College Reading Recommendations!

College Reading Recommendations.png

Happy Monday!

Tomorrow is my orientation day before I start my first year of university full swing, and because of that, I thought it would be ideal to share some of my favourite college-related books.

I think it is a lot of fun to read about people in college because it is such a messy stage of life. You are emerging into young adulthood and trying to juggle school, relationships, possibly a job, and then coping with the idea that “real life” is getting terrifyingly near.

Anyways, here are four recommendations for you to check out and I hope you enjoy!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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I am getting the obvious one out of the way, but really, Fangirl is a great college read! It is fun, easy, and fast-paced – the perfect recipe for when you’re feeling stressed with life and school. Fangirl follows Cath who is starting her first year of college with her twin sister, Wren. While Wren wants to go out partying and diving into the social life of the college, Cath would rather retreat into her room with her Simon Snow fanfic. Eventually, her roommate, Raegan and her friend, Levi, befriend Cath and slowly, Cath steps further out of her comfort zone even while dealing with social anxiety. I think social anxiety is something a lot of people deal with, myself included, and it’s always nice to see that represented. Especially in a school setting.

American Panda by Gloria Chao

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While I’ve never finished this book, it is another great college-related book. It follows a Taiwanese main character who not only has to juggle starting her first year of college but the constant approval of her parents regarding a major that she isn’t passionate about. I don’t know why I’ve never been able to finish this book, other than because I haven’t been in the mood for contemporaries lately, but I am determined to give it another chance in the near future. I’ve gotten pretty far into it, and it would be a shame not to figure out how it ends!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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This book doesn’t technically have main characters in college, but they are at a college taking a summer program before starting their first year of college…so it counts. When Dimple Met Rishi follows the two POVs of Dimple and Rishi who are both participating in a summer program for aspiring web developers. At first, Dimple is surprised at her parents’ enthusiasm for attending this expensive program when they dream of her just finding the “Ideal Indian Husband”, but soon after arriving there, she discovers that them letting her go has everything to do with that dream she so desperately is trying to avoid.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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This is another book that doesn’t have college-aged characters, but it takes place at a unique type of boarding school called Ellingham Academy that accepts only the most gifted of students. Stevie is one of those students, accepted in for her passion for mysteries, specifically, the Ellingham mystery. However, when her passion for crime TV shows and books becomes a little too realistic, her skills that got her into Ellingham are truly put to the test. Honestly, I love this book. Stevie is a great main character and the plot keeps you at the edge of your seat for the entire book. I wasn’t expecting to adore this YA mystery so much, but I completely fell for it as many others have. Again, it is another fast-paced book that makes it the ideal book to slip in between homework sessions.

 

Those are my four back-to-school, college-related reading recommendations and I hope you found 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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Books I Would NOT Like If I Read Them Now

Happy Thursday!

I cannot believe it is already August.

Today, I am going to be sharing some books that I absolutely LOVED the first time I read them when I was younger, but ones that I would definitely not enjoy as much if I was reading them for the first time today. It’s not that my reading tastes have changed, but I do have a little higher expectation for the writing of a novel as well as its structure. A lot of these books are the very early, if not the first, books of these authors which is why their quality isn’t the best…however, because I read them when I was younger and loved them then, I still love (most of) them today! I recognize their flaws but can’t help but hold a special place in my heart for them.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

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These were the books that got me into reading, or at least into young adult books, but I know for a fact that if I read them for the first time now, I would not be able to make it through them. Honestly, it is a little hard for me to get through them but that could be for one of two reasons. One, I’ve read them literally one billion times, or two, because they were really written for a twelve-year-old to read! Obviously, anyone of ANY age can enjoy them, but the writing and story are pretty juvenile at first and now, that is a little hard for me to get through. I do want to do a re-read soon though, because like I mentioned, these books got me into reading and they do have a really great story and a cast of characters. I can’t help but still love them!

Legend series by Marie Lu

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I liked these books when I read them around three years ago, but if I read them now…well, actually, I wouldn’t be caught reading them now because I am not a big fan of dystopian anymore at all! I think we can all agree that it is the one genre that has been rapidly dying as the years go on. However, the fourth book in this series has become a sudden thing and I will probably pick that up since I already read the first three. But, like the title of this blog post implies, I would not be picking these books up for the first time today.

