It Begins With the Book by Zoe Mathers

It begins with the book.

You started reading it the week before school. Your very first week of university. You made it to page seventy-two and are already both knees deep in the world and best friends with the characters. The night before school starts you read twenty more pages before placing it on the nightstand next to your bed and turning out the light.

The first day of school is a blur of racing from concrete building to concrete building and trying to remember that the concrete building with the blue door is where you history class is. The concrete building with the orange door is where your philosophy class is. After hearing the drone of your philosophy prof’s voice though, you hope you forget that your philosophy class is in the concrete building with the orange door and discover the coffee shop next to it instead.

The first day of school is a blur of faces. Some stick out more than the rest. Mostly the ones with bright smiles and who said hello to you first. You meet Michael. Michael is also a first year in history. He has floppy dark curls and a big grin that makes you smile back even though you’re so nervous your knees are bouncing. Michael makes you forget that your book is in your bag, the one you were going to read before class started and the one you read twenty pages of last night. He is the reason you forget to pick it up when you’re sitting on the grass during your fifty minute break. Instead, you stare out at the trees and the students walking by. The ones that dart past like bees narrowing in on a flower are all visibly first years. Their shoes are shiny, their coats aren’t missing any of their buttons, and their faces are slathered in makeup. The second, third, and fourth years all languidly stroll past you.

A lot of them have cracked, leather satchels and glasses sliding down the bridge of their nose.

That night you sit in bed on your phone. The book is still in your bag and the bookmark is still stuck between pages seventy-one and seventy-two. You found Michael’s Instagram after approximately fifteen minutes of scrolling through boys named Michael with floppy dark curls. He is from somewhere in Vancouver. He has, or had, a lot of friends. Lots of them are pretty, blonde girls all holding cups probably filled with beer or vodka or some other drink that would make your stomach twist. One boy with dark skin and short hair comes up in a lot of Michael’s pictures. Their arms are wrapped around each other. Their cheeks are pressed together.

You guess Michael and you will only ever be friends.

You put your phone down and turn off the light. The book still sits in your bag and it sits in your bag for the next night, and the night after that. Soon, its home becomes the bag.

It begins with the book but it moves on to other things too.

It’s almost October. School is three weeks deep into your life and already, its claws have torn it up into a shredded mess. You are struggling to keep the pieces from flying away. You are chasing and shoving them in your bag where your book still sits. When it fills up, you stuff them under your arms and even in your mouth.

In the second week of school, you lost your soccer ball. You thought you left it underneath the deck of your parents house, where it always is, but when you checked, it vanished. You miss kicking it down the field. You miss the wind against your face, in your hair and cushioning you as you bring the ball to the net.

It begins with the book, but it took your soccer ball too.

You don’t look for your soccer ball again. All the time spent busing to your parents house and then looking for it took away time from your history paper. The five page one on Canadian women in the second World War. It was due at midnight that night and you barely finished it because you spent all that time looking for your soccer ball. When you get your paper back, the mark makes you cringe and think about the soccer ball.

You could just buy a new one, but you don’t.

It’s a couple days into October now. The leaves are brown and their corpses stick to the soles of your shoes. The wind is blocked by your sweater as you hurry home, but you still shiver because you’re always cold now.

There is a bookstore on the walk home from the bus stop. You used to stare in the windows and then go in when you couldn’t hold yourself back. You would browse the shelves slowly and carefully, your eyes not leaving a single book behind. You would sit in the designated reading chair hidden between the young adult and children’s section and devour the first chapter of a book before buying it. Or decide it was bad and choose another.

But now you walk past the bookstore and stare into its empty, dark abyss cradled by the window. It’s closed and your reflected face is the only thing you see.

You walk away.

In your room there is a stack of unread books that you made for yourself at the beginning of the year. Before school started. You had plans to get through that stack of five books before the end of the semester. Your bookmark is still wedged between page seventy-one and seventy-two in the book that is still hiding in your bag and has been since the first day.

There is a brand new soccer ball that sits in the shadows underneath your bed. Your uncle got it for you because the reason you couldn’t find your ball is because his dog chewed it up. You haven’t touched it or even taken off the wrapping.

