I’m Still Alive! (Sort of!)

Hey everyone!!

So it’s been a little bit since I’ve posted and I wanted to say that I am, indeed, still alive. I’m hard at work on these revisions for my Faerie Story and it’s pretty much taken complete control over my life. Not that I mind, really.

But I finished my goal a little early today, so I thought I’d do a quick post on what’s been going on! Like I said, I’ve been revising like crazy these past couple of weeks and I’m actually pretty happy with all the progress I’ve been making. I’m soooooo close to being done guys!!! My goal is to finish by this Friday, but it’s a hefty, possibly overambitious goal, so I’m definitely not going to be whining if I need an extra day or two. I’ll be happy either way!

I have so many awesome plans for when I’m done with these revisions!! Most of which include a ton of binge-reading!! I recently read Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke and OMG GUYS!!! It’s soooooo good!!! I had it on my bookshelf for about a year before I finally decided to read it, thanks to my friend, Anna (Hi Anna, if you’re reading this!!), who told me it was amazing!! AND AMAZING IT WAS!!! Aah, I’m so obsessed with it!! I bought the rest of Erica’s books immediately and that’s what I plan on diving into as soon as I finish these revisions!! Needless to say, I am sooooooo excited!!! I’ve heard only good things about her books and after reading Dissonance, I’m now a SUPER HUGE FAN of Erica’s!!! I’m reading Resonance right now, the sequel to Dissonance, and it’s just as amazing as the first! I’ll have to talk about this in a more in-depth post later, but READ THIS YOU GUYS!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!!! (*swings pendulum from side to side* *hypnotizes*)

I’m bummed that I have to go to work tomorrow! I shouldn’t complain because I haven’t needed to go in for… maybe about two weeks? But it’s been awesome just writing/revising all day that I’m being resentful. But on the other hand, I kind of need that money to pay off my student loans, so yay!!! Also, I’ve gotten an urge to buy more books, which I’m somewhat successfully resisting right now, so yeahhhh, I guess working isn’t such a bad idea!

Kay! That’s it for me today. You guys will be happy to know that I am still obsessed with Big Bang (as is the rest of my family) and I shall leave you with one of their songs that is quite fitting for this post!! Yay!!

(UGHGGHAHAHA!!! SO OBSESSED GUYS!!! I LOVE ALL THEIR SONGS!!! Also, yes a more obsessive post on Big Bang, still to come!!! LOOK OUT!! 😉 )

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The Ultimate Book Tag!!

Hi guys!

So guess what??!!! I got another book tag!! This time it’s The Ultimate Book Tag from Syc! She has an AMAZING book blog, The Lit Mermaid (which I’m super jealous of for not thinking of that awesome name/play on words myself and because she has a gorgeous website design!!) Everyone go check it out!

should be revising right now, but haha, a little bit of procrastination never hurt anybody, right??

Woo hoo!! Let’s do this!!

Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Unfortunately, yes… 😦 Our family used to take road trips a lot to Vegas or Los Angeles (which are long drives) and naturally, being a bookworm, I would read in the car. I didn’t realize that I was getting carsick because I was reading in the car. So I would keep reading and tell myself that the carsickness would go away if I concentrated on the book, not realizing I was exacerbating the problem. Haha, I actually did this same thing on a boat, too!! And OMG boats/seasickness is the worst guys!! I was reading the Bronte sisters at the time and oof, that was probably the worst bouts of seasicknesses I experienced. So… Long story short, yes!!

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Hmm… This one is a hard one… The first author that came to mind was Maggie Stiefvater. I absolutely love all her books, especially the Raven Cycle. And the reason I thought of her is because she just has this very ethereal writing style… if that makes sense. She has this great humor and quirky writing style without coming off as super pretentious. I love it! I don’t think I could ever write like that, but it’s something I really admire!

And because I want to, I’m also going to say Melina Marchetta. I haven’t read any of her contemporaries (but I’m going to, I swear!) but her Lumatere series is incredible. I feel like it’s a very unique writing style for fantasy. She doesn’t write with lush descriptions and create large sweeping worlds and bloody battle scenes or anything like that and yet she has a completely believable and entrancing story that she’s created. I can’t get over this! She has a bare and raw type of writing that you usually see with contemporaries, but she’s translated it into high fantasy! UGHHHHHH, she’s amazing!!

Harry Potter or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answer.

I am so insulted by this question!!! No, no, no!!! OF COURSE HARRY POTTER!!! THERE IS NO OTHER ANSWER!!! Three points, I’ll give you three points!!! (Haha, I sound so angry and combative–but hey!! I’m am passionate about these things!!!)

1. HARRY POTTER

2. HARRY POTTER

3. HARRY POTTER

Do you smell your books?

No, but I’ll notice if there’s a weird smell on them. (I’m looking at you whoever sold me Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!!!)

Books with or without little illustrations?

Erm, I don’t really care. They sure are pretty though. Unless it’s a picture book, then yes, I need illustrations.

What book did you love while reading but later discovered it wasn’t quality writing? 

