a book you have already read. When adjusting to audiobooks, it can be difficult to retain all the info you hear while listening to the story, so my advice is to start of listening to a favourite book of yours!
  2. Free Audiobooks! – If you aren’t sure if you will like audiobooks, try borrowing them from your library. And I don’t mean borrowing the 30+ disk set, but borrowing from their online selection. Lots of libraries have links on their websites to online libraries where if you use your library card, you can electronically borrow books and audiobooks on your phone or computer, and they are free!
  3. Don’t Waste Audiobook Time – There are so many times throughout the day when you could be listening to an audiobook. So instead of watching mindless YouTube videos while getting ready, press play on an audiobook! You can also listen to them while walking around, driving, doing mindless tasks, etc, etc. Don’t waste perfectly good audiobook time!

Now for my audiobook recommendations!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Not only do I recommend this physical book, but the ebook is so much fun! I get the exact same feel as I do when I physically read it, and listening to the book come alive just brings so much more to the story. This is one I am actually currently listening to, and it is nice to discover the world of Fangirl in a different medium.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

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I don’t have a specific book recommendation for this one, but really any of this series would be amazing on audio. I have only listened to the fourth in full, and snippets of some of the others but listening to the fourth was a blast, and the person who voiced it did a great job of giving each character a different voice and making the journey so much more fun!

The Selection by Kiera Cass 

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Listening to The One on audiobook was really good, I felt the tension between the characters and really felt the emotion I felt while reading the physical book, which is obviously what you want from an audiobook. While it did sound a little robotic, I quickly got over that and became so incredibly invested in the story. I can only imagine that the first book, The Selection, would be just as good!

Peter Pan by James M. Barrie

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Really, I think that any children’s book would be magical in audiobook format. I listened to this book during the Biannual Bibliothon, and it was fun listening to Wendy, John, Michael and Peter’s adventures in Neverland. Again, it brought the story to life in a way like a movie would, and while I was walking around and listening to this book I would get so invested in the story I would wander around for hours. Also, it is really short (about 5 hours or so) so a perfect first audiobook!

Those are a few audiobook tips and recommendations for any of you considering giving audiobooks a try, or for any of you who just were in need of some more recommendations. I hope you enjoyed this, and make sure you check out my last blog posts: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 7: Write a Book Recommendation + my Day 7 Reading Update! 

Thanks 🙂

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2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 7: Reading Update!

Helloooo! It is day 7, the final day of the Biannual Bibliothon, and let’s just say I managed to end with a bang.

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Today I managed to complete 2 books, both which I briefly started yesterday. Most of my day was occupied by school and homework, however I managed to squeeze the rest of my reading in during then. I managed to complete the last 6 hours of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan on audiobook, and I loved it! I cannot wait to listen to more of the Percy Jackson books on audiobook because it is so fun and entertaining to listen to Percy’s adventures. The other book I managed to read was one I picked up late last night and that is London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton. This was for the challenge of reading a book I have never heard of before, because before reading it, I had no idea what it was about. I enjoyed it, the writing was a little weak and the characters were kinda flat, but overall I thought the story was light hearted and fun, and was a nice way to end the readathon.

 

Day 7 Reading Count:

Books Finished: 2

Pages Read: 551

I had such a blast participating in the 2018 winter Biannual Bibliothon this year, and highly encourage any of you to participate in the summer session! There won’t be any reading/writing update this weekend for the obvious reason that I have been doing these reading updates all week, but on Monday I will be back online with a new blog post, and later next week I will share my January TBR where I touch on all the books I read this month, as well as what I managed to complete this readathon. Thank you for following me on this readathon journey, and I hope you enjoyed all the blog posts I put out this week! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 7: Write a Book Recommendation!

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2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 7: Write a Book Recommendation

It is the last day of the Biannual Bibliothon…can you believe it? I hope yours was as productive as mine, but I also hope that you had a blast reading, as well as following me along my own journey!

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The blogging challenge for day 7 is hosted by @Laura’s Literary Letters and is to write a book recommendation. I was very excited to tackle this challenge, however it was hard to choose which book to recommend…so many choices. Anyways, after a lot of careful decisions and comparisons, I came to conclusion to recommend the lovely book, Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier.

