February 2018 TBR!

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

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

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

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

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

Happy reading 🙂

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2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 5: Rewrite A Scene From A Book

Happy day 5! Sorry this blog post didn’t go up sooner, I was having a hard time coming up with decent content for today’s challenge, wondering if I should just skip it or not because I don’t have much time to work on it…but in the spirit of the Biannual Bibliothon, I decided to just go for it.

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For today’s challenge, hosted be @readerrayna, basically you just have to rewrite a scene from a book and then incorporate magic into it. I love to write, so I was really excited for this challenge, however, I forgot how difficult it would be to write something with someone else’s characters and story. I did it though, and it was a lot of fun! The book I chose to write a scene from is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and is the scene where Charlie, Sam and Patrick are driving through the Fort Pitt Tunnel really fast and Charlie says, “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” Yeah? Okay, let’s do this!


Patrick and Sam shared a grin as I slipped into the backseat of Sam’s pickup truck. I guess I looked confused because Sam smiled and winked at me before tossing her keys over to Patrick. He caught them and suddenly the air was filled with the sound of the engine sputtering to life.

“Tunnel.” Sam said immediately, as if that single word meant something. I could see it meant something to Patrick because the grin on his face widened. Soon we were zipping through the traffic, the light of the city blurred by the raindrops streaming down the windows. I pressed my nose against it, feeling the coolness and listening to the fast pop song pulsing out of the radio. I still had no idea where we were going and I said this aloud.

“You’ll see,” Patrick said teasingly. “But it’ll totally blow your mind.” Sam chuckled at her brother, pulling something out of her pocket. It was silver and thin, like a writing utensil. She pressed the tip to the dashboard and drew, gliding the stick in loops. I leaned over, resting my chin on the shoulder of Sam’s seat to see what she was drawing. She pulled back, and I could see that the whole dashboard was filled with shimmering infinity symbols.

“Why?” I asked but they just shared a mischievous look.

Suddenly Patrick sped up as we neared a tunnel. I could see the yellow lights that flooded from its mouth like a hungry beast. I gripped the worn seats, my heart loud in my ears.

“Do you trust us, Charlie?” Sam called out over the roar of her old truck’s engine. I just pressed my lips together and nodded. We were in the tunnel now, its end nowhere in sight. Sam laughed carelessly and crawled next to me in the backseat, opening the back window. I stared at her as she slipped out, her dress billowing around her in the winds, a look of wonder on her face. Patrick glanced back and smiled softly as she held out her arms, threading her fingers through the wind. All I could do was watch her.

“Prepare for lift off.” Patrick mumbled. I turned around. We had reached the end of the tunnel now, the yellow tunnel lights fading and the dark city returning. Sam climbed back in, her cheeks flushed and her eyes wild.

“Hold on tight,” she whispered, gripping my hand as the truck lurched upwards. I gasped, probably crushing her fingers in my grip. The truck’s wheels skimmed above the road, floating higher and higher in the air as Patrick pressed his foot on the gas.

“What-” I started, stomach tight. I looked at the dashboard, eyes widening at the infinity symbols which were now glowing with silver, the light growing brighter and brighter. Beside me, Sam didn’t look scared. She let go of my hand and pressed it against the window as she looked down at the city. I swallowed nervously and turned to my own window. The city buildings were tiny from up here, the cars winding down the busy roads like black ants scurrying for food. I felt big. Bigger than a city that made me feel so small. A laugh escaped from me. It was amazing.

I tore my eyes from the window and looked at Patrick and then at Sam, and then back at the shrinking city below where we were just known as nobodies, misfits. But up here we were everything, the stomping giants of the sky. I looked out the front window at the dark clouds, seeing only a vastness in front of us. Patrick and Sam were watching it too with wide eyes.

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.


 

And there we go! I hope you enjoyed my little scene, sorry if it isn’t that great, I just had fifteen minutes to spare so I quickly wrote that but I still hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check out my two posts from yesterday: 2018 Biannual Bibliothon Day 4: Holiday/Winter Fantasy Bucket List + Day 4: Reading Update! Also, stay tuned to for my reading update coming tonight. I can already tell you it will be a bit better than my one from yesterday!