Yeah, I’d probably have to go with Twilight here. To be honest, it doesn’t really bother me that it isn’t quality writing because, while writing is important, storytelling is a really big component of reading, too. So even though she may not have the most beautiful prose, you can’t deny that she told a great story that people wanted to read. Also, I don’t know why Stephenie Meyer gets so much flack for this. I mean, in my opinion, there are other very successful authors out there that don’t have “quality writing” (one that comes to mind, is James Patterson).

Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? 

Actually, I have one that happened yesterday!! In honor of Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthday, I posted this picture:

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And because I was so happy obsessed with the picture, I showed my brother to brag. And he was like “I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY IS THE COVER ON THE LEFT SIDE??? IS IT A TRI-FOLD BOOK??”

Hahaha, it’s probably not funny to anyone else, but I laughed really hard!! Um and, by the way, I just put the cover on the left side, it is not a tri-fold book! (But how cool would that be???)

What is the tiniest book on your shelf?

Skinniest or smallest?? I’m going to with smallest. I can’t be sure because I haven’t measured, but I think it would be my copy of Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

What is the thickest book on your shelf?

Again, I have no idea, but I would guess… Maybe Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Or City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare? Or… Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas?? Well, one of those!

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future being an author?

Why, yes I do write as well as read!! (As would be clear if you’ve read my blog 🙂 ) And I do see myself being an author in the future! Hopefully anyway! That’s the goal!

When did you get into reading?

Nine!! After I read A Wrinkle in Time! It’s funny because I think the reason that this book really got me to love reading is that I actually used to read a lot of contemporary books during my childhood. So books like Ruby Holler, Walk Two Moons, The View from Saturday (which, sorry, I thought was soooo boring and never got past the first few pages). And as you know, I’m a fantasy nerd! Not that these books were bad, but they just weren’t for me and because of that, I didn’t realize how much fun a book I truly enjoyed could be.

What is your favorite classic book?

Merhhh, this is another tough one because I love Jane Austen, but… I think I’m going to have to go with Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is amazing!! I read this my freshman year in college during winter break. I decided to pick it up because the movie was out and I wanted to try and read the book before I saw it. I’ve NEVER had a classic book suck me in this much. I was so invested in Jane and Mr. Rochester and this is one of those books I am not able to put down. I reread it again last summer while I was in France and OMG same deal. Even though I’d already read it, I was so obsessed and I couldn’t stop reading.

I was so prepared not to like this book, seeing as other classics that I’d read never interested me that much (though I truly do want to like them), but I absolutely love Jane Eyre!!!

Oh fun fact!! I went to London last year and I got to see Charlotte Bronte’s original manuscript (well a couple pages of it) of Jane Eyre. It was amazing!! You could see where she crossed things out and revised things! It’s amazing!!

In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

No, I was brilliant at everything! Haha, just kidding! No seriously, just kidding!! Umm… I think so?? I got pretty decent grades in most of my classes, but I would English was the one that was easiest for me and the one that came the most naturally to me… So what I mean by that is… I didn’t have to study that much for the tests to get a good grade and the essays took a long time, but I did pretty well on them. Compare that to math, where I would study and still get an okay grade… So yeah maybe English was my best subject!

Eeee and confession: Haha, a lot of the times I wouldn’t do the reading for class… Hahahaa…

If you were given a book as present you had read before and hated, what would you do?

Chuck the book at them and tell them to get me a better present!! Haha, no… I would keep it. Probably shove it in a corner somewhere to get dusty.

What is a lesser known series you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Nothing, I repeat, nothing, is similar to Harry Potter!! Oh no, sorry guys, my aggressive/defensive side is coming out again. Umm… I don’t know… So I’m going to with an underrated book. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund!! This book is amazing guys and I don’t know why, but it doesn’t get talked about enough!! It’s a sci-fantasy book that is super well done! It’s also a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel and it’s an excellent retelling!! Love it!!

What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

Well, yeah rambling would definitely be one. But other than that… I don’t know if this habit, but a lot of the times I accidentally press the “publish” button when I’m not ready and then freak out about it!! Haha!

What is your favorite word?

Ooh!! I have a lot!! I love words!! It usually changes every so often, but some that I like…

Snippy

Jargon

Serendipity

(Contrarily, word I hate: PURSE!)

Are you a nerd, dork, or a dweeb? Or all of the above?

I don’t know?? Probably all of them.

Vampires or Fairies? Why?

FAIRIES!! Except mermaids, they’re probably my favorite mythical creature. Plus, I put them in my book, so I better like them!

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Angels, cause they have fluffy wings. Haha. I like the idea of them better than shapeshifters. Like heaven and hell, all that.

Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

I don’t know. They’re all the same to me.

Zombies or Vampires? Why?

I don’t know. I don’t really care for either. (Haha, can you tell I’m not that into paranormal??)

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

I actually really like both. So either!

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few loves scenes mixed in?

It really depends on my mood, so I guess both. But I think I usually read action-packed with few loves scenes.

Okay, that’s it for that!! Woo hoo and I feel like I’ve been tagging way too many people lately, so I’m just going to tag anyone and everyone who wants to do this!!