Ruby Red

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier is the first book in the Precious Stones trilogy, and is a book of time travel with a dash or two of romance. In Ruby Red, we follow our main character, Gwen, a sixteen year old girl whose family has a secret, they possess a time travelling gene. Gwen had always been accepted that her cousin Charlotte possessed the gene, happy to stay out of the spotlight and carry out a normal life, but when she travels back in time, frantic and confused, she realizes that it isn’t Charlotte who has the gene, but herself. Now Gwen’s life is flipped upside down and she is thrust into the spotlight, the burden of the being a time traveler suddenly dropped on her shoulders because time traveling doesn’t just mean going back in history, but is also means putting up with her new annoying, yet ridiculously handsome, time travelling partner, Gideon. We follow Gwen as she lives this new life of adventure, and learns to accept it and everything that comes along with it, including dark secrets that come into light throughout the book.

If you love a book with adventure and a relatable main character, you will love this book! It is a fun, easy read, and you will fly through it, desperate to move onto the next books, Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green. I also recommend this book because there is a movie! It may originally be in German, but on YouTube you can find the dubbed version and it is a very well adapted movie, one I highly recommend. So pick this book up from the library, or purchase a copy yourself because you won’t regret it!

Ruby Red Goodreads page here

That is all for my day 7 challenge, as well as the final challenge of the winter Biannual Bibliothon. I am already counting down the days till the summer Biannual Bibliothon, and also the BookTubeaThon! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 6: Favourite/Most Memorable Book of 2017 + Day 6 Reading Update, also, stay tuned for my final reading update coming later! Thank you so much for putting up with these blog posts, and just being amazing. You guys mean so much to me and whenever you like a blog post or comment it puts a smile on my face!

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2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 6: Reading Update!

I know for a fact that what I will be taking away from this readathon, is my newfound love for audiobooks. Especially ones of books I have read previously, thus making it easier to follow the story. Throughout this readathon I have listened to a current total of just over 2 audiobooks, and enjoyed them both! Audiobooks are great for readathons because there is so much time during the day where you can’t physically read a book, but a lot of those times you can spend listing to a book instead.

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Anyways, now for what I read today. This is quite random, but I decided to listen to the audiobook for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan, the 4th book in the Percy Jackson series. So far I am 4 hours and 30 minutes into it (163 pages) into it, and just decided to start listening to it because I enjoyed the books so much, that I was sure the audiobook would be another amazing experience. So far I am really enjoying it, but no surprise there. I also started London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton, and I am liking it so far. The writing is a little weak in my opinion, but I am having fun following the main character as she follows her dreams in London. I am only on page 43 but I’m just so exhausted that I can’t bring myself to read anymore. Hopefully I will be able to power through it tomorrow since it is under 400 pages!

Day 6 Reading Count:

Books Finished: 0

Pages Read: 206

That is all for my day 6 reading update and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 6: Favourite/Most Memorable Book of 2017!

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2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 6: Favourite/Most Memorable Read of 2017

Happy day 6 of the Biannual Bibliothon! I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day, which means it is time to get reading done!

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Today’s challenge is hosted by @beabookishgal and is to talk about our favourite and most memorable read of 2017. This was so easy for me because it was my most anticipated release of 2017 and to no surprise, it became my favourite read of the year as well. And that book is hands down Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare! Make sure you comment what your most memorable read of 2017 was, or consider participating in this blogging challenge as well.

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Lord of Shadows is the second book in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare, which follows a group of Shadowhunters who try to uncover the mysterious death of Emma Carstairs’ parents, but in a world of demons and angels, there is more to their deaths than they thought. This book is full of action, adventure, strong characters, swoony romance, betrayal, and basically anything you would want in a book. When I first read Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instrument” series, I was in love with this world which also meant I would love every other book she put out in the future, however, to my surprise, I ended up loving Lady Midnight (the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy) more than the original series, and than Lord of Shadows more as well. Lord of Shadows is filled with my favourite characters, Julian, Emma, Christina, Mark, Ty, etc, etc, which is why I loved this book so much. Reading this book makes you feel as if you are a part of their family, their world. And that is a really comforting feeling!

That is all for my most memorable book of 2017 and I hope you enjoyed. I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day of the Biannual Bibliothon, which means I need to pick up the pace and read, read, read. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 5: Rewrite A Scene From A Book + my Reading Update!

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