Leigh Bardugo Book Signing | King of Scars Book Tour

That’s right, my peeps: I went to Leigh Bardugo‘s book signing for King of Scars at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA on January 30th, and it was a great time!

So I happened to be perusing Twitter one day some time in December and saw that Leigh was going on a book tour for King of Scars. Well, authors don’t always come to my state, so I was like, “There’s no way she’s going to come here.”

And then I looked on her website and, lo and behold, there was a tour stop date listed for not only my state, but also for my favorite independent bookstore. Of course I had to go! I’d be stupid not to. (Plus it was my half day at work, so I didn’t have to rush around to get out to the Boston area on time).

So I drove to Alewife, which is a parking garage in the city, and took the train in (which I love doing; I’m such a tourist). Mind you, the polar vortex was coming in that night, so I knew it was going to be cold, but wasn’t expecting what came once I left the store. Anyway, I’m enjoying my trip in, and I get there about quarter after 5PM, which was when people could line up to get in.

I saw a few cosplays as I made my way around toward the end of the line… which was wrapped around the block and down the street a bit. Fun stuff.

It might not look like a long line, but trust me, in 10 degree Fahrenheit weather standing outside for over a half hour? It was long enough.

So once I finally got into the store, the way they had the lines sectioned was by group: group one had green wristbands and were guaranteed seats downstairs where the Q&A and signing would be, the blue wristbands would be in the standing section of the downstairs, and then orange bands would be in a line upstairs, but still hear all of the event going on and such.

I got a blue wristband, which meant I got to stand in the back for when the event took place. Whoop whoop!

So when I finally get into the store and grab my book, there were SO many people! It was crazy! The photo doesn’t really do justice to show how many people were in there, but it was a lot.

There were stations set up around the store where you could find out which Grisha Order you fall into, as well as pins that correspond to the orders (and a Darkling one). I took the little quiz on the card and discovered I’m Etheralki! (I was secretly hoping for Corporalki, but I’ll take this one, too.) My heart says I’d be an inferni, but I’d probably be more useful as a tidemaker, who knows? I also took one of each pin because, well, why not?

If you want to take the fun little quiz yourself, here’s the card! I posted the questions below it.

Tally up the amount of A’s, B’s, and C’s, and then check to see whether you’re a member of the Corporalki, Ehteralki, or Materialki!

Mostly A’s: Corporalki, the Order of the Living and the Dead.
Mostly B’s: Etherealki, the Order of Summoners.
Mostly C’s: Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators.

The next two stations included a polaroid that you could take against a King of Scars backdrop, and then have it taped into the passport you could get at the station after that! I thought it was really nifty, and you can use the passport at other Leigh Bardugo events and get the stamp that corresponds to that event! Pretty exciting, not gonna lie.

So then I go downstairs and I’m waiting for the event to start, and, well, let me just show you where I was and how quickly it filled up:

Yeah… I was at the very back by the employee door. It was fine, though, because Leigh actually walked out from behind me through that door, and all of us in that area were awestruck and I said hello, and she said hello back, and I was super fangirling internally at that point. XD It was great.

So then the Q&A starts and it was so much fun! The staff did a great job of maintaining the crowd and having the event run smoothly, and Leigh was so funny! She’s got a great personality, and even when she speaks it’s like she’s telling a story. We laughed, we gasped, we made sure that no spoilers were given (one almost was for Crooked Kingdom, but Leigh asked if there were still people that haven’t read it ((aka me and a few others)), so she refrained from saying anything too spoilerly, thank god).

It was a really fun time. I ended up getting King of Scars signed and personalized, as well as Leigh’s other new release, The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic, which is a journal that consists of prompts and quotes for 365 days to spark your creativity in writing, and I also got my passport signed.

And even though I didn’t get these signed, I also bought the paperbacks of the Shadow and Bone trilogy in the new covers because I think they’re gorgeous and I’ve been debating with myself for months on whether or not I should get them, soooooo, here were are.

All-in-all, it was a very fun event and I had a really great time. I plan on finishing Six of Crows soon, then Crooked Kingdom, and then jump into King of Scars.

