Hobby Corner: Final Fantasy XV – Favorite Game of 2016

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Welcome to another edition of Hobby Corner, a monthly edition I introduced to talk about my hobbies and interests other than reading. It’s always important to not forget these things, so here I am to talk about some of mine.

This month’s topic: video games!

More specifically I’m going to be talking about this epic game called Final Fantasy XV and OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE THE EMOTIONS.

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Final Fantasy XV is pitched as a Final Fantasy game for first timers and long time fans and I have to agree with that statement. I’ve been playing the games since FFIX and though I’ve never beaten on other than FFX or FFXV, I still love the games, the gameplay, the stories, the worlds, the characters, the art. There’s so much about these games that I love and adore and I think that FFXV didn’t hold back when it came to all of these.

FFXV is an open world roleplay game (RPG) that follows four young men on a road trip style journey to save the world, essentially. It follows a prince named Noctis and his three men retinue: Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto. Each of these young men have skills and strengths in different areas, and though you play only as Noctis, you get to spend so much time with all of the characters and learn and grow with them.

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P.S. Yes, this photo is from my own gameplay.

So these four goobs are just the best group of friends and I love them to pieces. Noctis (the far left of the picture) is kind of brooding, but he’s also got a lot of weight on his shoulders since he’s the prince and he’s going to be marrying Lunafreya to make ties with another country. So he’s got stuff going on, but I also love using him in battles because he’s really strong and has awesome weapons that you can get throughout the game.

Gladiolus (or Gladio, who is next to Noctis and Ignis) is the strong one of the group and also the oldest. He’s been Noctis’s guard for many years now and they’re very much like brothers. He’s a softy, though, but he can get angry at times.

Ignis (the one with the glasses) is the brains and the voice of reason in the group. He’s also the cutest, in my opinion. He also loves to cook, so there’s a huge meme online in the FFXV fandom about Ignis and him always shouting out, “Aha! I’ve thought of a new recipe!” It’s hilarious and OMG HE MAKES SO MANY PUNS IT’S PAINFUL.

Prompto (the one holding the camera) is the goofball and the one who’s got a very interesting backstory and secret about him. I love him and he’s a precious cinnamon roll and deserves all the love of ever.

The open world concept plus the road trip aspect is SO BEAUTIFUL. The landscapes are very detailed and well laid out, and the battle system is also open concept unlike some of the earlier games where you would go and get stuck in a battle when the screen “breaks.” It just makes it easier to escape battles when you don’t want to fight, and also gives you more room to be kickass.

The story is also a tragic one, but also beautiful and fun, and it goes from just the four guys wanting to go out and drive to Altissa so Noctis can get married, but there’s a LOT that happens right from the get go and it’s making me emotional just thinking about it.

There’s TONS of side quests to level up the characters as well as just gain experience and see more of the world. I love iiiiiiit.

I think the biggest and best part of the game that fans old and new love: YOU GET TO RIDE THE CHOCOBOS. Don’t know what a Chocobo is? It’s the most adorable thing of ever and you get to ride them and they’re cute and so useful! AHH!

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At the Wiz Chocobo Outpost.

All in all this game was amazing. I became incredibly attached to the characters and I bawled like a baby at the end of the game. I recently started a new game and all of the emotions came flooding back and I can’t wait to play through it all again and cry again.

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Certificate of Completion upon completing the game. You get to choose from any of the pictures that Prompto has taken and you’ve saved along your journey.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Have you ever played a Final Fantasy game? Which was your favorite? Have you played FFXV? Who’s your favorite character? I can’t really choose between any of them because I love them all too much. What about the chocobos? Did you enjoy that feature? Tell me all of your thoughts on the game!

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2016 End of Year Survey

Well, peeps, it’s the end of 2016. It’s been a year of ups and downs, of weird things, happy times, and sad times, but we’ve made it. Look how far we’ve come! And by the way, my brain’s still back in July, so I have no clue how in just a few short days it’s going to be 2017.

So today I’m going to be going over my year in review. I’m going to talk about the best books I’ve read, the disappointments, surprises, best in genres, and more. Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner is the host of this awesome survey every year, so here’s the blank form for this year!


