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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January TBR

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I cannot believe how close we are to the new year. 2018 was a combination of blurs and sluggish movements, but I am immensely looking forward to the new year of 2019. It is my graduation year, the year I begin my university degree, and also a great year for books. Anyways, I am excited and I hope you are too! Let’s talk about all the books I’m looking forward to reading this coming month.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

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January is the Biannual Bibliothon amongst the first month of the new year, so a lot of these books are based off the readathon’s reading challenges. This book fulfills the challenge which is to read the book that got you into reading, and that book for me is the first Percy Jackson book. This is an urban fantasy, Greek mythology inspired story that follows a young boy named Percy Jackson, who one day, discovers his father is a powerful Greek god. I love this series and it has been a while since I’ve re-read it, so I am excited to do that this January!

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

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This is another book for the Biannual Bibliothon, fulfilling the challenge to read an adult book. I don’t read or own many adult books, but Me Before You is one I own, read, and loved. It has been…two years since I’ve read it so I think it is time for a re-read. Our main character in this adult contemporary is Lou, a young woman who starts working as a caretaker for a quadriplegic man named Will who is not easy to get along with but soon, they start falling for one another. I love this story; it makes me cry, laugh, and warms my heart so yes, I am very excited to give it a re-read.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse (Graphic Novel) by Rick Riordan

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I’m reading this for the challenge of combining your favourite genre with the one you don’t really like or don’t read a lot of, and I’m combining urban fantasy/fantasy with graphic novels. I don’t mind graphic novels and mangas, but I don’t read them that often, and since I have an unread graphic novel on my shelf, I really want to finally read it. I’ve started it many times but have never finished it! This is the third book in the Percy Jackson series so I guess I’m reading the first one, skipping the second, and reading the third but eh, I’ve read these a million times so it is fine.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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One of my 2019 reading goals is to read more classics, and this also works for the Biannual Bibliothon to read a book by an author you’ve never read before. I have yet to read any Jane Austen books and I feel like Pride and Prejudice is a good place to start. Hopefully, this will help ease me into the world of classics because if I can read some of the staple authors; Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, etc, my future, English Lit major will thank me. I hate the lack of diversity in these books and that’s always something hard for me to get past, but if I am going to spend the next four years reading and analyzing these types of stories, I might as well get used to it now.

Of course, I want to read a lot more than 4 books because I love starting off the new year with a good head start into my reading goal, but I also have no idea what I want to read in January… While I could create a full TBR, I don’t want to nail myself down to specific books and then lose the enjoyment of reading in January sooo, that said, I am going to start off with these 4 books and hopefully, I get them done! Anyways, 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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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy…Monday?

Yeah, I didn’t even realize it was Sunday yesterday until I woke up this morning, checked my phone, squealed with excitement that it is Christmas Eve, and then realized I wrote NO blog posts over the weekend. I had a fun blog post all planned out for today, but instead since I never wrote it…I will just be posting this update. Anyways, let’s get into it!

This week I finished 2 books which felt great because one of them was Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare! I have been reading this book for almost 3 weeks now and it feels strange to wake up and not sit down with it in the mornings, a cup of coffee at my side and fingers eager to flip those bible thin pages, but I was dying to see how it ended and now…well, now I have. I am trying to write up my review of it but my thoughts are all over the place and muddled in confusion, so who knows how long this will take to put together. This week, I also finished The Outsider by Albert Camus for my English class, and surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book. In no way is it something I would pick up “for fun”, but as a book meant for analyzing and studying, oh my-there was a LOT. Meursault as a main character is so interesting and different that it distracted me from the boring, plain plot line. Apart from those 2 books, I am still listening to City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare but I only have just over 5 hours left. My goal is to finish it this week so I can focus on reading/listening to The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, another book I am eager to pick up before the year ends. Yet another book I am still making my way through is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have around 100 pages left and I usually manage to read 50 pages a day, so fingers crossed I FINALLY finish it in the next 2 days. Lastly, I picked up Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones on Saturday, a German fantasy story that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. While I am only 100 pages in so far, the story is quite slow (as I’ve read from reviews) but I am really hoping it picks up soon because I think I’ll enjoy it! I am trying to read 6 other books by the end of 2018 to hit my reading goal, so I am trying to pick up the pace when it comes to reading and blast through as much of them as I can…wish me luck!