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

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Again, I enjoyed these books when I read them, but I don’t think I will even do a re-read anytime soon. I have managed to keep up with all the new books released in this series, but I keep feeling more and more disconnected from the story and the characters. It’s most likely because like I mentioned, I am not a huge dystopian fan or it’s because I was fine with the books ending where they did…but yeah, would not pick these up for my own enjoyment nowadays.

Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

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I was completely obsessed with how addictive this book and the second in the series was, but now looking back, I laugh because it’s true, I’ve always loved my trashy novels! To be fair, I probably would still enjoy my time reading this book, but if it were my first time, I would be nowhere near as obsessed with it as I once was. Surprisingly, I do have a little higher expectations when it comes to reading books now. However, it isn’t a bad book, it’s just a perfect example of YA in 2011.

Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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To be fair, I liked these books for about a year before I realized how terrible they were! I did not add Divergent because honestly, I think I would still like the first book to this day. I don’t know why, but I did really love it at the time and I think that might transfer to now. Anyways, the last two books, I think we can all agree, were kind of a mess! I mean, that ending! Nope. No way would I go near these two books today. I am honestly considering dropping my copies off at the Little Free Library by my house.

 

Those are some of the books I liked when I was younger that I would NOT like now if I read them for the first time. Anyways, 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 🙂

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Matching Books to My Playlist

Happy Saturday!

Today is the first day of my Saturday blog posts and I am very excited to begin it with a music and book-related post. I know there is a book tag called the “Playlist Book Tag” which may be exactly what this is, but I was just too lazy to search up what the questions were so I will only be matching books to some of the songs on my playlist. Which is still going to be a lot of fun!

My music taste mostly revolves around classic rock from the 70s and 80s and of course, some pop bands like The Beatles. My favourite band in the ENTIRE world though is Queen. However, I only included two of their songs on here because, for some of their songs, I had a hard time coming up with books that matched them.

Anyways, here are 10 songs from my playlist matched with 10 books!

Summer Song by Himesh Patel

& Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

This song is from the movie, Yesterday, which I saw and adored so I had to include some of its soundtrack on here. Summer Song reminds me of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson because it is a summery contemporary book. Most importantly though, I feel as if the entire book is summarized in the first verse of Summer Song:

Sun’s in the sky
And nothing can go wrong
Kiss winter goodbye
And sing this summer song

This first verse is basically what the main character’s best friend, Sloane, is saying to her in the letter she leaves behind after mysteriously disappearing. She is encouraging Emily to forget about her and live her life to achieve the best summer ever.

Across the Universe by The Beatles

& The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The Light Between Worlds is a YA urban fantasy that is extremely atmospherical and whimsical which I think already, pairs well with this beautiful song by The Beatles. The book is all about two sisters struggling to settle back into their world after living in a magical forest for several years, and how one of the sister’s struggles more than the other.

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

I feel that this is such an accurate description of how Evelyn feels throughout the story. She is living in the real world, yet feels a call from her true home which might as well be across the universe. Even when surrounded by loved ones and things that make her happy, a piece of her is missing and is lost back in The Woodlands.

My Fairy King by Queen

& The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I think this is a pretty obvious choice, but the dark and strange lyrics and tone of My Fairy King by Queen really reminds me of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. The Cruel Prince is about the dark side of faeries that is often not portrayed in literature and this is exhibited well in the song. Also, the beauty of the Fairyland is shown through Queen’s lyrics and relates to how I picture the world in The Cruel Prince.

They turn the milk into sour
Like the blue in the blood of my veins
(Why can’t you see it?)
Fire burnin’ in hell with the cry of screaming pain
(Son of heaven set me free and let me go)
Sea turns dry no salt from sand
Seasons fly no helping hand
Teeth don’t shine like pearls for poor men’s eyes
(No more)

These words just really remind me of how I think our main character, Jude, sometimes views the Fairy world. Even if she loves it and wishes to be apart of it, she knows that she needs to be terrified of all it can do.

Chances by Five for Fighting

& Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Considering the name, I feel like this is fitting for what our main character is going through in Everything, Everything. Maddy has a disease where she is allergic to almost everything, and therefore, cannot leave the house. When a boy named Ollie comes along though, she starts realizing she needs to take chances in her already chanced life in order to feel like she is truly living.

Chances are we’ll find a new equation
Chances roll away from me
Chances are all they hope to be

These words reflect what I think Maddy felt before she met Ollie, but also after. Chances are chances, it is our choice if we want to take them.