When you get home, you either pull out your laptop and binge YouTube or go over your lecture notes on Canadian history, or you just sit there. You sit there and think about things that don’t mean anything. You think about Michael who you haven’t spoken to since the second day of school when you sat next to him but he was already talking to the boy with sandy hair and glasses. You think about all the parties on campus you missed because you were nose deep in a book. Not your books, but the books they make you read for school. The ones where when you open them and the words seem to run together into blots of ink that make absolutely no sense. You think about your kind-of-friends. The ones who you see on only on Friday nights. Even then, all you guys do is sit around, drink beer (which doesn’t make your stomach twist anymore) and watch “Friends”. Occasionally you all laugh at something or complain about homework. Usually the only talking between friends is the conversations of the two-dimensional ones on the TV.

And then finally, you think about the book you still haven’t finished. The one lying in your bag. The part you read was good. You wanted to know what would happen next. You still do.

You pull your bag into your lap and yank it out. A corner is creased and the cover feels a little damp.

You peel open the first page and then to where your bookmark is. You read the first word and then the second word. Soon you’re done the page and you’re sprawled out on your bed. The world in the story rises up around you and devours you without warning. But you don’t mind. The characters reach out for you, hands grabbing yours before pulling you in headfirst. But you wanted them to.

You are pretty sure you had an assignment due about an hour ago, but you don’t care. The book is better. The story brings you back alive as if you’ve been Frankensteined after years of being dead. Something flickers inside of you. It’s warm and faint, but as the pages fly by it grows hotter and brighter.

It begins with the book and then the soccer ball.

It took them both from you. It took the things that lit your spirit with brilliant colour but now you have enlightened the cold, empty space it left behind.

You need this book.

You need this soccer ball.

You were lost without the things that gave you life. You lost your way along the walkway with a dozen different paths all heading into a grey haze. You lost your way among the anxious crowd of other students all stumbling in every direction. You aren’t sure which ones to follow. You aren’t sure who knows where they are going. It takes you a while to realize that no one knows that yet.

But finally, a light has flickered in the distance.

 

Well, that was my random short story that kind of sums up the basic idea of what I have been feeling lately…It has been a struggle trying to find myself again and reconnect with the things that I love to do and make me, well, me. Without them, I’ve felt a little lost but I am slowly reconnecting with them again.

I hope you enjoyed, and 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! 🙂

Last Blog Post: Am I Participating in NaNoWriMo?

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Am I Participating in NaNoWriMo?

Happy Thanksgiving for all you other Canadians!

I thought it was time to give a little update on where I’m at with my writing and if I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo this year since it’s only been recently that I’ve gotten back into blogging. I’ve been going back and forth about it a lot because it’s only been recently since I managed to get a grasp on managing my time and passions. However, I decided that I do really want to try NaNoWriMo this year and just see how it goes. Honestly, even last year when I had more time to write I struggled with it, so I am a little skeptical about me getting anywhere near 50,000 words this November. Might as well try though because me attempting NaNoWriMo this year is all about trying to get back into the routine of writing.

But yes! I am participating, or at least attempting to participate, in NaNoWriMo 2019. I am not 100% sure which story I am going to be focusing on, but I’ve been slowly planning out both so either I’ll decide right before Novemeber, or I will switch between them during the month. One is a fun, “trying-to-get-back-into-writing” story while the other is the Aztec mythology one I’ve been working on for over two years. I am really excited to get back into writing, and hopefully this will push me to write a little bit every day even amongst the rest of life going on because that is something I haven’t done in a while! I miss writing constantly and having it be a prominent aspect of my life. It is the same with reading. I read a lot for my degree but it isn’t the same as reading for my own enjoyment. Once again, once I get a better grasp on managing my time, I will be able to easily fit both into my schedule which I cannot wait for.

Oh! Another writing-related update is that I have decided to become a double major (this could change, but as of now, I am pretty set on the idea) in English AND writing. I did not want to just major in writing, but I really enjoy the idea of having to make time for my own writing. Even if it is an assignment, once you get past the first year level of writing courses which I have, you get a lot more freedom with your stories that you hand in and share with your critique groups. You are also supposed to pick to genres to specialize in at first, so I’ve decided to choose fiction and creative non-fiction. Let’s see if I actually follow through with this, but I hope I do because it would bring creative writing back into my life for the rest of my school years which is really important to me. I never realized how much I needed writing until I stopped for an entire month.

Anyways, that was a little, rambly update for you all on my writing and thoughts about NaNoWriMo this year! Stay tuned because the next blog post should be a random short story I wrote which I think will be a lot of fun to share as it is the first short story I’ve written since I’ve slowly gotten back into writing.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are all linked down below.