Thanks and bye!! 😀

Happy Birthday, Harry!

Okay, so I know I already posted today, but in my excited flailing, I forgot some very important things!! Like…

OMG IT’S HARRY POTTER AND JK ROWLING’S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!

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“Born as the seventh month dies…” Happy Birthday to Ms JK Rowling and The Boy Who Lived.

So in honor of this fabulous day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Harry Potter moments (some of which are very funny)!

1. Ron taking the OWLs in The Order of the Phoenix and this little scene ensues:

“Well, we were always going to fail that one,” said Ron gloomily as they ascended the marble staircase. He had just made Harry feel rather better by telling him how he had told the examiner in detail about the ugly man with a wart on his nose in his crystal ball, only to look up and realize he had been describing his examiner’s reflection.

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

I love this part so much!! I remember reading this! I was in the car and burst out laughing. Nonplussed, my mom and brother asked me what was so funny. I read them this scene, but they didn’t get it!! They didn’t think it was funny at all!! I think it’s hilarious!! I think about this scene from time to time and it totally cracks me up!!

2. When Ron comments on Hermione’s knitting: 

“They didn’t look anything like hats to me, more like woolly bladders.”

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Haha, oh my gosh!! I think this is SO FUNNY! I laugh every time I think of the word “woolly bladders” and I just love it! I also love how Hermione gets super mad afterward and doesn’t speak to Ron. Little things like that, I think, are hilarious! But this one in particular is one of my absolute favorites!

3. Luna’s portraits in her bedroom:

Luna had decorated her bedroom ceiling with five beautifully painted faces: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. They were not moving as the portraits at Hogwarts moved, but there was a certain magic about them all the same: Harry thought they breathed. What appeared to be fine golden chains wove around the pictures, linking them together, but after examining them for a minute or so, Harry realized that the chains were actually one word, repeated a thousand times in gold ink: friends… friends… friends…

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I love this moment and reading this, I was just as touched as Harry when he sees these portraits and realizes how much Luna values their friendship.

4. Gilderoy Lockhart and the dueling club:

“Now, Harry,” said Lockhart. “When Draco points his wand at you, you do this.”

He raised his own wand, attempted a complicated sort of wiggling action, and dropped it. Snape smirked as Lockhart quickly picked it up, saying, “Whoops–my wand is a little overexcited–“

Snape moved closer to Malfoy, bent down, and whispered something in his ear. Malfoy smirked, too. Harry looked up nervously at Lockhart and said, “Professor, could you show me that blocking thing again?”

“Scared?” muttered Malfoy, so that Lockhart couldn’t hear him.

“You wish,” said Harry out of the corner of his mouth.

Lockhart cuffed Harry merrily on the shoulder. “Just do what I did, Harry!”

“What, drop my wand?”

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I love this one! Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is probably the one I read most, alongside Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Gilderoy Lockhart is also such a great character. I think he’s hilarious in the most despicable way and I admire so much how JK Rowling is able to take all her characters–even minor ones–and give them such depth and complexity.

5. Dumbledore’s last words to Harry:

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside of my head?

Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This is probably my favorite line from the entire series! I remember reading this when I was 13, anxiously awaiting the answer to Harry’s question… And when Dumbledore answered with this, I was so struck! I thought it was brilliant–and it is! I don’t know how JK Rowling does it, but this is such a beautiful line and I feel like it completely ensconces Dumbledore’s character. Also, it’s such a great question! Why shouldn’t it be real?

So OF COURSE, there are many many more scenes and little snippets from Harry Potter that I adore. But I’ll stick to these five!

Random fact: I want, I think, seven different editions of Harry Potter. Is that too spooky?

The editions I do have right now are the US hardcovers (I had a set and then bought a new set a few months back) and I’ve ordered the UK hardcover editions as well!! I’ve wanted the UK editions for a long time now and last year I finally bunched up the nerve to buy them from Amazon UK only to find out that they are no longer in print!! So I’ve scoured the internet world to find them and hands down, Harry Potter is the most money I’ve ever paid for a book. But it’s worth because, well, it’s HARRY POTTER. Plus, my parents paid for half of it for my birthday, so that helped! There are also several more editions that I would love to have, but seeing as I’m broke for now, I’ll have to be patient and bide my time 🙂

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Aren’t they beautiful!! As you can see my UK editions are missing a couple of books because for some reason, I was sent the large print editions for The Chamber of Secrets and The Goblet of Fire. I’m a little bit peeved because they wrote “large print editions” on the description in very fine print and I didn’t realize until after that they weren’t the right editions. I mean, come on! If they’re large print editions, shouldn’t that be on the description page loud and clear? Ugh, anyways, I’ve got dispute/appeal/whatever and have them sent back (hopefully not on my dime though, cause I think it’s a bit unfair). I’m also peeved at Amazon UK cause The Order of the Phoenix got here in terrible shape. It’s got stains and rips and folds and I think I’m also going to dispute this because I paid a lot for these books guys! I’m not gonna go down without a fight this time! But I am SUPER happy with the others books that I did get and can’t wait to complete my collection.

