Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Winter Snow Storm Fun

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Happy day 1 of the Biannual Bibliothon!

If you missed my TBR for the Biannual Bibliothon, make sure you check it out right HERE to see the 7 good books I handpicked myself. If you also don’t know what the Biannual Bibliothon is, it is a biannual readathon that takes place during the months of January and July, where you try to read 7 books in 7 days. It originates from YouTube (check out their channel HERE), but there are also Instagram challenges, blogging challenges, and of course, video challenges. This is either my second or third year participating and I always have SO much fun.

Anyways, today’s blog host is Tracy from TruffleReads (check out their blog HERE!), and they have issued the challenge of naming 3 book characters, 2 food/drinks, and 1 song you would want if you were stuck in a car in the middle of a snowstorm. This is a super fun idea and I decided to write a little story with Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Mark Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices trilogy, and Cath Avery from Fangirl trapped in a car with nothing but strawberries, butterbeer, and Beyonce.

“Why are you eating strawberries on a plate?” Hermione twisted around in the passenger seat of the car, her frizzy hair a brown halo against the pale snow outside the car. Mounds of it reached halfway up the car door, lumpy and filling the car with frigid air.

“I am positive they taste sweeter this way,” explained Mark, popping another one in his mouth. His blond hair curled at the tips of his slightly pointed ears, delicate and soft like him. In front of him, Cath sat in the driver’s seat, leaning forward and cranking the keys in the engine for the hundredth time. The engine spurred to life and then sputtered dramatically before exhaling into slumber. She angrily raked her fingers through her tied back, brown hair.

“Oh my god,” Cath exclaimed, pressing her forehead to the wheel. “We’re stuck, so that’s great.”

“Try one more time,” pressed Hermione, reaching over and twisting the keys. This time, the car didn’t even purr.

“It’s not working. The snow is completely blocking us in.” Cath pressed her nose against the window, her breath fogging it up. “We’re going to freeze in here. Yay.”

“Have faith that we will make it out when we must.” Mark snatched the last strawberry from his plate and dropped it in his mouth with a sigh. “Delicious.”

“The only way we will get out is if we shovel around the car and then push,” explained Hermione, gripping a thermos of steaming butterbeer in her lap. “But you seem content where you are,” she added under her breath. Mark shrugged.

“Sit back and relax, Hermione. Stress does nothing for oneself.” This only made Hermione huff, her face twisting in annoyance as she peered out the window, glaring as if she could melt all the snow away with her smoldering gaze but her wand was left behind in mad haste to beat the snow. Clearly, it made no difference. The snow was still falling steadily around them from a white lit sky that glowed like the heavens. Dusk was still hours away, but the heaviness of the snow gave the illusion it was closer than it really was.

“No service either,” Cath said, holding her phone up to the windshield and groaning.

“May I see your cellular phone?” Mark asked, setting his plate on the empty seat beside him. Cath shrugged, passing it back to him.

“It’s almost dead by the way.”

“That’s alright,” said Mark, padding against the screen as Hermione sipped her butterbeer, passing it over to Cath who took a big gulp, nose wrinkling as the scorching and sickly sweet liquid ran down her throat. “Ah, perfect.” Suddenly, soft music trickled out of Cath’s phone. Unrecognizable at first, but then Cath started bopping her head back and forth lazily. Even Hermione’s fingernails tapped lightly on her silver and black thermos, despite her never hearing the song before. The beat and lyrics were catchy and predictable, and a sudden familiar warmth flooded the car.

“I didn’t take you as someone who liked Beyonce, Mark.” Cath chuckled, meeting Mark’s strange but beautiful eyes in the rearview mirror. He grinned, mockingly drawing his fair brows together in concern.

“What crazed human being does not like Beyonce? Is she not the queen of pop?” Mark asked before shaping the next lyrics with his thin, pink lips: I can see your halo, halo, halo…

“I would have assumed you enjoyed folk music or something of more magical sounding,” said Hermione, taking another sweet sip of butterbeer. Mark waved a hand.

“That is all we listened to in Faerie and it gets very old. Besides, Beyonce’s Halo is much easier to sing along to.”

“While I’m more of a Kanye gal,” said Cath, leaning back against her headrest, “this is good too. We might as well just hang out until the snow slows down. It already looks a little lighter.”

“I suppose,” sniffed Hermione, crossing her legs. “Maybe someone will come by and see we need help.”

“But until then,” Mark said cheerfully, “Beyonce.”

The girls glanced at each other and then at him, unable to push the smirks creeping on their faces. They both nodded.

“Beyonce.”

That was my short story for day 1 of the Biannual Bibliothon, and I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below because I may participate in the Instagram challenges also. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Winter 2019 Biannual Bibliothon TBR

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Happy Friday!

Tomorrow is day one of the 2019 Biannual Bibliothon and I am so, SO pumped to get some more reading done. While I was going to do the reading challenges for this year, I was looking at them and I couldn’t find any books I actually wanted to read for them, so I am just choosing 7 stories I want to read and reading those. While I am not sticking to the reading challenges, I will be doing ALL of the blogging challenges because I always have a lot of fun participating in those so get excited about that. Anyways, onto the books that I will be reading!

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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I guess this could work for the challenge of reading an author I haven’t read before, but anyways, I have been meaning to get around to reading this classic since forever. I tried reading it a few years ago in grade nine, but I wasn’t in the right mindset to open myself up to the possibility of liking it and never got past the first chapter. Since I’ve had to read a wide variety of novels for English, I feel like it is the perfect time to give this book a second chance so I am going to try and power through it sometime this coming week! I really hope I like it because I plan on reading Sense and Sensibility afterward (whether I like P&P or not).