2016 Stats

Number of Books You Read: 45
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read the Most From: Young Adult Fantasy

Best in Books

Best Book Read in 2016: Probably going to have to say A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. It was so much better than the first book and the stakes were a lot higher. And it gave me the worst book hangover I’ve ever been in. A close second is Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The unique format and the story combined to create a beautiful tale that had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. So many people have given it so much praise, but it just didn’t do it for me. I’ll read the second book, but I’m going in more hesitantly.
Most surprising book (good or bad): My Lady Jane by the Lady Janies, because I wasn’t expecting to laugh so much at a historical fiction novel! The magic worked in the world, the humor was awesome, the dialogue was perfect, and the narrators? Omg, they were the best part. Seriously, check this book out if you haven’t yet!
Book you “pushed” most people to read (and they did): Maybe the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy? I’m actually not sure!
Best series you started? Best sequel? Best series ender?:
-Best Series Started: Air Awakens by Elise Kova.
-Best Sequel: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.
-Best Series Ender: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.
Favorite new author you discovered this year: Elise Kova, for sure! I loved her Air Awakens series (or what I’ve read of it) and I can’t wait to read her next series, The Alchemists of Loom.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/out of your comfort zone: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staple. As my first leap into comic books, I really enjoyed it! I mean, I’ve read manga for a large part of my life, so it wasn’t too different? It was just more colorful and way more mature and graphic.
Most action-packed/thrilled/unputdownable book of the year: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, hands down. It was the book that kept me up late and I just needed to keep going to the very end.
Book you read this year that you’re most likely to reread next year: Illuminae. >> Not even kidding. I’m ready to reread it now, thanks.
Favorite cover of a book you read: Let’s stare at this gorgeous cover together and bask in its gloriousness.

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Most memorable character: Probably Vhalla from the Air Awakens series because she started out as such a shy, unassuming character, but with each book she grows stronger not only physically, but mentally and morally as well. She’s had a great character arc so far in what I’ve read dealing with everything she’s gone through and learning about her powers and handling them. She’s just one that has stuck with me from the beginning.
Most beautifully written book: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor, for sure. Laini’s writing in general is beautiful and this book was just one that brought me into the world, into the characters’ minds, and showed me so many things that I wasn’t expecting. I loved this book so much and the writing in it as well!
Most thought provoking/life changing book: This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp is about a school shooting and the different perspectives that went through it. It’s definitely thought provoking and life changing, for sure, as I never experienced it and hope I never experience anything like it.
Book you can’t believe you waited until this year to read: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. SERIOUSLY, WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? It was such a good sequel and I’m so glad I read it! I think I just put it off because Cinder was okay in my opinion, but not great, so I didn’t know what to expect with the rest of the series? But I’m so glad I finally picked it up.
Favorite passage/quote: “To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.” – Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury.
Shortest and longest books you read:
-Shortest: The Crown and the Arrow by Renee Ahdieh at 9 pages.
-Longest: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas with 693 pages.
Book that shocked you the most: Have I talked about Illuminae yet, because I don’t think I have…
OTP of the year: First of all, HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME PICK JUST ONE. So, to spite you, I’m picking several: Feyre x Rhysand, Iseult x Aeduan (they’re not cannon yet, BUT I SWEAR IT’LL HAPPEN), Vhalla x Aldrick, Karou x Akiva, Ronan x Adam, Gansey x Blue, Shazi x Khalid, Laia x Elias, Scarlet x Wolf.
Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: Karou x Zuzana, Safi x Iseult, Kady x AIDAN.
Favorite book you read from an author you’ve read previously: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.
Best book read based solely on a recommendation/peer pressure: My Lady Jane! Seriously enjoyed this and am so glad there was so much buzz around it.
Newest fictional crush: Aeduan from Truthwitch. I just… *melt* Bad boy with a potentially tragic past and who can kill me without thinking about it? C’mon. xD
Best 2016 debut: I actually didn’t read any debut books, which is weird, because I definitely thought I had…
Best world building/vivid setting: The Air Awakens series had some awesome world building in it! As for most vivid setting, I think that one’s going to ACOMAF. Valeris is described really well in it!
Book that put a smile on your face/was most fun to read: I’m not going to say Illuminae again (but I totally am, it was super fun to read), BUT I am going to say P.S. I Like You by Kasie West because IT WAS SO CUTE I CAN’T EVEN. All the smiles and giggles.
Book that made you cry or nearly cry: Orange by Ichigo Takana. I cried reading these books because the situations and emotions were so real to me because I’ve experienced them myself and just… I loved it. Beautiful story.
Hidden gem of the year: Girl Against the Universe by Laura Stokes was a great book about mental illness and grief.
Book that crushed your soul: YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO SAY, SO WHY DO I HAVE TO SAY IT? (Illuminae) …. (and ACOMAF)
Most unique book: Okay, in terms of format: Illuminae. In terms of story: Truthwitch because of all of the different kinds of witches and the world and everything.
Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t mean you didn’t like it): The Goal by Elle Kennedy maybe? It just talked about abortion so flippantly and just… it’s not a topic to take lightly. I still enjoyed the book, though.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