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5 Writing Prompts for Fall!

5 Writing Prompts for Fall.png

Happy Friday!

Fall is in the air! The days are shorter, nights are darker, and the air is cooler – all meaning my favourite time of the year is fast-approaching. In honour of that, I decided it would be fun to share 10 fall writing prompts to get your creativity flowing this fall. I have done a lot of reading and book related posts these past few weeks, so it is time for a writing-related post anyways!

Here are five writing prompts from me to you 🙂

  1. You turn the corner onto your empty and quiet street only to find it covered in the thick shadows of the night. The streetlights remain unlit and shadows seem to dance in the small pockets of moonlight. You grip your backpack straps and begin walking down the sidewalk but the sound of dry leaves crunching under feet echoes from somewhere down the dark street. You pause and squint through the darkness. The sound continues, suddenly appearing right behind you and you whirl around to find…
  2. Orange flames crackle and hiss from the red brick fireplace as you snuggle deep into the couch  with a cup of hot tea steaming in your hands. Just as you raise the cup to your lips, banging erupts at the door. Each knock is hard and followed by another. You freeze, slowly setting the cup down and rising to your feet. You knew this day would come, but you didn’t know it would be so soon.
  3. Where you’re from, Halloween is the day where monsters and creatures alike can infiltrate the mortal world without consequence. Although this year is different. This year they plan on taking over and elect you as their leader. What they don’t know is, is that you’re half-human and you’re family lives in the mortal world.
  4. The trail is littered with the colours of fall and the sky is hazy with grey clouds. You shiver but he offers you his sweater. You shrug it on and smile, but he suddenly looks pale. “You okay?” You ask and he nods, lips forming soundless words. “I love you,” he says suddenly and you freeze. He watches you expectantly for an answer, eyes hopeful, but you can’t say it back. You still haven’t told him the whole truth.
  5. The bus comes in five minutes but you’re only tugging on your shoes. You yank on your jacket and fish around in the pockets for your bus pass, but your fingers find a slip of paper instead. Its delicately folded and inside, a message is written in pretty cursive. The words make your heart drop: You have 3 days.

Those are all the writing prompts I have for you today, 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. Also, if you want to support me and my blog, buy me a coffee with the link down below and get early access to my blog posts!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: September 2019 Wrap Up

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Readathon Update!

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Happy Thursday!

Today marks the fourth day of the Reading Rush, the second readathon I have participated in this July, and I thought it would be fun to give a little update!

Anyways, currently, I am on track with reading seven books in seven days which is shocking, to say the least. A few years ago, reading that many books in that little amount of time would have been easy even if I had a million other things going on. As I get older, reading for long stretches of time seems to get harder and I do NOT know why. Shouldn’t I be less fidgety and more willing to slump on my couch for like five hours?

Apparently not.

While I did not finish a full book on Monday because I thought it was a smart idea to try and read half of two books and then finish them both the next day (this did not happen!), I did catch up yesterday. I tried to read Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (which I successfully finished yesterday) and We Hunt the Flame by Hasaf Faizal (which I did not successfully finish yet) on Monday and Tuesday, but only finished the first because while We Hunt the Flame is good, it’s moving a little slow for me. I’m thinking of replacing it with Again, But Better by Christine Riccio because it JUST came in from the library for me and I really want to read it. Plus, it would be an easy replacement for We Hunt the Flame because it is also a debut book.

I do want to finish We Hunt the Flame because I enjoy the rich world and story, but I don’t think it is readathon material.

Yesterday, I finished reading Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part Two by Gene Luen Yang which I read for the challenge of “read a book in one place”. It took me literally 20 minutes to read and I had a fun time! Yesterday, I also started and finished reading Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Richard Stevenson which was a nice, short read at 68 pages. As you can see, I am only on track because I’ve been reading my short books HOWEVER, none of the books left are anywhere near that short. Well, maybe except for Again, But Better which I started last night and am 50(ish) pages into already. But that is it.

My plan for today is to finish Again, But Better which I have no doubt I will do and then get at LEAST halfway through The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee because that is a hefty one being over 500 pages.

After that, I will only have two books left: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. Hopefully, I can finish these books in the next three days and I can win this readathon! However, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and other activities lately, so it will be slightly challenging but doable, I think?

If you’re participating in the readathon, let me know how it’s going!