Let’s Chat!

Have you been to a book signing recently? How was your experience? Are you excited to read King of Scars? Which Grisha Order do you belong in based on the quiz? Let me know all of the things!

Books & Cookies Tag

That’s right, my friends, it’s time for a tag. A delicious one, at that.

Today I’m going to be doing the Books & Cookies tag! I first saw Cait @ Paper Fury do this tag, but the original is by Sorry I’m Booked. The original post had seven questions, but Cait added a few of her own, and I think I’m going to change just one that Cait added because… why not?

Anyway, let’s jump into this delicious tag~

Chocolate Chip | A classic book that you love

I, uh, don’t really read classics. The last one I read was Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen back in like… 2014. And I don’t really remember it. Sooooo… Yeah, I don’t really have an answer for this one, sorry.

Thin Mints | A hyped-up book you want to read

Oh man, definitely The Wicked King by Holly Black. I’ve recently read The Cruel Prince and let me just say: I need the next book now, please and thanks.

Shortbread | An author you can’t get enough of

I love, love, love Elle Kennedy‘s new adult series. She’s got a really good way of keeping you hooked on the story and the characters. Her Off-Campus series? So good, my friends. If you’re looking for steamy romance, hot guys, dynamic girls, and hockey? Oh yes, definitely recommend.

Samoas | An emotional rollercoaster

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the Illuminae Files on my blog… Nope, never, not once *coughI’mlyingcough*

Okay, but let me tell you: THESE BOOKS WERE AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER IF THERE EVER WAS ONE. I think the visual elements of the books really helped to make the story much more atmospheric and to really make you invested in the story. At least that’s how it was for me because, oof, I love this trilogy so much, and it made me laugh, cry, worry, rage, celebrate… It’s so good.

Oreos | A book whose cover was better than the story

Hey man, I feel like this is an insult to Oreos… anyway, one book that comes to mind is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The covers to this series have always been a favorite of mine, but the first book? Ehhhh, not so much. I really think that Unravel Me really changed the game and made the series better, but Shatter Me was just okay.

shatterme

Gingerbread Cookies | Where the story was better than the cover

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of crap covers out there (but I’ve seen a lot of beautiful ones come out lately, which is nice!). But what really matters is the story behind the crap cover, and these are just a few that I can think of that I personally really liked, even if the cover was meh at best.

Peanut Butter Cookies | A book that wasn’t what you expected

Well, I’m currently listening to A Way of Kings: The Stormlight Archive Book ONe by Brandon Sanderson (a 45+ hour long novel, mind you, that I’m about 16 hours into), and it’s SO much better than I was expecting. Like, I’ve read really good fantasy books before, but this? THIS is what I call an epic fantasy story.

The plot is so intricate and detailed and woven really nicely, the characters are ones that I’m invested in and desperately want to know more about, the voice actors do an amazing job bringing said characters to life, and the world it’s written in is so vast and fascinating and I have SO many questions. Ugh, I can’t wait to continue.

Snickerdoodles | A book you’ll never stop rereading

I don’t really reread books all that often. There’s a few that I definitely want to reread, though, from when I was a teenager and see if I still consider them timeless favorites for me, personally, or if I’ve moved on from them. They are:

Memoirs of a Geisha | The House of the Scorpion | A Certain Slant of Light | Chinese Cinderella

Oatmeal Raisin | A book you love and yet others… might not

Okay, this is the question I’m making up, but my dudes: I LOVE OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES. Soooo many people I’ve talked to hate them, and I just don’t know why!

Anyway, my pick for this is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. Okay, look, every book has its faults. Every series has its faults. Yes, even your fave, but as much crap as this series has gotten over the years, as many issues as it has, it’s still one of my all time favorites and I’m sticking by that opinion. I mean, I still need to finish it, so what the hell am I waiting for?

Macaroon | Sequels you liked better than the first

For me, the first one that comes to mind is the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I remember each book getting better and better and that the last one definitely satisfied me as far as endings go. I found it difficult to get into the first book even though I still liked it, and then the second one was great, and the third one was even better.