I Want to Break Free by Queen

& When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Our main character, Dimple, in When Dimple Met Rishi has always struggled with her parents understanding her desire for education over finding a boyfriend/husband. When she finally convinces her parents to let her go to a summer camp for aspiring web developers, she doesn’t realize it’s still to do just that: set her up with the son of their friends. Because of this, I feel like I Want to Break Free is a fitting song.

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free

This is basically what Dimple feels towards her parents. She is mad when she learns the truth and feels that they aren’t listening to what she wants, but instead, what they want.

Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer

& The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

It has been a while since I read this book, but I do vividly remember the main character, Belly, being absolutely in love with her older, family-friend, Conrad. Kiss Me is basically what Belly is constantly thinking when she thinks of him.

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance
Silvermoon’s sparkling
So kiss me

Again, I would NOT be surprised if these lyrics were something Belly said in the book. Not at all.

Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine

& The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The reason why I associated these two things together is that in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie struggles to make friends as he starts his first year at high school. This is hard, but even before that, Charlie has had a difficult life. I feel like Dog Days Are Over perfectly symbolizes how he feels once he meets Sam, Patrick, and their friends, and finally, becomes a part of their group.

The dog days are over
The dog days are done

It’s simple, but once Charlie finds his group in school, he finally feels like he belongs. Truly, his dog days ARE over.

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield 

& To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Unwritten is the MOST 2000s song I have heard, but at the same time, I love it for that. It reminds me of To All the Boys because Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved before and for the most part, lives in a fantasy world when it comes to love and relationships. Her life is definitely not unwritten, but as she becomes close with certain characters in the book, she learns to live her life as more of a “go with the flow” and “take chances” than she did at the beginning.

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

These lyrics are a great reminder on how we should all live our lives, unwritten and unplanned. Well, okay, maybe plan a little bit because otherwise, you might just be wandering around, but don’t pass up on opportunities just because they aren’t written into your 5-year life plan!

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

& Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

I know, I am surprised it took me THIS long to include a Cassandra Clare book but finally, we made it. Not only do I feel like ALL of the characters in QoAaD get hit by a landslide, whether that is in their relationships or just overall life, but the BOOK is a landslide too. Gut-wrenching plot point after heartbreaking plot point…I definitely feel as if I get swept away by the rubble of my heart afterwards.

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

I really hear a lot of Julian and Emma in these lyrics if you know what I mean…just because they are definitely struggling with some things…I also think a common theme throughout this book is that a lot of the characters are realizing they aren’t children anymore and have to learn to understand everything they are feeling almost constantly.

Let It Be by The Beatles

& Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza Mirk is a quiet and very introverted main character that I think a lot of us relate to. I know I do. Not only is she a creative person, being the creator of the webcomic Monstrous Sea, but she also deals with anxiety, which is something I can definitely relate to. However, she lets her anxiety for a majority of the book, get the best of her. When people try to help her and tell her the way she lives her life isn’t that healthy, she basically says “let it be”. It takes her a while to realize things need to change and that “letting it be” isn’t always the best answer.

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me
Shine on ’til tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

So many people in Eliza’s life try to help her and get her out of her chair, and I think these lyrics reflect that conflict she has with them.

 

Wow! That was a long one, but there it is, me matching books with my playlist…anwyays, I hope you enjoyed it because I had so much fun creating this blog post! Don’t forget to comment below some of your favourite songs on your playlist, and also make sure you check out my last blog post which will be linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Favourite Books of 2019…So Far!

I cannot believe that we are approaching the halfway point in the year already…2019 has gone by so fast, but already, I have read so many AMAZING books that I couldn’t wait another month to share with you all, so here I am.

Here are 4 of my favourite books of the year so far!

Reaper At the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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While I read the first two books in this series right when they came out, it took me almost an entire year to finally pick up the third book and I do NOT know why! Earlier this year, I did a re-read of the first two books before jumping into the third and thank the gods I did, because I forgot how intense and fantastic these books are. The first book excited me, the second book broke me, and the third did a blend of both. The relationships between the characters in the book like Laia and Helene, Laia and Elias, etc, have become so incredibly developed and fleshed out that I have to remind myself they aren’t real. While I absolutely adore the world and plot, the relationships and characters are what have really improved throughout the series and are what make me so excited for the fourth book!