While I am taking a break from writing, I have been struck with a really fun and exciting idea for a story (short story or novel, I’m not quite sure yet). If this idea continues to pester me, I will give in and write it, but I am holding out because I can still feel how depleted my creativity is. I am worried that writing would scrape the last flecks of creativity left inside of me, but if the idea calls, I kind of have to answer. Right?

Anyways, that is all for this late reading and writing update! I hope you enjoyed, and make sure you let me know what you managed to read and write this week because I would love to know. Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media accounts linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

Last Blog Post: My Reading & Writing Goals for 2019

 

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Festive Christmas Book Tag!

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Yes, it is THAT time of the year when the Christmas related tags come out and the festivities begin! Today, I will be doing the Festive Christmas Book Tag which was originally created by GirlReading on YouTube. But yeah, I’m feeling festive so let’s just get into this!

1. A Fictional Family You Would Like to Spend Christmas Dinner With?

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Fitting since I’ve been lost in the world of The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare which has by far, the best family dynamic I have ever read. So yeah, obviously I would LOVE to spend Christmas dinner with the Blackthorns! All of them seem so awesome plus they are Shadowhunters so some sort of drama would go down (whether it was the need to fight enemies or romantic drama…) and I would be here for that entertainment. Plus Mark would be there and I love Mark so…sorry Christina.

2. A Bookish Item You Would Like to Receive As a Gift

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I would really love to receive some sort of The Dark Artifices related poster…perferably that one with Julian that came Cassandra Clare gave out at some of her events because it is GORGEOUS. Can you tell I am obsessed with The Dark Artifices?

3. A Fictional Character You Think Would Make a Perfect Christmas Elf?

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Hahaha, Leo Valdez from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan would because it is kind of a running joke in at least in the first and maybe also the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series (which now I want to re-read), that he looks like a mischevious Christmas Latino elf. I’m all here for it.

4. Match a Book To It’s Perfect Christmas Song

Hmmm, this was tricky for me. Ultimately, I decided that To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han would go perfectly with All I Want For Christmas by Mariah Carrey because the whole plot is Lara Jean writing these secret love letters to boys, they get sent out and then she claims she never wanted that but really, all she wants is one of these relationships to work out…ALL SHE WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS PETER K.

5. Bah Hambug. A Book Or Fictional Character You’ve Been Disappointed In And Should Be Put On The Naughty List?

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Hands down, The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy. I had such high expectations going into this sequel to The Fifth Wave because I really, really enjoyed it at the time. When I read The Fifth Wave, I was so, so excited to jump into the next book but it let me down SO much and I never even ended up finishing it so yeah…onto the naughty list ya go.

6. A Book Or Fictional Character You Think Deserves More Love and Appreciation And Deserves To Be Put On the Nice List?

I have two choices for this, one is a book and another is a character. The book is The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth because it is such a fantastic and atmospheric story that deserves more praise! It takes place in rainy England in the 1950s following two girls struggling to find their place in the world after returning from a fantasy land called The Woodlands. It came out two months ago so go read it! As for the character that deserves more appreciation and love, that is Christina from The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. I love Christina and while I love Emma too, I feel like people focus on her more than Christina just because she is strong and badass (which Christina is too). Christina is also compassionate and loving and just deserves the world.

7. Red, Gold, and Green. A Book That Has A Wonderfully Christmasy Feel To It

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (my favourite book in the series) gives me all the Christmasy vibes. It is blue with gold stars and red fire and just gives me all those cold, winter feels. Also, the atmosphere in the book is really wintery and cozy so it fits the cover. Now I want to go and watch it with a blanket and cup of hot chocolate but I have class soon so…

8. A Book Or Series You Love So Much, You Want Everyone To Find Under Their Christmas Tree This Year So They Can Read It And Love It Too?

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THE DARK ARTIFICES TRILOGY BY CASSANDRA CLARE. Honestly, this trilogy has my heart and soul and I could read it over and over again without getting bored. The characters are amazing and diverse, and I see myself in a lot of them. The world is also incredibly rich and fascinating, and the storyline always keeps my eyes glued to the page until I’m forced to flip past the final one. Everyone needs to read it, however, you have to read Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series and The Infernal Devices trilogy before which is like 9 books…but it’s worth it!

Anyways, that is all for this Festive Christmas Book Tag and I hope you enjoyed! If you want to do this tag then I tag you because it was a lot of fun to do, and really got me in the Christmas spirit. 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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