2. Medea by Euripides 

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This is a Greek tragedy from way back when, and I am so excited to continue my exploration of Greek tragedies. So far, I’ve read Oedipus and Antigone, both by Sophocles which I enjoyed quite a bit. I’ve chosen to read Medea next because since I was a Percy Jackson kid, I heard a bit about Medea in The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan and I am looking forward to hearing her original story! Since this is a play, it will be a short, quick read which I am greatly looking forward to during this week-long readathon.

3. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

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Only recently did I finish the second book in this series and LOVED IT, so I am incredibly excited to read the third book in the series. Also, all the books in this series are under 200 pages so that’s pretty awesome. Beneath the Sugar Sky is the third book in this fantasy series where children venture through doorways into strange, magical worlds and when it is time for them to leave that world, they are brought to Eleanor’s Home for Wayward Children to adjust back to reality. Somehow, the author manages to pack so much plot and character into a short amount of pages and it is amazing. I cannot wait to continue on with this series.

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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This is kind of cheating…but also not. I am already 100ish pages into this book, but since the rest of today is going to be so busy, I know I won’t be able to finish it before tomorrow. So why not just add it to the TBR? If I do manage to finish it tonight, I’ll choose another book to read, but I do have about 200 pages left of this book so I doubt that will happen. A few days ago, I was in desperate need of a fun, light-hearted contemporary, so of course, I turned to Anna and the French Kiss. This will be a nice book for the readathon because it such a fast read that I know I will be grateful for throughout this week.

5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

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Hopefully, this book will arrive at my library sometime next week so I can actually read it for the readathon, but assuming it will, I really want to get around to reading this classic in the next few days. Not only is it short, but I feel like it is a must read for any reader, especially one who is going to be an English major…Everyone else also seems to have read it EXCEPT for me, so it is time to join the club and see if I like The Outsiders or not.

6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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My plan for this book, since it is massive, is to read a bit every day so I can actually finish this book in the timespan of 7 days. With my current schedule, there is literally no way I could read this book in one sitting without failing two classes, completely ignoring my family and friends, and throwing away the exercise routine I only just got in place. So yeah, I’ll read about 50-100 pages of this every day. This is a fantasy book heavily influenced by West African mythology, and while it has SO much hype surrounding it, I have a feeling I will love it!

7. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake OR Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I recently bought these books, but I can’t decide which one I want to read! If I still can’t decide by the time I need to read one of them, I’ll read the first chapter or so of each and choose which one I’m feeling at the time…but I would also really appreciate some help! If you’ve read these let me know which one I should pick up! Three Dark Crowns is a fantasy about three sisters who are fighting for the crown (I think), and Truly Devious is a murder-mystery at a boarding school so both sound good to me.

Those are the 7 books I plan on reading for the Biannual Bibliothon and I hope you enjoyed! If you are participating in this readathon, let me know what you are reading because I’d love to know. Are you sticking to the reading challenges or are you just reading whatever like me? Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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The Fairy Garden by Zoe Mathers – Short Story

Happy Wednesday!

Sorry for the late post today, but I wanted to share an older story of mine I wrote a few months ago for my writing class. It was a lot of fun to write, and is something I want to develop on in the future! I decided it would be fun to show where the story is now, and then whenever I edit and rewrite it, show you guys how my writing and the story can evolve over time. Anyways, here it is!


The town’s garden is dead. Flowers still curl out of the ground, but their brilliant reds, yellows, and pinks have faded and wilted to droops of grey edged with brown rust. Constant rainstorms have flooded their beds, steady streams of water dripping down the edges of the wooden boxes and taking clumps of dirt along for the ride. The once green grass is leeched to brown, the sharp scent of it freshly cut replaced with the thick and bitter must of autumn.

Autumn is an unwelcomed beast that has stuck its straw in the ground and is now drinking away the vibrant life that once consumed the garden. It claws at my bare cheeks and nose, shaving off layers of my skin with its icy breath as I sit on the wooden bench. A pool of water sits on it too, right underneath me, and it seeps into the butt of my jeans. I stuff my hands into my pockets to keep from trembling off the bench while Queen’s, The Show Must Go On hammers at my skull.

I wait for the ideas to come as I sit here, but they don’t. The garden is dead, but it is still here. Its magic of conjuring up a story idea in my head must still work. I didn’t have the time or patience to wait for spring, not when what I know is a good idea is already crumbling in my hands, its ashes getting carried away by the wind.

I wait another moment, but nothing comes. My head is a pumpkin with the guts scraped out.

“Agf,” I mumble, jerking my hands out of my pockets and burying my face into them.

“Hello.” The word is muffled by Freddie Mercury’s nearly four octave voice, but I still hear it. My head shoots up. A little girl with a round face and lopsided, dark pigtails stares up at me like a kitten begging for milk, grey eyes cutting into me.

“Uh, hi,” I say slowly, glancing around the park, expecting to see more people. While it is large garden, I can see everything from where I sit. Even the small pocket of space behind the oak tree that is hidden away from the black gated entrance. I crane my neck around, but I don’t see anyone else.

Maybe her parents are somewhere outside the garden. Maybe she ran in here too fast and they are trying to catch up. I remember being her, this little girl in butterfly leggings and a yellow raincoat, eager to return to the only escape of magic one can find in this world of grey.

“Are you a fairy?” The little girl asks, bouncing on her toes. I click the button on my earphones and suddenly Queen switches off.

“No,” I say with a shrug. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay. That just means you can help me find them!” A lisp that came with young age drags out a few letters in her words. She lunges towards me, grabbing my wrist and tugs me to my feet. I hesitate, glancing around again. Still no parents.