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but when I picked it up, it was exactly the book I was in search of which is why I believe I adored it so much. It was dark, twisted, and intriguing, and of course, fantasy. Because of all that, I could not put it down once I picked it up! The three sisters are so flawed and realistic, growing up in a twisted world that has so many layers we only begin to uncover in the first book; a world I only want to know more about. In the next day or two, I will be jumping into the third book, but so far this series is holding up!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Sitting on my shelf and gathering dust for months (maybe even a year!), I decided to brush off The Cruel Prince after reading Three Dark Crowns because still, I craved fantasy. I was hesitant diving into this surprisingly thin, faerie fantasy novel, because of all the hype surrounding it. For a lot of people, the hype got to them and they didn’t enjoy The Cruel Prince. However, I devoured this book. There is also a lot of controversy about the love interest and his relationship with the main character, which I do understand. It was a little iffy and while that was a hesitation I had about the book, the world entrapped me and the story held my interest quite a bit.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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Another book I had some hesitations about because of the hype, and also because it is a mystery. I wouldn’t say I dislike mystery, I just haven’t read too much of the genre, but I ended up absolutely falling in love with this book. It was so addicting, a literal definition of “reading a book like its candy”. I cherished every opportunity I got the chance to sit down and read a hundred or so pages of this because it only got better and better. The atmosphere of this book is so realistic and despite the murder aspect of it all, gives me the cozy, fall vibes because of the school setting. Right now, I am reading the second book and while it isn’t as mysterious as the first, I love being in this world with these characters.

Anyways, those are the 4 books I read this year so far, that are my favourites, but I am sure there are many more to come! Make sure you let me know in the comments below what some of your favourite books are at the moment, and also don’t forget to check out my last blog post linked down below! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Avengers: Endgame Book Tag – Original

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Since I watched Endgame recently, I thought it would be fun to make a book tag related to it. I love doing book tags and making them, so why not? Anyways, I don’t have much more to say other than that, but I hope you enjoy! If you want to do this, then I tag you! Make sure you also tag me though in your post so I can see all of your answers 🙂

Soul Stone – Name a Character In a Book You Would Bring Back to Life…Or Kill (Warn of Spoilers!)

SPOILERS FOR THE DARK ARTIFICES TRILOGY BY CASSANDRA CLARE BELOW!!!

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Okay, a character I would bring back to life with the Soul Stone would 100% be Livvy Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I like Livvy as a character, but I would mostly bring her back because of how her death affects her entire family. It changes Julian for the worse, it drives Ty to make some really bad choices, and overall, it just destroys the entire Blackthorn family. And I hate seeing them so depressed so 100% I would bring her back. She also just did not deserve to die!! Why Cassandra Clare? Why?

Time Stone – Name Your Favourite Classic

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Out of the classics I read, I think my favourite might be The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I have a feeling it won’t stay that forever, but I haven’t read many classics yet. Anyways, the reason I think this may be my favourite is because of how real it all felt. Every time I picked up this book to read it, I felt fully submerged with the characters and what they were facing. It led me to feel a LOT of things while reading it too.

Space Stone – Choose a Magical Object, Weapon, Etc You Would Want From a Book 

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This one is so easy. Obviously, I would want Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak! That has always been the magical object I have wanted because to be able to just put on a cloak and be invisible BUT warm at the same time is a dream come true. Also, I have always wanted to wear a cloak but apparently cloaks aren’t in fashion right now…but this way, I would be able to wear it but no one would give me weird eyes while I wander down the street!

Mind Stone – Choose a Character You Wish Was Explored More in a Book, Series, Etc

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Okay, this character has a point of view we follow in The Dark Artifices trilogy but that is NOT enough. Cassandra Clare, I need a whole spinoff series about Mark Blackthorn. I don’t care if it is his journey in Faerieland or if it takes place after The Dark Artifices. I just want to see and learn more about Mark.

Reality Stone – Choose a Book Universe You Would Want to Live In

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Usually, I would say Harry Potter or even the Shadow World, but after reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, I want to live in THAT Faerie world. While there is a lot of dark and cruel things about it, it is like living in a magical historical period of time and that is just really appealing to me.

Power Stone – Choose a Magical Ability You Would Grant Yourself

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Apart from invisibility, I would definitely want the ability to read other people’s minds. However, only when I want to. If I had to listen to other people’s thoughts constantly, I would go insane, but if it was something I could control then YES. I am nosy and overthink what people are thinking about me, so this could only be good. Right?

That is all for my Avengers: Endgame book tag, 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 🙂

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May Reading + Writing Plans!

Happy Thursday!