Let’s Chat!

What’s your favorite kind of cookie? What about a book that you’ll never stop rereading – or one that you had from your younger years that you really want to pick up again?

Happy New Year! | Goals & Stuff

Happy New Year, peeps!

I can’t believe it’s already the new year. 2018 FLEW by, and I bet 2019 is going to go even faster. Oh joy.

But with a new year comes new year’s resolutions and promises that you won’t keep (maybe lol), so here’s my list of goals that I hope to achieve this upcoming year:

Reading & Blog Goals

  • Read one book per week. That’s 52 books for the year, which is entirely doable for me considering I’ve read 50 books in the past. This includes manga and comics, just so we’re clear.
  • Have half of those books be ones that are already on my shelves. Look, I recently did a large unhaul of unread books that had been sitting on my shelf gathering dust because I knew I wasn’t going to read them and I’d rather them go somewhere I know they’ll be well loved, so this year I want to focus on reading at least 25 books that are already currently on my shelves. Doable. Achievable. Awesome.
  • Post twice a week on my blog. I’ve already been doing this as I wanted to start the habit before the new year, but I’m going to try to post on Mondays (reviews) and Thursdays (chats/discussions/fun things). So far it’s been working, so that’s good. So that’ll be 104 posts for the year. Again: doable.

Personal Goals

  • Reach level two Japanese by the end of June. So I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while but I really suck at studying, so I’m going to try to make it my mission to study daily and reach level two on the app I use by the end of June. Again: doable. This also includes reviewing and practicing and all that jazz.
  • Lose at least ten pounds by the end of June. I’m not going to set the bar too high for weight loss goals. This one is entirely doable, and I’ve been working on it more this past month that I have in the past. Let’s hope for some good results!
  • Find work that’s more suited to me. This one is one I’ve been working towards, but I don’t know how it’ll go yet, so I’m going to keep this one kind of vague lol, but I do hope to find a job either in my field, teaching abroad, or something entirely different.
  • Finish the first draft of my book by the end of June. I have a lot I want to get done by midyear lol, but I really want to finish just the very rough first draft of the novel I’ve been trying to work on.
  • Work toward a better well-being and state of mind. It’s been a rough couple of years, friends, and I just want to get to a place of joy. This one is ongoing, though, so it’ll be for a lifetime.

I think that’s it for my goals. They’re all attainable, all doable, and I think that’s the best part of this whole thing.

Let’s chat!

What are some of your goals for this year? What are some of the things you achieved last year, but still want to continue into this year? Let me know in the comments!

2018 End of Year Survey

It’s that time of year again, folks, where I review what I’ve read this past year and talk about it with you. This survey was created by the lovely Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner, so you should definitely go check her out.

**2018 READING STATS**

 

Number Of Books You Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
Genre You Read The Most From: Fan fiction

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

gemina

This whole trilogy was AMAZING, but of the last two books in the trilogy that I read this year, Gemina was definitely my favorite. You can check out my review here!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Maybe the Vox Machina Origin comic books? I haven’t watched a lot of the first campaign which I know the books are based off of those characters, but I was expecting something… different? They’re still good, just not as good as I was expecting.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

ruinandrising

Probably Ruin and Rising – and in a good way. It’s been a couple of years since I read book two, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it and thought it made for a great wrap up kind of book.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Not a book, but a fan fiction by Tharros called “Two Black Dots.” It’s an awesome fanfic about Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako, and I highly recommend you check it out.

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Best series: (Fan fiction): Two Black Dots by Tharros

Best sequel: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Best series ender: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Rick Riordan! I’ve never read any of his material before, but I started with Percy Jackson & the Lighting Thief several months ago and really enjoyed it. You can check out my review here!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Well, I didn’t start reading fan fiction until this year, SO I’m going to go with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Ms_Chunks. It’s another Bakugou/Uraraka fan fic and it’s SO GOOD.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Have I mentioned Gemina and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff yet? Because those two were AMAZING and I could not put them down.

Check out my Gemina review here and my Obsidio review here!

