FREE AT LAST!!!

GUESS WHAT GUYS??? I can have a life again because… *drum roll please!!*… I’M DONE WITH REVISIONS. Well, not completely done, cause let’s face it, us artists are never done with anything ever. And because I’ve been seeing this quote a lot, I’m going to post it…

As Leonardo da Vinci once said…

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

My brother actually makes fun of me for this because I always brag about how I finished my first draft or second draft, or whatever it may be and he’s always like… “Are you actually finished?” And of course, I always respond with, “No…” To which he says, “THEN STOP TELLING ME YOU’RE FINISHED!!!” Hahahaha.

Weird side note: I don’t know why, but sometimes I’ll see a quote and then suddenly I start seeing it EVERYWHERE. It happened once with the definition of insanity where I read it once and then BAM!! It popped up everywhere ever after… So it’s probably just because I’m aware of it, but I like to pretend that the Universe is trying to tell me something 🙂

Anyways, I’m going to list all the things I’m going to do now that I’m done because I’m really excited and I also really like making lists!

1. Wash my dog!!!

My poor dog!!! He hasn’t had a bath in two weeks… I’M SO SORRY!!! Although, he’s probably really happy about it because he doesn’t like baths. But I want him to be nice and clean and fluffy again, so I’m washing him tonight (after I finish this post in fact) and he’ll be back to his cute adorable self!!!

2. Workout!!!

Woah, my fitness has taken a real hit these past few weeks!! It’s so bad!! But now I plan to go back to the gym and get some workouts in. Also, I need to start running again. The weather’s so nice and running outside is so nice!! Except, lately I’ve been getting wheezy while running, which is so not fun… I don’t know if this is because my endurance has gotten SO BAD or whether it’s something in the air or what… But I think I’ll try it again!

3. READ!!!!!

SO MANY BOOKS TO READ GUYS, SO MANY BOOKS!!!! And I’m so excited for it!!! First off, I’m going to finish Resonance (by Erica O’Rourke) tonight–I’ve only got about fifty pages left or so!! And I’m going to stop there because otherwise I won’t be able to stop going on about Dissonance/Resonance/Erica O’Rourke… More on that later!!!

I’m also reading The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg!! I knew I had heard of this book before, but I also think I got it confused with another book that was actually by Lev Grossman. Anyways, I found out Charlie Holmberg is coming to my local bookstore this fall and I ended up reading the description of her new book–Followed by Frost–and wow!! It sounded amazing!! So then, I found out she wrote The Paper Magician, which I also thought was totally up my alley/awesome!! I’m not too far in, just a couple of chapters, so I’ll have to report back on how I feel about!! But such a great premise!! I’m so excited!!!

Then here are some books that I would really would like to read:

The Torn trilogy by Erica O’Rourke (This book sounds AWESOME as well. Can’t wait to binge read it all!!!)

Angelfall by Susan Ee (I’ve actually read this before a couple of times and the sequel as well, but it’s been a while since I’ve last read it, so I’m going to reread the first two books in the series before I read the third!!)

The Diviners by Libba Bray (Also another book I’ve been looking/considering reading for a while, but then Christine (awesome friend/CP) told me that I MUST read it!! And that I should probably do it before the sequel comes out… which is like next week or something 🙂 But looking forward to it!! I’ve heard awesome things about it and I also loved the Gemma Doyle trilogy, so yay!)

Of course, I have so many other books to read other than those ones, but I think these are the ones I want to try and get through, if possible!! Yay!! I’m so excited just to binge-read all day!!!

4. Watch TV/Movies!!!!!

I’ve been really slacking on tv and movies lately guys… I don’t know what it is, but I even cancelled my Hulu subscription because *GASP* I haven’t been watching anything besides Friends! I’ll admit, I’m really picky about my tv shows and sometimes I will get caught in a loop for months and months and months… (Seriously, I realized a couple weeks ago I’ve been watching Friends since JANUARY!! That’s eight months, guys!!! And that’s not even counting the years and years of watching it before… O__O) To be honest, I don’t know if I’m actually going to watch too much tv… I guess I’m just not in the mood right now (which is very weird for me, but whatever). I might rewatch Sherlock for the fifty bajillionth time–who knows?? 🙂 Or I’ve been thinking about watching some documentaries because it turns out, some of them are actually sorta/kinda cool!!

5. Brainstorm my new WIP!!!!

I’m SOOOOOO excited guys!!!! I have a new idea for a project that I WANT RIGHT NOW!!! So I might start brainstorming a little bit, but definitely not anything hardcore (come on, I’ve gotta finish my Faerie Story before any of the REAL stuff gets going 😀 ). But I’m so so so excited for it!! I’ll probably just do a little daydreaming/researching whatnot, but it’ll be fun!!!

6. Blogging!!!!

Yay, I should have a bit more time for blogging now!! I always seem to have a thousand post ideas that I don’t have time to write up–cause you guys already know this, but apparently I’m long-winded and can’t do any short posts. Anyways, yes!!!! My blog’s been a bit more spacey than usual, but I should be able to do more posts now!

7. PT Applications

Okay, so this isn’t really a fun one… but I have to start applying to some physical therapy schools. It’s such a huge mess with all the essays and transcripts and GRE scores and everything, but hey! It’s gotta be done. So while I’m not looking forward to them, I’ll definitely have to be working on them. On a slightly different note, I’m actually pretty nervous to be asking professors and physical therapist for recommendation letters. It’s just SO AWKWARD! And I’m already an awkward person as it is… Bah, so maybe I’ll do that first to get it out of the way, but I’m really dreading it!!! HALP!!! 😀

Sooooo, I’m really just only taking a couple of weeks off before I start digging back into Faerie Story and now listing these things is making me wonder if I can actually do all of this in two weeks. Oh well!! I’ll get some of it done for sure and really I’ll just be relaxing for it bit before the next round of revisions sets in!!

All righty!! Off to wash Tiger now!!! See ya guys!!! 🙂

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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!! 😉 )

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.