I know, I know…I disappeared without warning. Again! Out of nowhere, I got hit with the WORST flu ever. Okay, well, not the worst, but pretty bad for me. I was knocked down with a fever, nausea, and just an overall feeling of death throughout my entire body. However, I am mostly recovered now and am thankful every day since for now being healthy enough to get stuff done. But, I did miss a lot. A week of school, a week of writing, a week of blogging…there are things to sort out and accomplish which is why today, I am going to lay out my reading and writing plans for this month to help me organize my brain. Enjoy!

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

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I am STILL reading this incredibly short book and I just need to get it done. Currently, I am on page 92 out of 170ish so I know I can finish reading it in a day or two if I sit my butt down. It isn’t that I am not enjoying it, because honestly, I really am. There is something so great about Austen’s books that even though not much is happening compared to the YA books on my shelf, I am still captured by the charming characters, setting, and story.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossenini 

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Something ironic about this is that lately, I’ve really wanted to read The Kite Runner to see what the commotion is about, but then my English teacher goes ahead and assigns my class this author’s other book. Regardless, I am excited to read A Thousand Splendid Suns because I have heard GREAT things about it and I have a feeling it won’t disappoint.

Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel

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This is a book I was sent a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review, and I really wanted to read it in the later part of April and have the review up for it in the first week of May buuuut yeah, that is not going to happen. I do really want to start reading this book this weekend though so I can have a review up by mid to late May because I HATE putting off books I am reading for reviews! It unfurls unnecessary stress onto my already stressed out brain so this is a priority.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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I ordered this book from my library a few weeks ago and it has finally come! This is a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, and I have heard fantastic things about Kemmerer’s version. This is my “fun” book for the month and I am seething at the chance to dive into it but I must finish other books first sadly.

WRITING, WRITING, WRITING

April was a busy writing month with a million scholarship essays to write and submit by the end of the month (which is finally all done and I can confirm, was successful!!), and I assumed May would be a little more relaxed but NOPE. I am laughing at my past self because why would I think my second last month of school would be calm writing wise? No! There are more scholarship essays to write and other writing deadlines to meet on top of everything else school throws at me, so once again, a hectic month is on the brink of rushing in.

So, what exactly am I working on this month?

  • 3 Scholarship Essays
  • 2 BRAND New Short Stories
  • Editing An Ol’ Poem
  • Writing 17k of Fantasy Project

Relaxed? What’s that word?

I am really looking forward to working on more creative things rather than just scholarship essays though because that’s what I’m here for so regardless of the amount, I’m excited!

Anyways, those are my plans for this month and I hope you enjoyed! 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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February TBR!

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January came and went in a flash, and now it’s already February! While February is only 28 days long this year, I still plan on getting lots and lots of reading done as to stay on top of my 70 book reading goal so I picked out a good mixture of shorter books. Anyways, here are some of the books I plan on reading this month.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 

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There is a Jane Austen related scholarship I really want to apply for, and for it, you have to read Northanger Abbey and then write about it. Since I read Pride and Prejudice last month, I’m looking forward to continuing on with Jane Austen’s work and finally jumping on the bandwagon! I have no idea what this one is about, but I hope I like it as much as I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice because then it will be so much easier to write a good paper on it.

The Oresteia by Aeschylus

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Yes, I am continuing my Greek tragedy exploration and next up on my list is The Oresteia. No idea what it is about, but it is quite a bit longer than the other ones I’ve read (Oedipus, Antigone, Medea, etc). I am curious to see how much I like it in comparison to the other plays and also in comparison to the other authors! I’m trying to read these tragedies and then write written responses for them since I know that is what I am doing for classes next year. Also, for some odd reason, I enjoy doing it.

Notes From a Feminist Killjoy by Erin Wunker

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For my writing class, I need to read a creative non-fiction book and then write a really short response to it, so I decided to pick up Notes From a Feminist Killjoy by Erin Wunker. It looks like a really enlightening and fun read, so I am really looking forward to diving right into it in February. It addresses a lot of important topics in our society like gender, rape culture, and just everyday life. Also, Wunker is Canadian and I always love supporting my fellow Canadians so yay!

Hamlet by Shakespeare

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Currently, we are reading this in my English class and I can definitely say I enjoy Greek tragedy more than Shakespeare. Is that an unpopular opinion? Who actually enjoys Shakespeare? Anyways, we are only 2/5 acts into it so I thought I’d add onto my February TBR. As always, it has the usual formula of betrayal, revenge, and romance so I know it will be everything I expect it to be.

Wow, looking back at all of these books I realize how different they are compared to all of my other TBRs in the past. This one is full of classics, Greek tragedy and even some creative non-fiction which I don’t read too often. I’m looking forward to a little change in my reading taste though, and I hope you enjoyed seeing what I plan on reading this coming month! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well my social media accounts which are 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!