Biannual Bibliothon Info:

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Reading/Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

I am currently working my way through Stephen King’s “On Writing” and continuously thinking why I haven’t read this sooner. A year ago I took it out from the library but never got around to actually read it, and then this last month I put my name on the waiting list for it, got it again and decided to give it a try. Surprise! I am loving it. I am just over half way through and if all goes to plan I will finish it before the day is done because it is that good! The next book I really want to read is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare…it would be a re read but I just really, really want to dive back into the world of Shadowhunters and also want to see the amazing characters in this book. Hopefully I will be able to finish Lady Midnight before the 20th, because I have decided to take part in the 2018 Biannual Bibliothon! I will have my TBR up soon as well as more info on this week long readathon, but I cannot wait for it to begin.

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Lately I have been writing so, so much which is amazing and I love it, however I do think last night I overworked myself. The past three days I have been writing at all hours of they day possible, but today I think I will just write later in the evening and try and resort back to my usual writing routine because sadly, I do have other things to get done…like my school work!

That is all for my reading/writing routine and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: My Writing Routine!

Other Places to Find Me:

Twitter: @zoermathers

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Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2018!

There are a fair amount of books I am looking forward to this year, and while I tried to make a list of the top 8 I was most excited for, I could only come up with a top 7…but oh well, I wanted to choose books that I am just dying to get my hands on, and while I am sure I will be adding to this list as the year goes on, these are the 7 most current book releases I am anticipating in the year of 2018!

Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Nicola Yoon, Nina LaCour, Emery Lord, Katherine McGee, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davis, and Sona Charaipotra 

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If you been paying attention to almost any of my other blog posts, you would know I am a sucker for cheesy romances, and this book has that written all over it. Basically this book was made for me, and I know I will love it! If you don’t know what a meet cute is…it is basically what it sounds like! When two people who fall for each other meet each other in a cute way. Most movies have meet cutes, and while they are cliche, everyone loves a good meet cute. This book is a collection of different stories featuring different, diverse characters who…you guessed it! Have a bunch of different meet cutes. I don’t know who came up with this idea, but I am all for it. January 2, 2018

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Restore Me was a surprise to all fans of Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” trilogy, but it was a very pleasant and exciting surprise. It is hard not to love the “Shatter Me” world and characters, and I am thrilled to be getting another book to this series. The synopsis of this book is pretty vague, but from what it says, I gather that while we thought Juliette and Warner and Kenji and Adam were safe, after winning in the last book and all, there is a new threat on the horizon for them to tackle. I am so, so, so excited to get my hands on this book, and cannot wait till it hits the shelves! March 6, 2018

A Reaper At the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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This is the third book in Sabaa Tahir’s “An Ember in the Ashes” series, which follows a series of different characters and an epic world of corruption and danger. In the first book, An Ember in the Ashes, we follow Laia, a girl whose brother is taken by the Empire and she sets off to save him. We also follow the journey of Elias, a soldier of the Empire who wants nothing more to part himself from it. As we read on, we watch as their paths meet and how they help each other reach the other’s goal. I really enjoyed the past two books in this series, and cannot wait for the third book to release! If you love fantasy, and complex characters and worlds, I definitely recommend you get started on these books. April 10, 2018

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandyha Menon

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Recently, I picked up Sandyha Menon’s “When Dimple Met Rishi”, and no, I haven’t read it yet but I just know I will absolutely love it! In this new book, we follow Twinkle Mehra, an aspiring filmmaker who is approached with the opportunity to make a film with fellow film geek, Sahil Roy. Excited to show off her talent she agrees, and Sahil just happens to be the twin brother of Twinkle’s long time crush, and the opportunity to spend time with him is something else she can’t pass up…that is, until she starts falling for Sahil instead. This just seems like an adorable contemporary that I would adore, and I also just love reading books where the protagonist is pursuing a creative life because I can easily relate! May 22, 2018

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Morgan Matson always delivers what I go looking for when I pick up her books, and that is a fun, easy contemporary that steals my heart! Her other books like “Since You’ve Been Gone”, is one of my favourite contemporaries and I cannot wait to see what this new book has in store. I didn’t read much of the synopsis because I want to go into this book not really knowing what to expect, but I do know that it involves our main character, Charlie, and her older siblings who are all reunited after years for her sister’s wedding. I am excited and curious to what will happen, and cannot wait for the cute (and cheesy) romance. June 5, 2018