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

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Reading Rush TBR

Happy Monday and also, day one of the Reading Rush!

It’s been two days since the last readathon I participated in, but I am already SO ready for the Reading Rush! I’m looking forward to yet another whole week dedicated to reading as much as possible because like I’ve mentioned before, I am trying to read a lot before I head off into my first year of university.

WHAT IS THE READING RUSH?

The Reading Rush was formally known as the BookTubeAThon and takes place from July 22 @ 12am – July 28 @ 11:59pm. It is an entire week dedicated to reading as much as you can, and is filled with video, reading, and Instagram challenges!

Anyways, here is what I plan on reading for this Reading Rush!

Read a Book with Purple on the Cover

Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

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This has a liiitle purple on the cover so it counts! I mostly just really wanted to find a way to incorporate the last two books in the Raven Cycle into my Reading Rush TBR because I am LOVING my re-read of these books. Blue Lily Lily Blue is the third book out of four and I haven’t read it for a while so I kind of forget what happens, making me even more eager to jump into this book.

Read a Book in the Same Place Every Time

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part Two by Gene Luen Yang

Image result for avatar the last airbender the promise book two

For the Biannual Bibliothon, I picked up the first installment in this graphic novel series following the events of season three of the TV show, Avatar the Last Airbender. While it wasn’t EXACTLY what I expected, I did enjoy my time reading it and definitely need another short book for the readathon so this is perfect. Especially if I have to stay in the same place to read it, which I have decided will be outside on my deck.

Read a Book You Meant to Read Last Year

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

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Recognize this from my Biannual Bibliothon TBR? Well, you’re right because I never got around to it the first time! This is a book I’ve been thinking about for the past year or so because I have heard NON-STOP, great things about it. So, I decided this month it is definitely time to give it a read. It is a bit longer (over 500 pages!), but I am hoping that because it is apparently so good, I won’t want to stop reading it.

Read an Author’s First Book

We Hunt the Flame by Hasaf Faizal

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I follow this author on Twitter and honestly, her book promotion REALLY worked on me. Not only is the cover for this book beautiful, but the premise is really intriguing and something I am currently in the mood for. It has to do with a female hunter disguising herself as a man and being badass which I am ALL here for. I cannot wait to see if this book is worth the hype but honestly, I am sure it is. Even if it is the author’s debut!

Read a Book Featuring a Non-Human Character

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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Okay so TECHNICALLY, Ronan is NOT completely human. He is a greywaren, a magician of sorts, which is NOT HUMAN. This counts because of all of that. This is the fourth and final book in the Raven Cycle which is sad, but I feel like during my first time reading this book, I didn’t really appreciate it for all it was. I sped through it and despite being in a readathon, I really don’t want to do that this time.

Pick a Book That Has More Than Five Words in the Title 

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson 

Image result for strange case of jekyll and hyde

Not only am I trying to read more classics making this book a great pick, but Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella so it is SUPER short. I have an edition where most of the book is short stories and the actual story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is like, 70 pages. Hopefully, the story is interesting and I can fly through those 70 pages in an hour or so! I haven’t dived into the world of gothic literature really, so I am looking forward to exploring this area of literature.

Read and Watch a Book-to-Movie Adaptation 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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At first, I was going to combine this challenge with the first and read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but honestly, I am not really in the mood for a cozy, atmospheric story. SO, instead, I am going to read and watch City of Bones! It’s been a hot minute since I visited the world of the Mortal Instruments except for when I did my audiobook listen of (most) of the books a year or so ago. I am very excited though because I have such a special place in my heart for this book and even the movie!

 

That is all for my Reading Rush TBR 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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The Final Biannual Bibliothon – How Did It Go?

Happy Saturday!

Sorry for not posting on Thursday, but I just did not have the creativity or mindset to sit down and write a blog post that would be satisfactory for you all. Lately, my mind has been a cluttered mess of positivity and negativity, and I am only realizing just now that maybe I should try to work on fixing that.

Anyways, I DID want to make a post talking about how my Biannual Bibliothon went and what exactly I managed to read so I hope you enjoy!

TBR RECAP

  1. Read the Group Book – Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    1. SUBSTITUTE – Free Choice – Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi
  2. Read a Host’s 5-star Read – Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
  3. Read a Book Based Off of the Cover – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. Read an Adult Genre Book – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  5. Free Choice – The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Read a Book From an Author You’ve Never Read From – The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
  7. Read a Graphic Novel – Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part One by Gene Luen Yang
  8. Read a Book You Were Excited For but then Never Picked Up – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  9. Read a Predicted 5-star Read – Vicious by V.E. Schwab

How Did I Do?