New favorite book blog you discovered: Cait @ Paper Fury, for sure!
Favorite review that you wrote: I have a few favorites, but I think one of them is my Dreams of Gods & Monsters Book Review.
Best discussion/non-review post: Am I A Reader?
Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc): For blogging, Loveathon 2016 was sosososo fun! I’m definitely participating again in 2017. I also went to three book signings this year, which is crazy to me! I went to Jodi Meadows/Erin Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, and Maggie Stiefvater signings. So much fun!
Best moment of bookish/blogging life: Probably meeting my favorite author, Sarah J. Maas.
Most popular post on your blog (by view or comments): By views it was on February 21st Loveathon mini challenges #3 and #4, which made me have 149 views in one day!
Post you wish got a little more love: I honestly have no idea.
Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc): Getting more active on Bookstagram helped to show me a lot of awesome bookish small businesses, so there’s that.
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year: Yes! I completed my Goodreads reading challenge of reading 30 books this year (I read 44!), I commented more on other blogs, and included more topics on writing.

Looking Ahead

Book you didn’t get to this year that will be your number one priority in 2017: See my Beat the Backlist Challenge post because I have a decent list there.
Book you’re most anticipating for 2017 (non-debut): A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.
2017 debut you’re most anticipating: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Series ending/sequel you’re most anticipating: Windwitch by Susan Dennard, and the last book in the Throne of Glass series. *cue sobbing*
One thing you hope to accomplish/do in your reading/blogging life in 2017: Go to a book convention, like Book Con or Boston Teen Author Festival.
A 2017 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone: None because I haven’t read any yet!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What was your top read this year? What book surprised you? Did you have anything exciting happen to you blog wise? Tell me all the things!

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2016

Hey peeps and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday as hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke & the Bookish. So as it’s the last TTT of the year, we’re going to talk about the best books I read in 2016. Now being a “best book” is very subjective and it varies from person to person, but I’m going to talk about the books that I enjoyed the most this year, so that includes 5 star books and some 4 stars mixed in. Let’s hop right into it!

1. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. This book was so magical and had so many character that I fell in love with. And THAT ENDING. I need Windwitch right now. Luckily we don’t have to wait that long for it to come out!

2. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. This book was an awesome book about mental illness and coping with it through words and poetry and friendships. I loved it and highly recommend it.

3. The Saga series by Brian K. Vaughan. As my first foray into the comic book world, this series is so awesome. It’s very vulgar and mature at times, but I really got into the plot, and the art is beautiful.

4. The Air Awakens series by Elise Kova. I discovered this series when I got my kindle because it kept popping up in my recommended section, and boy am I glad I picked it up! The world is beautiful, the story is awesome, the characters I love, the character arcs are great. Just overall this series is worth the read in my opinion, so definitely check them out!

5. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. As the conclusion to one of my favorite trilogies of ever, I absolutely loved this book to pieces. It was huge and amazing and so good. It was a great wrap up and there were so many twists and turns and emotions poured into it. Love it!

6. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. Another awesome wrap up to a fantastic series, this book ended in a bitter sweet way. We all knew what was coming because it was told to us in the beginning, but I wasn’t expecting everything that happened. It was great and I am so glad that I read this series.

7. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. What is it with all of these conclusions? I actually enjoyed this second book more than the first and I just think that it was so well done. The writing was lovely, the story expanded greatly, the characters were awesome, and I just think that this was a fantastic conclusion to the duology.

8. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. You know. You know why this is on here. Do I even need to explain? The story, the world, everything go so much larger than anything we could have imagined. It was beautiful.

9. The Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy. Swoon. That’s the best word that comes to mid when I think of this series. As my first dive into New Adult I have to say, I’m quite happy with it. There’s drama, sexy times, hockey things, Massachusetts setting (woo woo!)! I just really enjoyed this series and I’m so sad it’s over.

10. My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows. This book was HILARIOUS and so unexpected! I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, so it was a pleasant surprise. I love the witty humor of the narrator, the dialogue between the characters, the way the magic worked… It was so fun!