“I guess.” Searching for fairies sounds better than sitting on this bench, waiting for an idea to slam into my face. Better than waiting for a plot, and cast of characters, and world to be served directly to me on a shining, silver platter. Maybe seasoned with some subplots.

I wish.

“Yay! Usually they’re here when I get here…” she says, and glances around. Her shoulders sag. “But I don’t see them.”

“Oh…yeah?”

Her head bobs up and down as she drags me across the gardens to where a bed of red tulips used to live. Now, there is only a flower box overflowing with watery dirt. I bend down, keeping my already wet bottom above the grass. My hair slips over my shoulder and I flick it back before I get an unwanted hair mask of mud.

A few green roots are poking up from the dirt, testing the crisp air and I smile. I can’t wait for spring.

“This’s where Lila lives.” The girl kneels next to the box, darkness blooming at the knees of her grey butterfly leggings as she does. Her little fingers bury themselves into the black dirt, wriggling around like worms. “Lilaaaaa! Lilaaaaa!” I cringe as her loud voice shatters the brittle glass of the morning and look around. Where the hell are her parents?

“Um, maybe Lila is sleeping,” I say, “since it’s almost winter. Maybe she wakes up when the flowers bloom in spring.” The girl turns to me, dark, bushy brows furrowed, and lips turned down.

“No,” she explains. “Lila is always here even when the flowers go away. She just likes to hide.” She goes back to digging. I sigh.

“Alright.” I cross my arms over my chest which are stiff with cold, and squat down next to her. “So, where are your parents?”

“At home, watching TV with Mike.”

“Oh, ok.” Great.

“Lila is being bad today,” the little girl says, jumping up to her feet with a grin plastered on her face. She’s missing two of her bottom teeth. “We have to find her.” Before I can respond or more likely argue, she bounds off across the garden and towards the bulky Garry Oak tree towering at the back. It is so massive that it claims an entire piece of the garden to itself, its thick arms carrying leaves that are green in the summer, but now are crispy and brown, scattered around the tree’s base.

“So,” I say when I reach the tree, shoving my hands into the pockets of my hoodie as I watch the girl dance around it. “What does Lila look like?”

“Blue, blue hair down to here,” she points to her shoulders as she does a strange shuffle-skip-squat around the tree. “And she wears a purple dress like the one my mommy’s going to buy me for Halloween.” I nod, imagining this fairy flying around the gardens with her blue hair and purple dress, wings maybe silver and delicate like tears.

“How big is she?” Suddenly, I’m curious. When I was little I loved fairy stories. Mostly Tinkerbell, but whenever my mother had the day off work and I had the day off school, we filled the fireplace with logs and she would read me folklore until her voice grew hoarse and my eyelids were heavy sandbags. Eventually, the only sound left was the soft crackling of fire devouring wood.

“Like a little-Lila!” The girl screeches and falls to her hands and knees, brushing aside some leaves and burying her nose into a patch of damp grass. I hurry next to her, heart jabbing at my ribs.

“Where?”

“Right in here!” She points at the ground and the pounding in my heart slows to a steady pace. I bend down next to her, even getting on my hands and knees. My jeans stick to my legs like a second damp skin as I lean forward.

A small, stubborn bluebell twists out of the ground here, clinging to the tree’s side as autumn exhales over the garden. The girl shivers, the childish grin still splitting her lips and I feel myself smile too.

The garden isn’t dead, I realize. I can still feel its heart pulsing underneath my palms, faint but present. I look at the girl beside me, noticing the brightness glazed over her eyes, and I suddenly know what my story is.

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5 Books That Motivate Me to Read

It is the beginning of a new year, and while that means a sudden burst of motivation to read, write, workout, work, etc, etc for some people, it can also be a sluggish period of time for others. So, if you are having trouble figuring out what to read to get you back into the swing of things, not just reading wise but in any aspect of your life, then check out some of the books below! This list is curated out of books I love, and books that always motivate me in general, so I hope you enjoy 🙂

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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This is a great book to motivate me to read, write, and also attempt to like school a little more than I do. Fangirl is all about a girl named Cath who is starting her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. While Cath wants to stay in her little bubble of a dorm room, writing fanfiction, Wren wants to explore the college life, leaving Cath behind. Cath struggles to find a place of her own in college, not really wanting to, until she is taken under the wing of her roommate, Raegan, and her best friend, Levi. This book is all about social anxiety, loving the art of writing, and making friends which are things a lot of us can relate to. This book is such a quick (even though it is over 400 pages) and fun read that I always crave another book right after, and because of that, this is the book I always run to when in a reading slump!

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Honestly, this is the book that reminds me why I love to read and also write. The world is so genius and the characters are incredibly amazing and diverse, that it inspires me to write a story just like it. It also makes me desperately want to read more fantasy and that is always fun. Lady Midnight is the first book of the third series in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world, a world where Shadowhunters (half human, half angel) carry out their mandate of ridding the human world of demons. Our main character, Emma Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, desperate for revenge and answers after her parents’ dead bodies wash up on shore. We follow her search for answers along with her friends and maybe getting more than she bargained for. I love, love this series, its characters, the world…everything is just amazing.

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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Everything about this book’s atmosphere makes me want to read and write; its dreary and grey, England weather draws me into a cozy mood that just wants to snuggle up and do the things I love. The Light Between Worlds follows two sisters, Evelyn, and Philippa who have just returned, along with their brother, Jamie, from a magical, fantasy land called The Woodlands. During the devastation of World War II, the siblings fled their backyard bunker into this world and spent years there before returning home. While some are settling into reality better than others, Evelyn can’t. The Woodlands was her home and now she struggles to find her place in the mortal world. When she goes missing, Philippa must return to England from American and uncover the truth of her sister’s disappearance and the struggles she faced, and she is in for an awakening. The whimsical atmosphere, writing, and characters really draws readers in, and because of it, I love this book!