Despite the nine days I had to read nine books, I only FINISHED four which is definitely not bad, but I was really wanting to challenge myself for this final Biannual Bibliothon. However, as I mentioned, my head’s been a little full lately, and it’s been hard to focus on a book when there are so many other things occupying my mind.

The books I did read though, were ones I really enjoyed my time with.

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi – 3.5/5 stars

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I flew through this book mostly because this is the fifth book in the series so I already know the characters and the world. However, I kind of forgot about what happened in Restore Me, so it took a little bit for me to clue into what was going on, but once I did it was smooth sailing. It wasn’t AMAZING, but it does have me curious about what will happen next. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – 4.5/5 stars

Image result for the raven boys

As always, I love reading these books and being in this world. While they aren’t perfect, after giving this book a re-read, I definitely think The Raven Cycle is in my top 5 favourite series. Just everything from the characters to the world to the story is so rich and immersive that I can’t help but be sucked in. 

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part One – 3/5 stars

Image result for avatar the last airbender the promise book one

First off, I was a little confused when I started reading this graphic novel because I thought it was the graphic novel interpretation of the TV series, but it is actually what takes place AFTER the events of the TV show. Not that I don’t want to know about that, but it just wasn’t exactly what I was expected. Also, Katara’s and Aang’s RELATIONSHIP in this was just…strange and forced in my opinion. It kept popping up everywhere and annoying me. I always thought I shipped them, but recently, I have been aboard the Katara x Zuko ship so…

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – 5/5 stars

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This book was SO well done and amazing, that I could not help but it give it 5 stars. I guess TECHNICALLY, this could for the challenge of reading an adult genre book as well because this book was not YA, but I am only going to count this for the challenge I originally associated it with. I loved the grey characters and grey world and superhero/villain aspect of it all because it made for a very interesting story. Now, I cannot WAIT to pick up Vengeful next!

While I only FINISHED four books, I am halfway through two others on this list. They are Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, which I was listening to the audiobook version of for the readathon but lately, I have NOT been in the audiobook mood so I only got halfway through. I am going to try and finish this book because I really like the story, but I think I will pick up the physical copy and try to finish it that way. If I can’t, oh well.

The other book I am halfway through and 100% will finish before Monday (which is when the Reading Rush begins!) is The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Currently, I am 250 pages in so either I will finish today or tomorrow. I am not going to try and fit in any other books though because I definitely want to relax before the next readathon and also get some writing done for Camp NaNoWriMo which I may or may not have been neglecting recently…

 

That is all I got done for the FINAL Biannual Bibliothon and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you participated and what exactly you got done because I would love to know. 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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How to: Get Out of a Reading Slump 2.0

Happy Thursday!

There are a lot of readathons happening in July so I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips and tricks on how to successfully free yourself from a reading slump.

  1. Pick Up an Old Favourite – My go-to remedy for a reading slump is to pick up an old favourite of mine that yes, I’ve read about 100 times, but love even more every time. For me, this is any Cassandra Clare book, Eliza and Her Monsters or Fangirl. I can read these books countless times and by the time I flip to the last page, they always have me wanting to consume more books.
  2. Don’t Force Yourself to Read – A lot of the time we fall into a reading slump because we are forcing ourselves to read when we don’t want to, or when it is a story we don’t want to read. NEVER force yourself to read (unless it’s for school because then you should probably just try to do it) because that only leads to getting no reading done at all.
  3. Let Yourself Be a Mood Reader – While I make TBRs for most months, they are created from books I really feel like reading at that moment. Luckily for me, if I feel like reading a book at the beginning of the month, I usually still will by mid-month but of course, this is not always the case. So, if you are in a slump or are edging towards one, take a look at your shelf and choose what you feel like reading. Forget your current read and your TBR. Just pick a book you want and read it.
  4. Watch Reading Vlogs – Whether I need some motivation to read or write or be productive, I love turning to vlogs for this. The act of watching someone else do what I want and need to do just fuels me with this sudden motivation to tackle whatever it is. Sometimes I have to watch the entire vlog, and sometimes another (but don’t get sucked into the vicious cycle of only watching these vlogs…try to limit yourself to 3 videos). Other times, I only need to watch the first few minutes and then I am good to go. Here is one of my favourites!
  5. Take a Trip to the Library or Book Store – I go to the library a LOT because it is only a 5-minute walk from my house. Even if I don’t pick out a book, sometimes it is helpful to just be surrounded by books. About 90% of the time, this makes me desperately want to pick up a book and spend the day indoors, absorbed in a new (or old) story.