There are also some great links I found that totally made me tear up! (I realize it sounds like a cry a lot according to my posts, but I’m actually more on the stoic side than anything…usually, hahah…). I’ll share them here, because I think they’re fabulous!! This one by USA Today has this incredible Harry Potter front page!! It’s so great guys!! And then I also read this one which talks about how amazing JK Rowling is and it could not be more true!!

Anyways, everyone have a great last day of July (and OMG can’t believe it’s already August!!)

Top 10 Books That Influenced Me!!

Yay!!

Look!! TWO tags in less than a week!! HOW COOL IS THAT?? Anyways, I’ve got my awesome CP, Christine, to thank for this one!! She is also the one I happened to force into getting a blog, so you guys should all check it out!!

So the title is pretty self-explanatory, but here are some ground rules that Christine laid out!!

1. No two books by the same author!

2. But, you can count a series as one book!

3. Also, this isn’t really a rule, but we’re listing our books in chronological order, which I think is super cool! 😀

All right, here are my books!!

1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle, age 9

THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE!! I was in fourth grade and our class made the weekly trip to the library! I was with one of my friends, deciding what I should check out, when she suggested A Wrinkle in Time. I read the entire thing in THREE days. Well, now I could probably read it within a few hours, but at the time, this was the fastest I had ever read a book! I was so proud of myself!!

This is the book that made me LOVE reading. Before then, I could safely say that I liked reading, but I definitely couldn’t say I loved it. This book changed that! This book made me realize that I absolutely LOVED to read and since I’ve loved reading ever since. So naturally, this book has a special, special place in my heart because it is the first book that I ever loved!

2. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, age 11

I remember reading this book so clearly! Same kind of deal–I was in sixth grade at our weekly library trip, when I saw this on display on the checkout counter. I was immediately drawn to it (probably because of the Alison Jay covers, which are beautifully gorgeous and I’m upset that they changed it!! MERH!)

But Goose Girl is amazing!!!! I think it might have been one of the first books that I wanted to BUY. I’ve always loved fairytales and this book just affirmed that. I remember carrying this book around everywhere and rereading it multiple times and also listening to the wind, hoping that it would speak to me and call my name.

Goose Girl was also the first books ever that made me want to write. I think it was a couple of years later when I was thirteen that I read a bunch of Grimm Brothers’ fairytales and tried to write a retelling of my own.

Shannon Hale has been one of my idols ever since! And the amazing thing is that I’ve gotten to meet her!! I told her that I was a fan since I was eleven (I’m almost 22 now) and it was just so surreal to get my books signed by her!!

3. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, age 11

I actually probably read this around the same time I read Goose Girl. I remember… not arguing exactly, but bargaining (maybe??) with my friend. I know she wanted to read Inkheart as well but I happened to pick up before her, so she convinced me to let her have it while I read Goose Girl. 🙂

But wow!! I loved this book! It’s such a complex and fantastical world and I loved it immediately! Just the idea that someone could have a voice so lovely that it makes characters from books come to life?? Amazing. To this day, I’m astounded by that idea! It’s such a beautiful idea and I have a feeling it’ll definitely play a role in my ideas as well!

4. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, age ~11-12

Stargirl is hands down my favorite contemporary ever. I’m actually surprised that it’s not spoken of more often, but I guess it is an older book. I honestly can’t remember when I first read this, but I think it was about when I was eleven or twelve. It was book that I’d heard about a lot and because of the turquoise cover, I was attracted to it immediately.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but I love this book so much. I love the themes presented by this book: conformity vs. non-comformity, courage, love. And I especially love how raw the ending was. It’s a bit sad and bittersweet and achy, but it’s part of the reason I love it.

5. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, age 12

Of course, Harry Potter! My mom read this to us (my brother and me) as children and as I got older, I read them on my own as well. But it wasn’t until I was twelve that I seriously realized how amazing these books were. I remember being incredibly surprised to find that I really enjoyed Harry Potter. I had read them before, but I was too young to truly comprehend the story and therefore didn’t really love them. So when I decided to “reread” them when I was twelve, I had this crazy epiphany. I couldn’t believe how amazing these books were.  I think the thing that stuck out most to me (and still do) are the INCREDIBLE plot twists and foreshadowing that J.K. Rowling puts into her books. The Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix especially, totally blew me away! Completely and entirely. I can’t explain how it feels to have this amazing, completely unpredictable twist turn you on your head, but  I really really wish I had one of those Men in Black flasher things so I can go back and read them and have them blow me away again.

Also, the foreshadowing. This is something I came to admire once I started rereading the Harry Potter books. It’s amazing. It’s foreshadowing books and books ahead sometimes. For example:

The Vanishing Cabinet is first mentioned in Chamber of Secrets when Peeves breaks it. It then comes up again in Order of the Phoenix when Fred and George stuff Montague into it and then finally again in Half Blood Prince with Malfoy.

How amazing is that?? How amazing is it that you can go back and catch all these little things that become huge in later books??? It’s something I admire SO MUCH and something that I strive to do with my own books (though I don’t think I’m even one-millionth as successful).