The Outsider by Albert Camus

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Okay, this one needs a little explanation. I read this book for English and just finished my second read of it before I write a bunch of tests, essays, etc for it, and I like this book. I do. I think it is clever and an excellent representation of existentialism in literature. However, it is not a book I read for enjoyment necessarily. The plot is really quite simple, hitting point A, B, C with not much in between. This book is really about the main character, who is really a personification of existentialism. It is all about this character who fails to act certain ways towards events like his mother dying, etc; in the ways that society expects him to. After committing an immoral crime, he is then cast as an outsider from society because of his lack of emotion and feeling. What motivates me about this book, is the main character. He is unlike anything I have ever read and it really motivates me to read more characters who are morally grey, and also to write more characters like that!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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I always forget how much I truly adore this book until I read it. Right now I am reading The Raven King (finally), and I’m reminded how atmospheric this witchy, magical town of Henrietta is, and how much I love the characters. The atmosphere is a huge factor in any book for me, and this magical, mythical type of atmosphere always draws me in immediately. The Raven Boys is a story influenced by Welsh mythology, taking place in small town, Henrietta. We follow Blue, and the Raven Boys; Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, who are all on different journeys but one day their worlds intersect when Blue welcomes the soon-to-be-dead on St. Marks Eve as she does every year, and meets Gansey. In all her years of doing this, Blue has never once truly seen a ghost, only feeling as they pass through her. Gansey is the first, and she is told it she saw him because he is her true love or because she killed him. This book has psychics, as Blue’s family are all psychics, and a wonderful cast of characters that you really can’t help but get attached to.

Those are the 5 books that motivate me to read, and also write, and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know what books motivate you to read because I would love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

We are almost ONE week into 2019 already, which is crazy. I am happy to report I have a pretty decent “first week of the year” update both reading and even writing-wise, so let’s get into it!

I read 75 books in 2018! My goal was to read 75 books, and I am happy to say I read exactly so. This week, I finished reading Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, which I liked enough. It wasn’t as good as I hoped, but it was fun to read a classic I just really needed to finally get DONE. My last book of 2018 was actually a novella from The Selection series by Kiera Cass because the only way could have reached my goal was doing so… The two stories in there were The Prince and The Guard, which I enjoyed! They were nothing special, but some fun stories to end the year off on! Oh, and somewhere before finishing that novella, I also FINALLY finished listening to City of Lost Souls by Cassandra on audiobook. That took forever, but now I am only one book away from finishing my audiobook re-read of The Mortal Instruments series which is fantastic. City of Lost Souls is easily one of my favourites, and Molly Quinn was a fantastic narrator so overall, it was a great time. Fast forward to the new year, and my first read of 2019 was..drum roll, please…Antigone by Sophocles! Yes, I started my year off with a good old Greek tragedy. Why? I was just in the mood to read it honestly, and I really liked it! Antigone is a breath of fresh air in old, Greek literature because she stands up for her own beliefs despite the consequences, and that was really admirable. I then picked up The Outsider by Albert Camus ONCE AGAIN, because I have to have it read for my first week back at school and while I did that, I forget almost everything so a re-read was in need. That’s okay though, because I analyzed the text more this time and noticed things I didn’t notice the first time. Okay, okay, last but not least I read most of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I know, finally, right? This is the last book in The Raven Cycle which I started back this summer and for some odd reason, I never finished it! However, I bought it and just flew through it during the last half of the week and now only have about 40ish pages left. I really wanted to get it read by the end of today but Sunday turned out to be incredibly busy since I am prepping for my first day back at school tomorrow so…yeah. Anyways, I plan on finishing it tomorrow and then starting a nice, feel-good contemporary; Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (my millionth re-read honestly)!

Surprisingly, I did a little bit of writing this week. However, I haven’t been scheduling in writing time because as I mentioned before, I AM ON A BREAK (I’ve been watching Friends lately, so I read that in Ross’s voice). I’ve been feeling little sparks of motivation to write though, and it has driven me to work on two projects. One is this piece of literary fiction (I don’t even know if that’s what it is…I just know it doesn’t have magic in it) that I wrote in grade nine, but have had the sudden urge to re-write it. Secondly, I’ve also been writing draft 3 of Project Mystic and while I am only a little over 2,000 words, I am having such a good time being back in this world with my characters that I plan on writing a bit more this coming week. Hopefully, I will slowly keep adding words throughout the month and then when January is over, I’ll jump back into writing full swing! I have a lot of writing deadlines I want to hit, but I am also not putting a lot of pressure on myself to meet any of those but I’m just feeling things out, and topping off my creative well.

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 and my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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How To Write Awesome Characters

Happy Friday!

I hope the New Year is treating you well so far, and to help celebrate it, I am going to be sharing a few of my tips on how to write awesome characters that you and your readers will love. If you have any other tips leave in the comments below and let’s help each other! Anyways, let’s get into it.