Those are my 5 tips on how to wriggle free of a reading slump and I hope they were helpful! This month, I am participating in 2 readathons and in the next few days, I will have my TBRs up for them. Also, I will now be posting on Saturdays as well so look out for those new blog posts! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel – Book Review

Happy Monday!

Today I will be giving my honest, non-spoiler thoughts on Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel which was kindly sent to me from his publicist as an ebook in exchange for this review. All of these thoughts are what I truly felt while reading the book!

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In this adult science fiction, dystopian novel, Jared Cartwright is adventuring across the wasteland of his world that was destroyed in a nuclear war. Sealed off from the last remaining flickers of human life and society, Jared has to level up beyond normal human limitations using nanites in order to survive the cruel realities of this world. On his quest of survival, Jared comes to learn that dragons really do exist when he accidentally steals a dragon egg, facing companionship of it rather than punishment by its mother. Together, Jared and his new dragon, Scarlet, tackle a new task: finding the lost dragons and restoring them to their former glory. 

Firstly, I am not a huge sci-fi fan or even dystopian for that matter. However, I did think this book was a fun step outside of my usual reading taste. I think it is good to explore, or in this case, re-explore other genres apart from the ones you constantly read. While reading this, I did remember that I don’t usually pick up sci-fi because of the science aspect of the novel. Sometimes, it is hard for me to grasp if it is poorly explained and other times, I just don’t want to read something heavily influenced by science. That is just my preference though.

The wasted world we are taken into was interesting to explore, and despite my lack of adoration for science in novels, I found the whole using nanites to survive intriguing and easy enough to grasp. Along with the “levelling up” aspect of the novel. At first, I was worried that Jared levelling up would mean he became closer to being invincible, but luckily, the author did not take that route. Instead, Jared had to rest after each level up and learn how to harness his newfound abilities. However, he could still be beaten. I hate when characters are seemingly invincible in books because that is unrealistic and completely throws me from the story. In Radioactive Evolution though, Jared is anything but invincible and while he needs a reminder from Scarlet sometimes, he realizes that too.

As for Jared and Scarlet, the two main characters in this story, I couldn’t find a way to connect to either of them. Scarlet is a dragon who often, didn’t even seem like a dragon to me. Yes, she was slowly growing at the beginning of the book, but I often found myself having to remember that she was in fact, a dragon. I did enjoy her sassy and witty personality though, and how she always called Jared out when he was acting too tough. Jared, on the other hand, just did not leap off the page enough for me so I could not feel as if I knew him. Instead, I felt disconnected from him throughout the entire novel even as we dove into his backstory.

Before I get into my overall thoughts for the actual plot in the book, I wanted to talk about the writing in this book. I thought Richard Hummel had a very simple, yet effective style of writing that allowed me to visualize each situation pretty well. It was polished and professional which is obviously, what every reader expects when they pick up a novel. This made for a quick and easy read because I was not re-reading sentences trying to figure out what was going on. However, there were quite a few formatting errors throughout this book that definitely, because of the amount, threw me out of the story. There were several times when Scarlet’s dialogue wasn’t big or bold like it usually was, and it took me a while to realize it was her speaking. There were also times when Jared’s internal thoughts that he was communicating to Scarlet were not italicized and once again, confusion pulled me from the story. Other than those simple flaws, the writing was clean and crisp.

Now for the plot.

In the beginning, I felt as if we were not getting anywhere within the story. We were wandering around, following Jared and Scarlett as they met some low-risk obstacles. However, it did pick up as expected as the story continued on. Most of the obstacles and problems our characters ran into along the way didn’t pose too much of a high-stress threat to me. My experience reading this book was easy going and rarely did I find myself worrying about what would happen next plot-wise as well as to our characters. That isn’t to say the plot wasn’t interesting though. It moved at a medium pace and while learning about the world, the plot enticed me to learn more about this post-apocalyptic world. It just didn’t bring me to the edge of my seat.