I’m obsessed with Harry Potter to this day. Seriously. I can’t even go a few months without reading at least part of a Harry Potter book (currently have the Half Blood Prince sitting on my nightstand) and if I think about Harry Potter too hard, I start crying because I love it so much! (Kind of like… now 🙂 )

6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore, age 12

This is another book that I distinctly remember being drawn to. I was at Barnes and Noble with my family and wandering around in the YA section when I came across this book. I picked it up, read the description, and immediately had the strongest urge to buy it and read it. Luckily, I did end up getting it and I think it read it that night. Sometimes impulse book buys are a hit or miss, but this was 100% a hit! Graceling is/was amazing.

I don’t know at what point that I decided that I loved fantasy, but I think this was one of my first forays into high fantasy. It was such a lush world and the idea of a Graceling is incredible. Also one of those ideas that I wish had thought of first. Fire is actually my favorite of the three, and again, influenced me a ton, but it all started with Graceling. I’m reread Fire a month or so ago and I’m rereading Graceling now, but something I’ve learned is that done right, backstory can be just as engrossing as the current narrative. Usually, I get a little bored with backstory, but Krisitn Cashore is incredible. Her prologues, her little flashback embedded in the story are amazing and I’m just as entranced with it as the main story.

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, age 15

I remember to the exact date that I first read this book: January 19th, 2010. Okay, I kind of only remember that because it was my friend’s birthday and it also happened to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I went to Barnes and Noble to buy my friend a present and The Hunger Games caught my eye. I heard about it through Stephenie Meyer and honestly, it didn’t sound like my kind of book, but I picked up anyway.

I read it in one sitting. I stayed up late reading and knowing that I was going to be so tired in the next morning when I’d have to get up for school, but it was one of those books that could not put down for the life of me. I think this was one of the first times I experienced a book hangover. The BIGGEST book hangover ever (and also I didn’t know it was called a book hangover till recently). But I was up all night wondering what was going to happen to Peeta and Katniss and my mind was just spinning from it all.

And it’s rare that a book will give me the desire to write, but The Hunger Games was one of them. I think I had couple of dystopian ideas and I tried writing a couple of paragraphs, but gave up because I wasn’t in love with any of the ideas I had and (although I figured this out much later) I don’t think I have the write voice and/or style to write a dystopian solve.

8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, age 19 

At the time I didn’t know how big of an influence Sarah J. Maas would be on me–especially in regards to writing, since I didn’t starting writing until about a year later. But no doubt, Sarah J. Maas is one of my biggest influences! I think this was around the time when I fully realized that I loved not just fantasy, but epic/high fantasy. I didn’t even know it was called that at the time, but ever since I was kid, I’ve loved books with assassins, thieves, princesses, and all that and reading this just reaffirmed this. It sort of solidified me in that way. Since then Sarah J. Maas has become of one my favorite writers and her books are all wondrous!

9. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, age 20 

I think Scarlet is another life-changing book. Similar to how I figured out that I loved reading by reading A Wrinkle in TimeScarlet was a book that made me realized I wanted to write. This book is the catalyst that made me start writing. I read Scarlet and, like The Hunger Games, I had the biggest book hangover. In fact, I think it’s the second really big book hangover that I’ve had. I read Scarlet when I was going through a tough period in my life: Unlike most people, I hated college and sophomore year was definitely the hardest. This book definitely made it easier. Reading was my only solace during that year and Scarlet, the most notable.

But after reading Scarlet, I had the biggest desire to write. I wanted to write a book that amazing, that good, that it could blow a reader away, like Marissa Meyer did to me. I wanted to create that feeling in someone. It took me about year before I actually started writing (because I was really afraid to) but this is the book that got me started and made me want to write.

10. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, age 21

I read this very recently and I feel like this is another one that totally stunned me. I’ve always loved fairytales and so naturally, I loved Arabian Nights as well. I can’t remember when I first hear these tales, so it almost feels like I’ve known them for my whole life. I’ve read other Arabian Nights retellings and they were good, but didn’t completely satisfy my craving for the tales. So, in a way, I feel like this is a book I’ve been waiting for my whole life (which sounds dramatic, but it’s true!) I knew from the very first pages (which is rare for me) that I was going to love this book.

The world is something that blew me away. The descriptions and the feeling of the world Renee Ahdieh created are impossibly good and the world is so rich. I can’t really explain it, but everything about it was so perfect. The aura and feeling of the book was EXACTLY what I wanted. The story that she told was what I’d been waiting for!

This book inspired me to want to create a world that lovely and that rich and to strive for such lovely, beautiful writing on each page. (To make that more clear–I want to write like this!!!)

WHEWWW! This was hard, guys!!! I feel like I have so many books that have influenced me and formed me in different ways. But I think I picked the ones that were most indicative of that. I hope so anyway.

All right, to end this post, I’m going to tag a few other writers/friends to join in on the fun!! Sooo, I’m going to pick Janella!! Although anyone who wants should join in!!

Bafflement

Hi guys!