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas

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When I was younger, Catwoman was a movie I absolutely adored. She was such a strong and determined woman who not only made me want to be part cat, but someone who was as powerful and confident as she was! I am not entirely sure where this story of Catwoman begins or goes, but I have no doubt that it will be action packed and filled with kick-ass characters. August 7, 2018

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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I haven’t a doubt in my mind that like Cassandra Clare’s other two books in this trilogy, “Lady Midnight” and “Lord of Shadows”, I will absolutely adore this book. Each year her books have become my favourite book of the year, and I cannot wait to dive into this last and final book of the “Dark Artifices” trilogy! The first book follows a big cast of characters, the Blackthorn family and Emma Carstairs, as they try to unravel the mysterious death of Emma’s parents, and in a world of Shadowhunters (half human half angel) and demons, the answer and journey will be anything but ordinary. I cannot express my love for these characters and this world and story enough, other than I am dying for this to be in my hands. December 4, 2018

Those are the 7 books I am anticipating for 2018 and I hope you enjoyed! Make sure you comment some of the books you are looking forward to reading in 2018 because I am always looking for more books to read. Also, if you like reading about the topic of creative living, check out my last blog post where I posted a semi rant on the topic!

 

Reading Update!

Hey guys! Sorry I have been kind of off and on lately, I’ve been busy with Camp NaNoWriMo, other writing projects and of course, reading. Since I’ve been busy I decided to update you guys with a reading update!

So I finally completed Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead a few days ago, and it is the final book in the Vampire Academy series. I was really sad to finish it but it was such a great series and I am definitely glad I picked it up. Since I finished that series, I moved back to the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu which I started last month. At the moment I am about 270 pages into the second book, Prodigy and I am loving it so much! Very excited to finish it because its amazing, and so I can get onto my next book: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson! I have never read a Morgan Matson book but I have heard her books are amazing so I am ecstatic to finally be able to read one. After that I will be reading books I have picked out for the Booktube-A-Thon because I will be participating in that this year! I am actually working on creating my YouTube channel at the moment but I most likely will have my first video up tomorrow which will be my Booktube-A-Thon TBR so stay tuned for that! If you are curious, my channel is the same as my blog, mylifewithbooks and I really hope some of you check out my video when it goes up and hopefully you all will like it. I have been wanting to create a channel for a while now and I am finally just going for it so hopefully I will be decent at it!

Anyway that is all for this reading update and I will be back soon with another blog post!

Writing References

Hey guys! Sorry about being off for a few days but I am back now and even though it has only been 2 days I have read and listened to a lot of great writing advice so I decided to share with you guys some books, videos, podcasts, etc to check out! Also Camp NaNoWriMo has now started so these will definitely help all of you participating!

88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang is a podcast focused on writing novels, scripts, screenplays, etc and this is one of the most helpful podcasts I have ever listened to! They have guests such as Leigh Bardugo and Morgan Matson that give great writing tips that have definitely helped me out.

Children’s Writer’s & Illustrators Market by Writers Market is a book I took out from the library and I am so happy I did. It gives amazing advice about writing and publishing your work whether you are an author or illustrator. Inside there are author talks and it has lists of agents, publishers, contests, workshops and much, much more. If you are serious about writing definitely check this out!

advancFictionwriting is a website by Randy Ingermanson who is the author of Writing Fiction for Dummies which I personally love and now he has a website that offers advice and tips on fiction writing. If you sign up for his subscription you receive a 5 day “class” of how to get your book published which is very helpful!

Those are a few writing references for you guys and I hope you liked it! Don’t forget to comment any specific posts you would like to see so I can do them 🙂

Fiction Writing Book Recommendations

I find that reading books that give you advice and tips on writing is a great way to improve so obviously I have read a few. Since I think they are a great way to improve as writer I made a list a few that I read and found helpful so I hope this helps if you are looking for a couple to read! Don’t forget to check out my last post as well: Harsh but Helpful Writing Tips 🙂

Gotham Writers Workshop Writing Fiction – I am currently reading this one right now and I have learned so many great tips. Gotham Writers is a writing school in New York but also offers the courses online. I haven’t taken any yet but I am planning to this summer but from what I have heard the courses are very interesting and you learn lots!