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  1. Make Them Passionate About Something – Funnily enough, this tip was reminded to me through reading Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, a book I didn’t really love. However, I did admire how passionate the main character was about music and composing, and it reminded me that passion for something is a strong ingredient in anyone, even characters. Think about it, when you are making friends, you always ask what kind of things they enjoy doing. When that person is really interested in one, two, or even a few things and beam when they talk about those things, you feel like you understand that person more thus making it easier to become friends. It is the same with characters, if you make them intensely passionate about at least one thing, there is a chance that some of your readers have the same passion but if they don’t, at least you readers will admire reading about a character who despite the plot, is passionate about something they love. Make sense? Passion adds depth and depth creates awesome characters.
  2. Ensure They Are Neither Truly Good or Bad – One thing I hate reading about is an entirely good main character because it’s not realistic! None of us are perfect. We can be mostly good but we will still make bad decisions. To combat this problem, create a realistic and interesting character by addressing that they aren’t always good or bad through their actions. It is the same with pure evil characters. Sure, if they are the antagonist I don’t mind having one that is like 99.9% evil. However, it is even BETTER when they aren’t purely evil but have some good mixed in there. It makes the villain so much more than just the villain, thus creating an awesome character.
  3. Focus On Their Interactions – I have read so many books where our main character is speaking to their best friend or sibling or boyfriend/girlfriend, but it sounds SO formal. This always throws me out of the story a bit because suddenly, my ability to believe this story as reality fades. It is so important to focus on first, who your character is and from then, go onto how they interact with those around them. Figure out how they would speak to their parents, best friend, brother, sister, grandparents, friends, strangers, villains, etc, etc. It will bring your characters and story to life.
  4. Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender – This TV show is AMAZING when it comes to sharing character backstory, personality, motives, etc…basically anything about the character is revealed in genius ways throughout the 3 seasons of this TV show. Honestly, watch it for fun because this is one of my favourite shows ever, but also analyze how the creators make awesome characters. Watch how they develop each individual storyline and make it fit seamlessly together with other characters…just watch it. Now.

Those are my 4 main tips to creating awesome characters and I hope that this was helpful to you, especially in the new year when new stories are being created and old ones are being revised. Double check your characters tick of these boxes and you are one step closer to great, 3D characters. Anyways, 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 🙂

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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones – Spoiler Review

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Helloooo. First off, welcome 2019! This is my first blog post of the new year so yay! I hope 2019 is being kind to you so far and I hope it will be a great year to come. Anyways, today I will be sharing my spoilery thoughts, opinions, and comments on the fantasy book Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. If you haven’t read the book I will be providing a quick synopsis of the book and a snapshot of my overall, non-spoiler thoughts before I dive into the deep stuff so check that out below!

Wintersong takes place in the past in a small town in Germany where our main character, Liesel’s sister is kidnapped by the Goblin King; a monster she thought was only a story from her childhood but is now a nightmare come to life. She ventures to the Underground, the land of the goblins, to save her sister and return to the world above intact but like all adventures, it is never that easy.

Overall, I…did not like this book. It was slowly paced for the most part and our main character, Liesel, was not a POV I enjoyed. She was easily manipulated, whiny, and not too intelligent, making it difficult for me to care about whether she died in the Underground or not. I gave it a 2.5/5 stars because of that, but if you want to hear my SPOILER thoughts on it, keep reading!

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Let’s start with the overall story. Reading the back of this book, I was so excited to jump into this story of an evil Goblin King who steals our main character’s sister, drawing her into the Underground to save her sister before it is too late. However, while I was hopeful while reading the first 100 pages (even though they were some slowly paced 100 pages), I soon realized I shouldn’t be. Honestly, I don’t know how I kept reading and didn’t DNF this book. Anyways, back to the point. Liesel (our MC) ventures down to the Underground just before page 100 to save her sister and within a few pages of her being down there…she finds her sister who is fine, a little delusional, but for the most part completely fine. Okay, okay, Liesel apparently has to burn some of her music to find her sister but honestly, that’s a small price to pay for the life of someone she loves. Once Liesel finds her sister, Kathe, they kind of just chill down in the Underground for a few days, right under the Goblin King’s nose. The Goblin King is someone from Liesel’s childhood actually, so that plays into the plot when she gives herself up to him so her sister can safely return to the world above only a ten or twenty pages after Liesel finds her…which was weird to me because it was TOO EASY. Also, we only get a few glimpses into how the Goblin King is evil…most of those glimpses composed of malicious grins and his dark black eyes. Anyways, after this, the entire rest of the book follows Liesel moaning about how the Goblin King isn’t letting her pursue her music just like in the world above (even though that’s not true…he plays the violin all the time and wants her to write her own music/play music), about how ugly she is compared to her sister, and realizing she is madly in love with her captor and the man who stole her sister. But it’s okay because he’s HER Goblin King.

Everything in this book just happened so fast. Kathe getting kidnapped, Liesel finding her, Liesel freeing her, Liesel marrying the Goblin King, and then we had this looooong stretch of Liesel and the Goblin King just hanging around, and then Liesel escaping back into her world. Any action happened in a span of 2-5 pages, and then whatever else we read afterward was fluff and not necessary. There were a few good lines I tabbed, but overall, I was not impressed.

One thing that isn’t big but also really is because it contradicts the character S. Jae-Jones has built Liesel up to be, is when Liesel discovers her brother is dead…or has been dead for a long time and a changeling (I still do NOT understand what those things are honestly) has been acting in his place. Or at least, I think that’s what happened…honestly, lots of confusion occurred here for me. So, the whole beginning of the book it is conveyed that Liesel loves Josef more than anything, and protects him more than she protects Kathe. She gives up her own undying passion for music so her brother can pursue it instead, and grieves for him when she is in the Underground. AND THEN SHE FINDS OUT HE IS DEAD, CRIES A LITTLE BIT AND WE BARELY SEE HER THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN. Like honestly, she finds out the person she loves most has died, and kind of forgets about it because the Goblin King she loves so very, very much is there and he makes her a woman named Elisabeth, not a girl named Liesel. Yeah, I was weirded out too. This just annoyed me because we are made to think she cares about Josef so much, but her reaction to his death is really anticlimactic. I have a younger brother who is literally my life, and if he died…boy, objects would be thrown against walls, my heart would be breaking and my cheeks would be streams of tears.