Um, so I finished Mystic and Rider today… And I’m… baffled.

My ballet teacher used to say, “If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullish*t.”

Baffling might work in dance, but I’m not so sure with books. I feel very confused and unsettled right now. Haha. It’s not that Mystic and Rider was a bad book–I’m not angry with it or mad at it–but I do have a couple of things I want to say about it.

1. It was kind of boring. Aaah, I hate saying that, but it was. It’s quiet fantasy and it turns out there aren’t a lot of quiet fantasies for a reason… Honestly, I feel like nothing happened in this book. Senneth and the group travels–and that’s really all they do. I felt no tension, no anxiety, no nail-biting during any part of the story, even during what should have been the tension-inducing events.

2. I didn’t connect to any of the characters. They all seemed kind of bland to me. I didn’t hate any of them, which is good, but neither did I feel love–or even–like for any of them. They were kind of just… There. Aaand, I didn’t feel any of the romantic pull/tension between Senneth and Tayse, which was kind of disappointing.

3. The book had no climax. This is the most baffling thing of all. Let me say it again: This book had no climax. Does that sound weird to you? Because it’s REALLY weird to me. After I finished the book, I went online to Amazon to see what other people thought in their reviews, and the one that struck me most was that said that the book was “episodic”. And that’s the perfect description for this book. It’s more like a compilation of events. Seriously. They get to the end of their journey and then… That’s it! The end! Bye! Which is what led me to this state of intense bafflement 🙂

That said, I am going to continue reading the series. I looked up the synopsis for the second book, The Thirteenth House, and it sounds very promising!! I am crossing my fingers (and toes and eyes and everything else that can be crossed) that I’ll get more sucked in to the second one!

And confession: I have to say that I was so so grateful and relieved to find out that The Thirteenth House was a companion novel. Otherwise, I can’t say that I would have continued reading, which would have been a real shame because impatient me decided to order the entire series (with my ever-dwindling pocket of money).

All righty! I’m off to watch some Netflix! I’ll see ya guys later! 🙂

Uprooted

I’m completely dead after finishing Uprooted.

Omg, you guys, this is book is so good.

It’s so so good. I can’t even talk coherently. I don’t know what to say about it except that I’m completely blown away by it. I spent the entire day reading and I just finished. It’s so beautifully written and the story is pure magic.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about it and Uprooted reminds me of a combination of Beauty by Robin McKinely, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

I especially love the comparison to Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle. While I was reading, I kept getting this feeling and thinking that something was so familiar and I think about three-quarters of the way through, I finally I realized it was because the entire magic and this beautiful alive unearthliness to the story totally reminded me of The Raven Cycle.

And I think if you read both, you’ll understand what I mean. Both books just fill me up with this feeling/emotion that I can’t quite explain, but it’s so beautiful! I think that’s the best way I can put it.

I’m just so awed by Uprooted. I end up repeating myself a ton because, seriously, all I can get out is, this book is so good, I love this book so much, this book is so good.

Yeah, I can’t talk right now. It’s so amazing and I love it so so much! It’s without a doubt one of my favorite favorite books now and (excluding A Court of Thorns and Roses) I can’t remember the last time I loved a book this much.

Omg, it’s soooo good.

A Perfectly Reasonable Book Haul and Intense Obsession with Uprooted

Guess what, guys??

I didn’t forget to go to class today!! Woo hoo!! Haha, that really shouldn’t be that big a deal, but still… 🙂

Class was good! We went through some of the definitions of what abnormal psychology is and a whole bunch of introductory stuff, but I think it’ll be a good class. I’m really looking forward to it actually and the entire subject is really interesting to me, so good sign, right? Plus, I’ll be trying to look for ways I can implement these new concepts and things I learn into my writing, so that’s a bonus! 😀

Anyways, this weekend I went to my lovely independent bookshop and ended up getting a crapload of new books! I really shouldn’t have spent that much considering I’m basically broke (ah!), but apparently I have no self-control! In my defense, they were having their semi-annual sale, which is SUCH a great deal! Seriously, it’s like 30% off hardcovers; 40% off if you buy three or more–which I totally did. See what temptations I had to deal with???

And on top of all that goodness, I went to Costco, where it turned out new awesome books had come in. And I cannot resist buying books from Costco because they’re so cheap!

So, in essence, this is what happened….

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Yup… That’s right, thirteen books in one weekend… Eh! Worse things have happened! 😀

I got the Mistborn Trilogy, P.S. I Still Love YouBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to MendRevenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold at Costco (woah, long titles) and UprootedThe Invasion of the Tearling, The Princess Bride, Prudence, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina,and A Thousand and One Nights at my local bookstore!

And MY GOODNESS PEOPLE!!! You absolutely MUST read Uprooted by Naomi Novik! HOLY COW! I started this book last night and I’m only on Chapter Three, but it is SO GOOD! It’s really rare that a book hooks me from that early on, but I’m so in love with this book already! Omg, I cannot get over how beautiful Uprooted is!!