Writing Fiction for Dummies – I find all the “for Dummies” books to be very good in whatever category they are steering you in. I read this book last year and again, I learned so much and I am really satisfied with what I learned! It helped me become a better writer when I was new at it.

642 To Write About – This isn’t a book with tips or advice but it is a book filled with writing prompts! I bought this book and it has opened so many doors to new story ideas and whenever I have writers block this book helps to get my creative juices flowing again.

Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell – Plot and its structure is an insanely important part when writing a novel which is why I added this book in. You will learn so much about how to develop your plot and have a firm structure and this helped me a lot with developing good worlds in my stories.

Those are a few books that should help you with your writing and I hope you liked it! Let me know if you would like me to do any specific blog posts because I will make sure I get to them.

 

 

Harsh but Helpful Writing Tips

Writing is not a walk through the park, neither is trying to get your book published so hopefully these few harsh, but helpful writing tips will assist you in this long journey.

The first draft always sucks – Your first draft will never be amazing let alone good but that’s what editing is for. The whole idea of a first draft is too get all your thoughts down quickly so it seems fitting that it would be terrible by the end. That’s fixable at least.

Develop a thick shell – If you want to be a writer you have to develop a thick shell because there will be people who turn you down multiple times and give harsh advice but you have to learn to accept that and take their words into consideration.

Hunt for inspiration – Inspiration isn’t going to come to you! You have to go and hunt it down because that is the only way your going to find it. Inspiration is what drives you to write the book so this is very important.

Writing is hard – This is a solid fact. Writing is not easy! If it was everybody would be doing it and be good at it but it doesn’t work like that. Make sure you know what your signing up for when you decide to write a novel because it takes a lot of commitment and hard work but if you succeed its always worth it in the end.

Tell your story – There is always going to be writers who are better then you, it’s inevitable but you are there to tell your story and nobody can tell it better than you. Don’t write to try and be the “best” writer, write because you are just there to share your story with the world.

Those are few harsh but all around helpful tips that I found and I really hope the help you get an idea of what being a writer is like! 🙂

 

 

 

Things Readers Want to See in Novels

I was planning out my novel for NaNoWriMo and I was thinking about what readers want to see when they are reading a book. So basically in this post I will be sharing some advice on things that lots of readers like to see when they are reading books!

When a Character Has Flaws – This is one of the most important ones because us readers like knowing that the characters are not perfect so we can relate to them more. Having relatable characters is a key factor to novel writing because it lets your readers connect with your story on a personal level. Things that make your characters “flawless” are having perfect skin, amazing personality and no problems which just isn’t realistic. We want to see characters have acne or pimples and doubt themselves sometimes just because we all do that as well.

Real Life – When I mean “real life” I mean going to the bathroom, having their period and just other things that we go through daily! For example, in the Hunger Games…when did they ever use the bathroom? I know its kind of gross but you would be surprised by how many people want things like this to be included into a novel because again, it makes it more realistic.

Hobbies and Likes – The few times we do get to see characters with hobbies are when the hobbies are either art, music or reading and it gets repetitive when characters have the exact same hobbies in every book! Change it up. Maybe your character enjoys coding or architecture or just something out of the ordinary. Another tip for this category is make sure your character sticks with that hobby throughout the book, don’t just let them forget about it because of all the crap that is going on around them. Like sure, you can’t exactly practice your soccer skills when you are in the middle of a battle but your character can still think and long for their hobby!

Those are a few key things to think about when you are writing a novel because those are what readers want and enjoy seeing! Anyways, I hope this helped you with your writing journey and let me know if you guys enjoy these writing advice and tip blog posts!

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

Camp NaNoWriMo is almost upon us and I am really excited to finally get started on it! If you didn’t know, my word count goal for July is 50k words and my novel is sci-fi! Anyways, in this blog post I will just be giving you guys a pep talk and some advice for when the writing begins 🙂

Writing 50k or whatever amount of words you set your goal at can be difficult to reach in one month but just remember that the whole idea of this event is to have fun and push yourself to write. Whether you write 50 words one day opposed to 2000, at least you wrote something and it still adds up to your story. Even if those 50 words are crap just keep writing because the whole point of this is to help you vomit up those words onto your computer and get them down, don’t worry about editing until later!

I hope you guys are all super pumped for NaNoWriMo and I wish the best of luck to you all!