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I will say probably Bakugou Katsuki is Going to Become a Friendly Guy Even if it Kills Him by piscesroyalty. It’s a comedy/romance fan fiction and I have never laugh out loud so much then when I was reading this.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

obsidio

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Ella Malikova from Gemina. SHE’S AMAZING. Super sassy, doesn’t put up with your crap, and is just a great side character. Seriously loved her.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

falling by isanas is so beautiful. It pulls on your heart and it’s just… oof, so good.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

I really have no idea with this one. I know I’ve had a lot of thoughts on several of the books I read, reflecting on some of the elements of them and how they could be interpreted in real life and such, and I know that on more than one occasion I found myself going, “Wow, that’s amazing,” but I can’t really pinpoint what books those might be.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 

thelightningthief

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. SERIOUSLY. I would’ve enjoy this so much as a kid hahaha

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

-Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Gemina: 659 pages

I’ve read a lot of one-shot fan fics, so I’m going to say those lol Some were under 1000 words.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Have I mentioned the Illuminae Files yet? Because OH MAN DID I HAVE A LOT OF ANIMATED REACTIONS TO THESE BOOKS. Like, I’m not the most animated person when reading. I don’t make a lot of faces or even really laugh aloud at something funny, but these books? Oh man, these books seriously took me on a roller coaster and I know for a fact that Gemina had me gaping at the end of it for a while.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

KACCHAKO. My loves. ❤ (Bakugou Katsuki x Uraraka Ochako)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Nik Malikov and Ella Malikova from the Illuminae Files. They’re cousins, so I just love their dynamic and how they pick on each other, but also would die for the other. It’s great.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

leahontheoffbeat

Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. This was a fun read that I read back in May and I just remember loving Becky’s first book: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I was not disappointed. Check out my review here!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Just a looooooot of fan fiction, haha! I got to support my friends’ writings, you know?

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Both Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov from Gemina. *shrug* What can I say? I love me a strong, fierce, sassy, brave woman, and a goofy, gold-hearted, family-oriented bad boy.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

I don’t think I’ve read any debuts this year, so N/A.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I need to stop mentioning the Illuminae Files in this post, but THESE BOOKS ARE LITERAL VISUALS, and the way things are described is just so well done? Like??? Ugh, so good.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Bakugou Katsuki is Going to Become a Friendly Guy Even If It Kills Him by piscesroyalty on AO3. It’s SO funny and SO good, omg, seriously, read it.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

In Hindsight by infantblue. This fanfic CRUSHED me. A bunch of us did live reactions with the author and she was just so overwhelmed by the support she got for this. I literally felt the tears in my eyes, but I didn’t actually cry lol

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Shout out to every fan fic I read because, man, were they a surprise! Seriously, I’ve read so many and I loved a lot.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

obsidio

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Ooh, I think Eidolon by Grace Draven was the most unique just because of the species in it and such. I mean, I read Radiance last year, but I really thought the concept of a human and a Kai together and how the two would go through life together was super intriguing. The way it was executed was well done.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Uh. I have no idea haha

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

readwithcindy – she’s got such a great personality and such a great level of sass, and I’m glad I found her.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

Fan Fiction Galore & Why You Should Read Some

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?

IMG_0970

Here’s my instagram if you want to check it out!

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

I took part in the Biannual Bibliothon this past winter/spring in early 2018, as in, I was one of the blog hosts lol

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

I don’t know, just getting back to it, really. I’ve barely posted at all this year, but it really feels good to be back on my little corner of the internet.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Uh, I didn’t blog lol Barely, anyway. Finding the time and motivation was difficult, but I’m making it more of a priority nowadays and really glad I am.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Biannual Bibliothon Challenge: Rewrite a Favorite Scene

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

None. I’m okay with where everything is.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The Bookmarked series on YouTube where Zoe, Hailey, and Hannah have guests and talk about bookish topics.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Well, the past couple of years I’ve been setting my Goodreads reading goal to one book, which has been working out great for me, haha! So that was achieved. That’s pretty much it haha

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

If I haven’t started this book this week, it’s definitely going to be Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. Like, my husband caught up real fast this year with all three books and has been waiting months for me to read this third book because he wanted to discuss and I just haven’t yet. Whoops lol

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. But first I need to read Restore Me, which is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. I’ve been following Hafsah on Twitter for years now, and I’m so proud of her debut coming up! I’m definitely going to read it when it’s released.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

Is the final book of the Ember in the Ashes saga going to be published in 2019? If so, that one lol

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I’m going to be having a 2019 goals post coming out next week, so read about them there!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Not applicable haha!