I grabbed it because I’ve been hearing so many good things about it and considering I am one huge fan of fairytales/retellings, I decided I would buy it. UGGHHHHHH, it was such a good decision!! One of the ladies that works there was telling me she loved it and she was right!

It reminds me of Robin McKinley’s Beauty, but… I think might even like Uprooted even more! It’s got that same gorgeous style of writing and storytelling… I just can’t explain to you how much I love this book! I’m so excited to see what happens and for sure, I’m going to be buying all of Naomi Novik’s books!!!

So takeaway from this post: BUY UPROOTED IMMEDIATELY AND READ SO THAT I MAY HAVE SOMEONE TO OBSESS OVER IT WITH!!! 😀

Okay, Erin out!

Thanks for reading!! :)))

Stick a Fork in Me…

… I’m done.

(Or if you’re a vegetarian… Eat me! I’m done!)

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Yep, that’s right. DONE!!! I’m done with my first draft of my Beauty and the Beast retelling!!! I finished last night and it ended up clocking in at about 100k!! (It was actually probably a couple thousands words below that cause it turns out that there was some stuff that I took out that got added to the compile list, but because I have this insane desire/obsessive need to have my manuscript be 100k and not a word under, I didn’t take it back out! I know, it’s weird.) It’s good timing too because I’m taking a summer class that starts next Monday. It’s Abnormal Psychology and part of me is afraid that I’ll forget to go to class on Monday. This happens a lot to me and I’ll actually get stress dreams where I either sleep in late and miss class or just forget about it. It’s actually kind of funny once I wake up. Anyways, anyone take Abnormal? Everyone I’ve talked to says they liked it and said it wasn’t that bad, so I’m looking forward to it a lot actually considering there are a lot of interesting topics. Oh, boy, I digress….

But I’m done and I’m super excited! The draft is basic complete crap if you think about it; there are so many things to fix and so much not-good stuff, but I’m still happy. I already know that I’m going to really work the beginning and the end in revisions and smooth/streamline stuff in the middle. And I know that something I’m going to have to look for when I go back, is to make sure that my main character doesn’t annoy me cause I kind of got the feeling that when I was writing, she was kind of dramatic and a back and forth a lot and I’ve definitely read books where I’m annoyed cause the character keeps making decisions that go against themselves and all that–so definitely something to watch for. But we’ll see how I feel about her once I read through it, which probably won’t be for a few months because I’m going to go back to my manuscript that I finished in March and I’m going to start revising there. It’ll be weird to go back and I’m pretty scared of revisions. It’s just kind of overwhelming to think about all the stuff I have to fix and I’m like how?? Tell me?? But I think (hope) it’ll work itself out when I’m actually going through the process! 🙂

Now that I’m done, I think I might take a week or two off and just binge watch/read the crap out of anything! I’ve been hearing about a lot of great tv shows, so I’m definitely going to watch those (If you have recommendations, TELL ME! :)). I’m thinking about watching Daredevil? Or maybe The 100? I’m having a hard time choosing.

I will also be binge reading a bunch of stuff (again, if you have recommendations! :)). I still have a lot of stuff from the library I haven’t gotten to, so those will probably be the first things to go to! I’m reading Shutter by Courtney Alameda right now, but I think after I’m going to be reading Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. I got that at the library ages ago and still haven’t gotten around to it.

All righty, I’m going to go laze around all day now! 😉 And since I promised, I’ll post Part 2 of my LDStorymakers Recap later today (so you’ll definitely get sick o’ me)!

Bye! :)))

Random Things

Why, hello, there….

First of all–a lesson in karma. I went to Whole Foods today to get a fruit tart (YUM!) and I passed by the candy station. I found one of those peach ring things and I ate one to “sample” and it turned out it wasn’t the Trolli goodness I was expecting. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t good–it tasted kind of like those orange gummy slices, which I DO NOT like … So I learned my lesson…

So I just got this super cool idea for a new story!! It’s kind of like this Mulan/Anastasia mash up thing. I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but I’m so excited for it! Hopefully, it’ll stick around and won’t be one of those passing fancies. I’ve been watching a lot of Disney movies lately (cause they’re awesome and why not? BAM!) and it’s really been helping me with ideas for what I might want to do with this next story. No surprise, I watched Mulan and Anastasia.

Side note: Man, I love Mulan. I mean like love love love it! I didn’t like it that much as a kid, but holy crap! It’s so funny!!! I mean laugh your pants off hilarious!! Ugh, I love it so much!! It’s definitely one of my favorite Disney movies ever.

I watched The Lion King today–for the first time in probably… I don’t know… Maybe ten? Fifteen years? It’s been a while. But OMG I forgot how good it is!!! I was listening to Can You Feel the Love Tonight? and it totally resonated with this new idea. This one line actually…

Why won’t he be the king I know he is, the king I see inside.

So naturally, I watched The Lion King as soon as I got home. And woah. I’m just stunned. It’s such a powerful movie. So much epic and so much resonance. I actually kept tearing up every time I thought about Mufasa (I’m literally tearing up right now!) and whenever that music came on. Geez… I love that movie so much! It’s so so good. So much good story! It’s definitely going to be a huge inspiration for this new idea.