Let’s discuss the Underground, the land of the goblins, which are ruled by a single Goblin King whose past we learn LITERALLY nothing about. Maybe it and he will be explained in the second book (which ha, surprise, surprise, I’m not picking up), but I still think it’d have been smart to introduce some backstory of him in this book to make him seem less, well, less FLAT AND BORING. I can’t tell you anything about this Goblin King accept he’s not as hot as Hans (who honestly, was such an UNNECESSARY character in this book. Will talk about more though…) but still pretty cute, and he plays the violin. Anyways, we also learn nothing about the Underground. I have no idea what it looks like. The only places down there described to us are Liesel’s room and the room in between her room and the Goblin King’s…that’s all I remember and can kind of picture in my head. So yeah, the Underground to me is composed of two, sometimes three (when Liesel wakes up in the Goblin King’s bed), rooms.

Okay, I need to talk about Hans. 1) Why is he in this book? That’s it. That is my only question actually. Like why, WHY, is he a character? He is introduced as the man promised to Kathe who honestly, couldn’t care less about him, but Liesel is secretly in love with him. Until Liesel is suddenly living a life right after her sister is taken where Kathe never existed in her family, and because of that, Liesel is pursuing music or something (I thought Josef was the reason she had to set aside her dream but I guess not?). In this weird life, she kisses Hans and I realizes she doesn’t love him. Anyways, why bring him in then? It would have been perfectly FINE to not set up the idea of Kathe being engaged to someone because it made no difference to the story, the Goblin King still took her, and it also would have been perfectly FINE if Liesel wasn’t in love with anyone before going to the Underground and realizing she kind of loves him instead. He served no purpose at all and was a waste of space in this book. Maybe he serves a purpose in the second book which then everything I said now would be kind of invalid (also not though because Jae-Jones could have just had Hans engaged to Kathe and that’s it), but STILL.

Anyways, this book had 400-something pages filled with a lot of nothing…oh wait, sorry, filled with a lot of contradicting or useless characters, slow and boring plot, and a flat world. However, I really did like the writing. It was lyrical and beautiful…my favourite type of writing! I apologize for being kind of harsh but this is just my opinion. There were a few lines in the book and even a few scenes I enjoyed in this book overall, again, those were just because of the writing. Overall, I gave this book 2.5/5 stars. Why did I not DNF this book if I hated it so much? Well, I really, really wanted to like it and I just hoped it would get better. It took until page 300ish for me to realize that wasn’t going to happen though.

Anyways, that is all for my spoilery review on Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, and I hope you enjoyed! If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts on it because I am really curious. From what I’ve read on Goodreads, people either loved it or hated it. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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December 2018 Wrap Up

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Ah! This is the last wrap up of 2018 which is a whole other level of crazy, but I am really excited to discuss all the books I read this month because it was a lot more than I expected! I read a total of 12 books this month and that is a lot for me, especially since I read most of these during the first two books of the month I had school. Anyways! Let’s get into this wrap-up.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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I was re-reading this book in anticipation for the release of Queen of Air and Darkness, the third and final book in this amazing trilogy, and just like the first time, I adored this book. This book takes place in the world of Shadowhunters (people who are half angel and half human) who fight demons to keep humans safe. The first book, Lady Midnight follows a large cast of characters but most specifically, Emma Carstairs, a Shadowhunter who is hunting for answers about her parents’ murders but the whole plot of it turns out to be more than she and her friends assumed. This book is not by any means short, but it is 700ish pages that somehow never seems long enough because I just want more and more and MORE. As always, 5/5 stars.

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich 

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As a Broadway fanatic, I jumped at the chance to read the YA novel adaptation for this Broadway musical. I’ve listened to the soundtrack countless times, and I was blown away by how greatly the author pulled the lyrics and atmosphere out of each song and transferred it into a book. The characters sounded the same as in the songs, and the plot was enjoyable, important, and interesting to read about. I felt all the feelings while reading this too; I laughed, smiled, cried, and cringed in all the right places and because of that, I loved this book. Dear Evan Hansen follows our main character, Evan, who is struggling to connect with others at school but when a boy from his school named Connor commits suicide, his family somehow thinks Evan was a close friend of his and they bring him into their world and even their family. However, Evan wasn’t friends with Connor and he struggles with revealing this. This book makes me want to see the musical live even more and hopefully, one day I will! 4/5 stars

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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I have a tradition of giving The Perks of Being a Wallflower a read once every year because, to me, it is a classic that everyone needs to read. It deals with mental disorders like anxiety and PTSD, abuse, and finding yourself, all important things at really any age. We follow Charlie, a quiet kid who is starting his freshman year of high school and feels more alone than ever. But when he is taken in by two seniors, Sam and Patrick, and introduced to their friend group, Charlie starts to find himself and finally begins to participate in life. Amongst all that, Charlie is a reader and writer, which makes me love the story even more. Not only is this a good read, but it is a quick read too. 4/5 stars

The Outsider by Albert Camus

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If this wasn’t assigned to me to read for English class, I would have never picked it up and it probably would have been years until I heard the name of the master, Albert Camus so for once, I am happy with my assigned reading for class. The Outsider is a short piece of fiction that features a character representing the idea of existentialism – the idea that life has no true meaning other than what we give it individually. Recently, I’ve done a lot of research on philosophy, including existentialism, nihilism, etc, and found the entire study incredibly fascinating and Albert Camus captures the overall idea of existentialism perfectly in his character, Meursault. Meursault is a passive character who receives news that his mother dies but fails to feel the way society expects him to. When Meursault commits a terrible crime, his inability to connect to others and the world around him becomes apparent and surprises everyone. This is a really interesting story and I found Meursault fascinating because he truly was neither morally good or bad. He was grey. 4/5 stars