Let’s chat!

Alright my friends, my question to you for the end of this year is: if you could squeeze in just one more read for the end of the year, what would it be and why? Have a wonderful and safe new year!

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the holiday season once again, and I’m coming at you with another gift guide!

Okay, so I haven’t actually done one of these since 2015, but… still!

Here’s the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for bookish and writerly people!

For this guide, I wanted to focus on some of the more practical and everyday things that people can find useful in their lives, so I’ve listed five bookish related and five writerly related items below that I think you (or your favorite bookworm/writer in your life) will enjoy. I’ll include links to the various products for easy browsing!

For the Bookish

  1. Book themed planner/calendar – I actually discovered this planner while I was in Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. It included spaces at the beginning of each month for books to read and books that you’ve read in that month, and each month talk about famous author birthdays, famous book publishing days, and more. But you can also find a ton of literary themed planners and calendars on etsy!
  2. Candles – Okay, I know some people don’t like them, but a lot of readers find that having a candle lit is not only aesthetic, but also very calming while reading. You can find literary candles all over, but check out Novelly Yours on etsy. They’ve got a lot of great candles in amazing scents.
  3. Totes, art, bedding, & more – Have you heard of Society6 or RedBubble? Well, people can create designs and sell them via this platform, and so there is no shortage of book themed items there. If you’re looking for a tote to carry your books in, or you need new bedding because yours are old and falling apart, check out Evie Seo’s shop for some cool designs! She’s one of my favorite designers, and the products from the companies are really good.
  4. Bookmarks – Let’s be clear: bookworms will never say no to bookmarks. They’re practical, even if they get lost easily, and there’s so many cool designs to choose from. Plus, they’re cheap enough, so why not get your favorite bookworm a few bookmarks? You could even take it a step further and get them a personalized one!
  5. Bamboo book holder – This is for my e-book readers, but say you’re trying to cook or workout or whatever, and you just can’t hold the book? Well, why not check out a bamboo book holder? Being made of bamboo, they’re sturdy and will be able to hold your e-reader perfectly.

For the Writerly

  1. Stationary – You can find TONS of different kinds of stationary online. They come in all sizes and colors, so here’s an example of some of the kinds you can get.
  2. Tombow pens – Okay, if your writer friend is into bullet journaling at all, then these Tombow pens are the way to go. They come in a multitude of colors and are pretty affordable.
  3. Lumbar pillow – Let me tell you, if you have a writer friend then their back is probably in pain. Hours of sitting wherever they’ve plopped to write can really take a toll on the back, so why not gift them a lumbar pillow? They’re these pillow that can hook onto the backs of chairs and provide that extra needed support for the lower back.
  4. Journal – Old school here, but I love getting journals. Even if I don’t use them, just knowing that I have them brings a peace of mind that I can’t explain. Writers appreciate them a lot because it gives us space to write our ideas when nothing else is around us and they can be much like our diaries, but for our stories. There are pocket-sized and regular sized journals to choose from, so pick one you think would best suit them!
  5. A mug – Listen, writers can stay up for hours on end just chugging away at their story, so they’re going to need caffeine (or whatever beverage of choice they want) to keep them going, so why not get them a mug? You can find cool writerly ones like this mug here that says, “I am a writer: anything you say or do may be used in a story.”

Okay, so some of these things are pretty obvious or ones that have been talked about more times in many blogs that I can count, but still: shopping for a bookworm or a writer can be easy if you know what to look for. Just think about what they like or what they need and apply that to your gift giving ideas this year.

Have a happy holiday season!

Let’s chat!

What kinds of gifts do you hope for as a bookworm or writer? Let me know!