And it’s kind of cool to see that Anastasia and The Lion King actually have a lot in common–lost heirs to the throne reclaiming their kingdom/finding out who they really are.

The only major problem I’ve been having is that one big part is sounding awfully like Throne of Glass, which I love and stuff, but I definitely don’t want to copy someone else’s idea, much less Sarah J. Maas’s. But I don’t know… Truth be told, lost heirs reclaiming their throne is a pretty established journey already, so I feel like it wouldn’t be so bad if I did something similar, but then again, like I said, I don’t want to feel like I’m copying someone else, cause then it doesn’t feel genuine… I don’t know. I’m trying to find out how my story would be different or if I really love that story arc enough to use it… (which, right now, I think I do). I guess I’ll let it stew some more.

I’m also watching Stardust right now, which also happens to be one of my favorite movies! And again feeling all inspired and everything. I just think it’s such a great story that meshes three major storylines into this one epic conclusion. I read the book a long time ago, but after seeing that Neil Gaiman speech, I think it’s time to reread it! I don’t remember anything from the book, so it’ll be like a fresh new story!

Another thing! I was planning on going to San Fransisco later this month for ALA, but it turns out that’s not going to pan out. Blerg. I’m pretty disappointed, but I’ll get over it! I guess I’ll just have to find an ARC of Truthwitch somewhere else. *SIGH* :)))

Okay, I guess that’s it for now. Ooh, but before I go, I’ll leave this hilarious scene from The Lion King at your disposal! OMG, I laughed so hard at this part!! OMG SO FUNNY!!!!

Ugh, The Lion King. My renewed love for it can know no bounds.

(By the way, the Mufasa shuddering part was what cracked me up so hard!! Hahaha!! I love that scene!!!!!)

Thanks for reading! 😀

Books I’ve Been Reading!

Hello everyone! I’ve been reading a lot of super good books lately and so I thought I’d share! :)))

Sooo, some awesome books that I’ve been reading!

Daughter of the Blood / The Black Jewels Series by Anne Bishop

WOW! I cannot believe how obsessed I’ve become with these books!! I picked this one up because it was recommended by Sarah J. Maas on twitter and on her website! But considering that it was an adult book, I wasn’t convinced that I’d love it, but I thought I’d give it a try, so I picked it up from my library and I’m so glad I did!

I’ll admit, through the first half to two-thirds of Daughter of the Blood, I was kind of bored–mainly with how I couldn’t see how the story was unfolding and where it was leading–it was feeling a lot like just set up, which is definitely needed for fantasy, but I mean, I read like half the book without too much crazy happening…. I was seriously considering giving up on reading and at one point, I think I did decide to stop, but for some reason, I picked it back up again. And woah! It suddenly got super super interesting! I had so much fun reading and I literally could not stop reading! So naturally, I blew through the rest of trilogy!! And ugh, I’m so obsesssssssed!! And the second and third books were definitely good too, and it was a faster read for me because I was already invested in the story and the characters!

The fourth book (The Invisible Ring) in the series is a companion/prequel novel and that one was good, too. You get to see some characters from the trilogy and get to know a little bit more backstory! Anyways, also good and worth reading! I’m on the fifth book, I think, Dreams Made Flesh, which apparently is a series of four (?) novellas all bound up together. I’m not far yet, but I’m sure I can expect the same amount of awesomeness from this book as well!

(Woah, that was long…. O_O)

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Aaaaah!!! So on May 26th, I had this itching feeling that it was an important date for some reason, but I couldn’t remember why… But then! I realized it’s because Nowhere But Here was coming out!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before (probably) but because, apparently, I love repeating myself several times, I’m going to say it again. I’m not a huge fan of contemporary–nothing personal, just not really my genre. I’ve always been more a fantasy nerd. Butttt, lately I have grown to like contemporaries just a bit more! And Katie McGarry happens to be one of my favorites! Her Pushing the Limits series is super good and she has those books where it just sucks you in and you can’t stop reading!

Anyways, I loved Nowhere But Here! I still think I like her Pushing the Limits series a tad more, but this is still a great great series! What I like about Katie McGarry is that she write about interesting topics/unique things in her books, at least in my opinion. I mean, motorcycle gangs! How cool is that? And while she does write less “unique” stories, her writing is really good and since she mixes it up with more atypical contemporary subjects, that I love each and every one of her books! A good book is a good book, right?

(Ugh…. Does that even make sense? Because I am a total klutz, I accidentally lost the paragraph above (I know, not that bad, but still) cause I forgot to save and closed the window… Anyways, yeah….)

And here’s what’s on my reading list right now!

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn (I scanned the first couple of pages of this book and I’m already hooked!)

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn

Archangel by Sharon Shinn

Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

Lots of Sharon Shinn and fantasies of late! I’m almost certain that I’ll get sidetracked and read something else (as I still have other books yet to read from my last library haul and I always end up buying new books), but that’s what’s on my plate right now!

What have you all been reading? Anything good I should know about??

(Because, of course, that’s what I need, more books, right? Haha!)