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Yes, YES! I read and finished the final installment in The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare in the month of December. It took some time (almost 3 weeks to be exact) because I was busy and also wanted to savour the book because…well, it was a lot. It was 912 pages of happiness, heartbreaks, and adventure. Once again, this takes place in the Shadowhunter world and is the sequel to Lord of Shadows which I read earlier this month. While it wasn’t everything I hoped for, I did love it and I loved seeing most of my favourite characters stories come full circle. However, a lot of their stories didn’t because, in a few years, Cassandra Clare is releasing The Wicked Powers, a series following characters from The Dark Artifices but 3 years after the events of Queen of Air and Darkness…so yeah, this didn’t really feel like the end to a trilogy because of that! 5/5 stars though

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Since I am in the midst of my writing break, I thought Big Magic would be the perfect book to pick up and dive into because it is all about creativity and living the creative life. Gilbert speaks of her own creative journey, and all of the wisdom she has gathered from years of experience and other people. While I didn’t get as much out of it as the first time I read it, I still enjoyed re-reading this book and it helped to nurture my shaky flame of creativity. I definitely recommend it to every creative person! 3.75/5 stars

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

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Ugh. I have a review going up for this book (hopefully) this Wednesday, but long story short, it was not my cup of tea. We follow Liesel, a German girl who has stifled her love for music in order for her brother to grow as a musician (why does SHE have to give up her dream, I don’t know) and one day, while in the market with her sister, Kathe, is taken to the Underground by some goblins to wed the Goblin King, a figure from Liesel’s childhood she thought was fiction. Liesel ventures to the Underground, the land of the goblins, to save her sister from the monster she thought was nothing but a story who instead has become a crystal clear, bitter reality. This book was not great. Lisel was annoying and the plot went all over the place, however, the writing was beautiful so there’s that. 2.5/5 stars

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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This is the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway, a book I read back in August, and oh my god, this book was amazing. Somehow, Seanan McGuire manages to fit so much plot, world-building, and character development in UNDER 200 PAGES! Like how? I can’t explain this book really without spoiling the first book, but basically, we follow two twins who are present in the first book and who play a large enough role in it. We learn their story and the world they went to when their doorway appeared because, in this world, doorways to different worlds appear to children and if they venture into it, they live there for a while before being given the choice later on whether to stay or leave. It’s really interesting and I cannot wait to read her next book! 4.5/5 stars

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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City of Lost Souls was my audiobook for the month as I’ve been slowly, but surely, making my way through my re-read of The Mortal Instruments series via audiobook. I’m kind of bummed because while I love this book, I took some gaps between listening to it and overall, that took away from some of my enjoyment of the story. Either way, I enjoyed it of, course, because I love these books, these characters, and this world. This book also takes place in the Shadowhunter world, as all of Clare’s other books. It is the fifth in the six-book-series, but the first book, City of Bones follows Clary, a fifteen-year-old girl whose mother is kidnapped by a man called Valentine, and Clary suddenly finds herself in a world of angels and demons, one that she has more of a place in than she thought. These books hold a special, special place in my heart as they do for many people, and I always love revisiting them! This was by far my favourite audiobook in the series though because the narrator, Molly Quinn, is actually an actress in one of my favourite TV shows, Castle so that added to the experience! 5/5 stars

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I loved, loved, loved this book and if I have time, I can see myself re-reading this book again for the millionth time sometime soon. While this book is over 400 pages, I flew through it as always because the pacing is so quick and the story is so cute and wonderful. In Fangirl, we follow Cath who is starting her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. However, while Cath is eager to hole herself up in her room and write Simon Snow fanfiction, Wren is eager to make new friends and go to parties, leaving Cath behind. Cath slowly becomes friends with her roommate, Raegan, and her best friend, Levi, learning to come out of her shell a little more though, and soon her friendship with Levi becomes something more. Everything about this story is great and I am so happy I was able to re-read it! 5/5 stars

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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Strangely enough, I have never read Alice in Wonderland despite it being a classic. Reading it made me question why it is really a classic though because honestly, I was less than impressed. Alice is a difficult and not entirely bright character, but I did think the world was a lot of fun and creative for the times, so maybe that is why. I don’t feel the need to explain what this book is about because…well, it’s Alice in Wonderland…its a classic. I do wish I enjoyed it more than I did, but it was really short so I’m not complaining. 3/5 stars

The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass

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The Selection trilogy (we don’t talk about it as a series) is my all-time favourite guilty pleasure…even though I’m not guilty about it, but loud and proud. Anyways, I was getting the urge to re-read it, but I decided that instead of starting the trilogy for the millionth time, I would just pick up one of the novellas. I’ve read it once or twice before, but enjoyed it just as much this time. It was a lot of fun and I really like most of the characters in this series so yeah, it was an enjoyable little read to end off my reading year! 4/5 stars

There you have it! Those are the 12 whole books I managed to squeeze in this month, which is crazy, because the only time I read 12 books in one month is July when I am off from school. For the most part, I enjoyed these books except for the few flops so overall, it was a successful reading wise quality as well as quantity wise. Anyways, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts below for more bookish and writing related content! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update

Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a great week whether you celebrate Christmas or not, and I hope you managed to get a lot of reading, writing, or whatever else you enjoy doing, done! Personally, I had a GREAT reading week and while I am technically on a writing break, I do have something I want to discuss in that section of this blog post though so stay tuned for that! Anyways, let’s get into this update.