Thank the blogging gods that I prewrote this past week’s blog posts because I had absolutely no time to sit down and write. I also didn’t have the mental energy or creative juices because this week was my first week back at school, and that always means chaos. I started my first day of senior year on Tuesday and my first day of college (I’m taking a writing class) on Thursday. However, now it is Sunday and I have recovered enough from the week to sit down and update you all on my reading and writing progress of this past week!

As expected, not much reading really happened this week. I read about 100 pages of To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo this week which is more than I expected and so far, I am still loving the story and ruthless characters. It is an entertaining and yes, slightly violent twist on the Little Mermaid in Ancient Greek times. Maybe it isn’t supposed to be influenced by the Little Mermaid, but I’ve noticed quite a few relations and I am really enjoying it overall! For my classes at school this year, I am taking a few that have required readings so it will be a new challenge for me to fit my own personal reading into my schedule while still getting readings for school done. As far as I know, I have to read a book called Indian Horse by…I’m not sure who exactly, Traplines by Eden Robinson, The Life of Pi, Writing Home by David Carpenter, and a few others. That’s kind of a lot but I am still determined to read for my own personal enjoyment here and there, and I will make sure to update you all on those readings as the year goes on! Apart from To Kill a Kingdom though, I also listened and finished the City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare audiobook this past week. I re-read the first book during the BookTubeAThon and really wanted to continue on with the series but this time in audiobook format. I do plan on starting City of Glass this week so I am excited to listen to that whenever I go for walks or just on my commute to school.

As for writing…I did no writing. This week, like I said, was a hectic craze of new schedules, places, and people. I do have a few personal deadlines I really want to hit this month though, so I need to get a move on that before time slips between my fingers. I am re-writing the firsts 20 pages of my WIP for a fellowship (its deadline is September 30th) and I want to get that done in the next two weeks so I have time to thoroughly edit it. I also want to submit those pages to a local scholarship for a writing conference and that has a deadline of September 15th…I did get some writing done today though, about 3 pages of my WIP, and I am really happy with that! I want to keep that up for the rest of the week, and hopefully, by next Sunday I will have something writing related to update you all on. Secondly, I have a writing assignment for my writing class that will be assigned to us on Monday and basically, they just give us a prompt and we have to write a 200-300 word flash fiction story based upon that prompt. Since it is such a short length, this shouldn’t take too much time out of my day, but I do want to put a lot of effort into making it well, good because after all, it is my first writing assignment of the year.

That is 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 below, and I will see you in my next post tomorrow 🙂

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Reading + Writing Update!

Not a lot of reading has been done this month so I don’t have too much to update you on sadly… I am still trudging through Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, which I have been reading since what feels like the beginning of time. It isn’t that I’m not enjoying it, because I really am! I love this world, the characters, and story but it is just that I kind of out read myself last month. It was the Biannual Bibliothon AND the BookTubeAThon, and I think overall, I read about 13 books. However, I am determined to get a few books read before school starts (which is in like 8 days) and Thunderhead WILL be one of them. Maybe I will have my own mini readathon to ensure I get some reading done even. I don’t have much left though and afterwards I want to pick up P.S. I Like You by Kasie West because I feel like a cheesy, teenage contemporary. Lastly, I want to get to and complete one more book this coming week and that is The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I picked this book up a few weeks ago and then I got sidetracked by other books AND DIDN’T FINISH IT. This is the last book in The Raven cycle and I really adore this story overall so why didn’t I just finish it? I don’t know. However, I do know that I am already about 100 pages into it so there is a chance I can finish, or at least get a good chunk, read by the time school starts. Anyways, not much to update on reading wise but lots of hopes and wishes for the next week so let’s see how it goes.

As for writing, I have done a tiny bit. I think I wrote just over 1,000 words this week which is a lot better than none, right? This coming week writing HAS to get done though. It is my last week of summer break before school and even then my cousin is moving into her dorms at the university in my city this Saturday and I will be helping her, so not much writing will get done this coming weekend. So, when you look at it, I have five days free to write. In those five days I have ambitious goals which are: write and edit one whole short story, start rewriting the first 20 pages of my WIP, and start on a second short story. While those are ambitious in comparison to the lack of writing I have done in the month of August, if I really put my mind to do it and try I know I can get most of it done.

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 all my social media accounts linked below. Thanks 🙂

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