Overall, I thought this was a good adult, sci-fi story about a man and his dragon trying to survive in this wasteland and save dragons as a species as well as humankind. The story was developed well and the writing was easy to get through. While it didn’t have me on the edge of my seat if you are a fan of sci-fi I would definitely give this book a read. 3.5/5 stars

If you want to check out the book, here is a link to its Goodreads page 🙂 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42514577-radioactive-evolution

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Reading + Writing Update!

Hellooo. I swear it has been 84 years since I have done a reading + writing update and I almost forgot to do one before the night was done but then while watching a reading vlog on YouTube I was like “YOU ALMOST FORGOT AGAIN!”. So, here I am, lying on my bed with my laptop in front of me, ready to update you all on what I read and wrote this past week. And spoiler alert, it was a pretty productive week.

This week, I finished two books and started another. That is pretty good for my reading habits lately, but considering I ended up having to go to school ONLY on Thursday (we got 3 snow days and already had Friday off…), I could have gotten a LOT more done. The first book I finished reading was one I started last Saturday I think, and that is Notes From a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life by Erin Wunker. This is a creative non-fiction book that is essentially a collection of essays about being a feminist in this patriarchal world we live in. There were three main chunks in it though, one focusing on rape culture, the other on friendship as feminists, and lastly, being a mother and feminist. I read this for my creative non-fiction assignment in my writing class, and found it really interesting and refreshing! I enjoyed it, but there was something that just kept me from really loving it though. Still, I liked it. Next, I finally, FINALLY finished reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and I am so proud of myself. I’ve been reading this book for a month, but yesterday, I finally read the last 50 pages. It’s not that I didn’t like this book, in fact, I really liked it, but it is so different from what I usually read, and much more dense that it took me a while to pick through. I’m glad I can finally check this classic off my list though, and I am even more excited to continue exploring Austen’s work. Next stop is Northanger Abbey! So, those are the 2 books I finished reading this week, but then I also decided to reward myself with one of my favourite books; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was, and am since I’m still reading it, just in desperate need of a fun and warm-hearted contemporary so of course, I turned to my fave. Since I am already 150 pages into it, I’m sure I’ll be able to finish it in the next day or two! While I’m not 100% sure what I am reading next, I did pick up A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro randomly from the library, so maybe I will dive into that next.

As for writing, I was surprisingly productive. Since I had quite a few days off this week, I woke up earlier and fit in at least 1,000 words before my workout. It felt so good. According to my sticker method tracker in my planner, I wrote about 7,500 words which is so great since I haven’t been doing a lot of writing lately. I did fall off the waking up early and writing thing these last few days, but I’m hoping to try and make it a routine this coming week. However, I do get Monday off as well, and then once school comes back in full swing, I will see how easy it is to keep to this routine of waking up early and writing before the rest of the day. If I try, I think I can keep it up though.

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

P.S. I have something coming tomorrow that is a liiitle bit different than what I usually post. It’s not really part of my whole re-defining a blog thing…or actually, maybe it is. It just wasn’t what I had in mind but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it!

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Reading + Writing Update!

This week was definitely a slower week, reading, writing, and really everything wise. It was a long and hard week and I can easily say I am happy it is over. However, I obviously got some reading and writing done so here is my quick update!

to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-before

Earlier this week I decided I needed a break from fantasy and was in desperate need of a fun, light hearted contemporary read. So, like always, I turned to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han! No surprise there. I am actually about 30 pages away from finishing so I might even be done by the time this goes up…if that is the case, I will probably pick up American Panda by Gloria Chao next because who actually sticks to their TBR? Not me, that’s for sure. Like I said, contemporaries just sound really appealing right now so why not?

As for writing, I am still ahead! Although, not as much. I am about a day or two ahead because I ended up taking another day off. Like I said, it was a hard week but I am hoping to get back into the swing of things this coming week. If all goes as plan, and if I manage to push through the current scene I am writing which is a) unplanned and b) difficult, I should reach my 40,000 word goal by Wednesday. But does the writing stop there? Of course not! That puts me at maybe halfway through draft one so there is still a long road ahead. Anyways, enough rambling! Here is my daily word counts from the past week:

Sunday: 1,551

Monday: 2,770

Tuesday: 1,732

Wednesday: 0

Thursday: 1,281

Friday: 0

Saturday: 2,490

Weekly Word Count: 7,642 words

That is all for this reading and writing update and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out the blog posts linked below, as well as my social media accounts. I have been super active on Instagram and Twitter so definitely follow those 🙂

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