I finished 4 books this week which I am really happy about because now, I am only 3 books away from finishing my 2018 reading goal! Yes, that means I have to read 3 books in one day since tomorrow is the last day of 2018, but I know I can do it since the last 3 books I want to read are short. One is the City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare audiobook which I am only one hour away from finishing…so yeah, I will finish it tomorrow for sure. The other books I plan on reading tomorrow are two novellas because THAT’S NOT CHEATING!

Anyways, for what I read this week, I read Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones, Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and last but not least, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I actually have a review coming out for Wintersong in the next week or two, but I will give a quick snapshot on my feelings for it, as well as the other books. I was so excited to read Wintersong, but it was not a book for me. I thought it would be because it has goblins and magic and takes place in Germany in the past, and to me, that sounds epic. Sadly, it was anything but! Anyways, more to come in my review. However, I did love Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire, the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway which I read during the BookTubeAThon in the summer and while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t blown away with the first book in this series. The sequel was so amazing though; everything from the writing to the world to the characters was just brilliant, and how the author packs so much stuff into a book under 200 pages will never cease to amaze me. But yeah, loved it! I also, OF COURSE, loved re-reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell because this is an all-time favourite of mine for sure. This may have been my fourth or fifth re-read of this contemporary to be honest, but I did’t love it any less than I did the first time or the second time and so on. I was in desperate need of a cozy, heart-warming contemporary and immediately leapt towards Fangirl because if you’ve read it, you’d know how wonderful it is and if you haven’t read it…what are you doing!? Lastly, I read the short entirety of Alice in Wonderland, the classic by Lewis Carroll which I actually have not read before. Honestly, wasn’t super impressed. It was alright but Alice…well, she is a difficult character to say the least. I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but I do wish I enjoyed it more than I did since it is a “classic”. Anyways, half of my reading this week was AMAZING and the other half was bleh, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I am so excited to strive to read 3 whole books (OKAY FINE, novellas…but those are books too! They count!) tomorrow and reach my yearly reading goal because I am so close it would suck to not reach it, you know?

Okay, okay, I know I’m on a writing break but suddenly the urge to write overtook me. Not in the way I expected or the way you might assume. Since I spent the last two days reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I had the urge to write some fanfiction (something I haven’t done since I was 13-years-old and locked away in the world of Percy Jackson). In Fangirl, our main character, Cath, writes fanfiction for this massively popular fantasy series similar (not unlike Harry Potter), and that just made me want to write some. Not because I want to regularly write fanfiction, but because I was desperate to write something. Something that didn’t contain my own original characters or world, just my own story idea. So, I wrote 1,000 words of some AWFUL fanfiction following my favourite characters from The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare and it was a lot of fun. It was a great creative release and it truly helped me fill my creative well just a little bit more in a way both reading and watching Netflix can’t do. I have no idea if I will write any more terrible fanfiction or if I will write something of my own, but I do plan to head to a coffee shop tomorrow and hopefully, something productive will occur from that.

That was all for my 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 for reading 🙂

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Best Books of 2018

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2018 was a good reading year quantity wise. However, as I am writing this, I don’t know if I’ve hit my Goodreads goal of 75 books but I am really, really close and still have time (I’ve read 70 so far). While I read lots of books, a lot of them were re-reads or just books that were pretty good but not AMAZING. So, when it came to compiling a list of my favourites, I realized this was going to be short and sweet. That’s okay though because I did re-read a lot of my most favourite books (I’m not counting those in this post though) and there were a few new reads that I did really enjoy. Anyways, here are my favourite books of 2018.

Stephen King: On Writing by Stephen King

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This is a non-fiction book on Stephen King’s writing journey and life. I read this in January and absolutely loved it. It was stuffed to the seams with wisdom and advice that I seethed over, and it all helped to improve me as a writer. I definitely plan on re-reading it in the new year, but this was definitely a favourite out of the whole year for me. It was also definitely my most favourite writing book…probably that I’ve ever read! 5/5 stars

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

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I know, I know. I’ve raved about this book more than a few times, but for good reason because it made it onto my favourites list! This is a contemporary-fantasy, as I like to genereize it, that follows the POV of two sisters, Evelyn, and Philippa who along with their brother, Jamie, have just returned from a fantasy land called the Woodlands where they lived for several years in an attempt to flee from the devastation of World War II. Now they are back to reality, all struggling to find their place in it, but some are struggling more than others. When Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must find her sister and along the way, discover the pain of assimilating into the ordinary she felt. I read this book in the summertime and fell in love with its rainy, English atmosphere and raw characters. I actually have an in-depth review if you want to read it right here, but it was just amazing. 5/5 stars

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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This was another book I discovered in the summertime during the BookTubeAThon and oh my- it was amazing. Neal Shusterman creates such a realistic world with characters I can actually imagine meeting and speaking with, bringing the story to life that much more. Scythe takes place in a futuristic world where humans have conquered everything from ageing, disease to death. However, to keep the population from exploding, there are scythes who glean people at random to do so. Our two main characters are Rowan and Citra, both who are chosen to be the apprentices to the same scythe but this is something neither of them thought they wanted. I love this story and these characters, and just talking about it makes me want to re-read it…which I may do. 5/5 stars

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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While I had my issues with this book (which will be discussed in my upcoming review), I did absolutely adore this book. I had been anticipating it for so long, and I also know it was supposed to be very open-ended because it is setting us up for the Wicked Powers, another series in the Shadow World. But anyways, this was the third and final installment in my favourite trilogy, The Dark Artifices, following my most favourite characters in my most favourite world. Was it everything I hoped for? Honestly, not really haha, but then again, it kept me interesting, surprised me, and ultimately, I loved it so yes, one of the best books of 2018 hands down. 5/5 stars

There you have it! I only have 4 books on this list because the other books were either re-reads or only 4-star-reads. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like them, they just weren’t the best books of 2018 for me. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading!

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