11. Orange by Ichigo Takano. This manga was so beautiful and it spoke to many parts of my soul. It deals with friendship, depression, suicide, guilt, and there’s a bit of time travel involved in it, too. I love it so much and I’m so glad my bestie recommended it.

12. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. Hey, another one that should come as no surprise. This second to last book in the series was really great and I loved seeing new perspectives (ELIDE AND LORCAN AHHHHH). It wasn’t my favorite of the series, but it was still a great book where the stakes became higher and everything was kind of intense.

13. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I’m still so happy we got a sequel to this series because this book was better than the first, I think. I absolutely loved it and thought that the story grew immensely and that everything became much more complex as time went on. I can’t wait for the next one!

14. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. If you follow me on Bookstagram you know how much I love this book. Like, seriously, this book was phenomenal and it hit me in all of the feels and the formatting was so cool! I can’t wait to read Gemina and am honestly surprised with myself that I haven’t read it yet.

15. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. This was so cute! I think it was just what I needed in that moment because I was just looking for something light and fluffy and this hit the nail right on the head. I loved the characters and how they hated each other but it turned into a romance.

16. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This sequel, though! I remember not liking Cinder as much as I had hoped, so I was afraid to pick up the sequel for the longest time even though I heard that the series gets better with each book. And I was not  disappointed! This sequel really grabbed my attention and had me wanting to know what happened next with each page. I loved it!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

What were your favorite/top/best books of 2016? Which would you highly recommend to me to check out? Tell me all the things!

Uppercase Box December Unboxing

Hey peeps, I’m here with another Uppercase Box unboxing for you! If you don’t know what Uppercase is, as it says on the website, it’s “a young adult book-of-the-month subscription box. Simply put: You sign up and receive a recently published YA book and awesome book-related items every month! Plus you’ll access exclusive book content and a one-of-a-kind reading experience to dive deeper into each story.”

This has got to be my favorite box that I’ve received from Uppercase EVER. From the book to the goodies I am seriously head over heels in love with the contents and I am so happy to have them in my life right now! Let’s just jump right into the picture, shall we?

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Okay, so, let’s talk about the glorious items in this box, shall we?

I can’t get over the GORGEOUS items in this month’s box, guys! Seriously, everything in this box had me gasping with the sheer beauty of each item. Even the bag that it came in was decorated with a lovely design! I love every single piece and I can’t wait to use the planner.

The book cover in person is seriously the most gorgeous cover I’ve seen all year. I’m in love with the design and the colors. And then in the planner by Simini Blocker there are drawings with diverse people for each month with a quote from different authors on the pages. Love it!


Also, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! And happy holidays to all! You’re all so awesome and I thank you all for the time, comments, love, and support you all share with me every single day. Have a wonderful rest of 2016! I’m planning on doing a week of posts, so hopefully I’m able to get them all up on time!

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Are you a planner? As in, do you like using them? Do you use digital planners (like a calendar app) or do you prefer traditional pen and paper? I personally love getting planners but I always fail to use them every year! Hopefully now that I have two (personal and bookish) I’ll be on top of it and use them!

Hobby Corner: Keeping a Sketchbook

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Welcome to another edition of Hobby Corner, a monthly edition I introduced to talk about my hobbies and interests other than reading. It’s always important to not forget these things, so here I am to talk about some of mine.

This month’s topic: art!

Today specifically, though, I wanted to talk about keeping a sketchbook and why doing so can be beneficial not only to those who are visually creative, but also for those that might need a way to escape for a little while.

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I’ve always had sketchbooks of various kinds, but my favorite is the Canson XL mixed media sketchbook in size 5.5 in x 8.5 in. It’s perfect for pencil drawings but can also be used for water color, acrylic, pen, or whatever else you want to use really. (Obviously depending on your medium will depend on the quality of the paper.) The sketchbook I have now is one that I had gotten many months ago but had barely used until very recently because I had gotten into a drawing funk.

Much like a reading slump, a drawing funk/slump happens to me quite frequently now that I’m not taking art classes or anything like that. I’ve always loved to draw and to be creative, but my drawing time fell to the wayside as I became much more of a reader than I’ve ever been. Every time I’ve painted or drawn something detailed or whatever over the last year I’ve had that feeling of “I need more, more, more,” and I’d do it more often around those times, but then it would dwindle and die very quickly.

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So I’ve been following some artists on YouTube and listening to them talk about how much they enjoy art, which made me miss doing art, and then I read an article that really inspired me about keeping a sketchbook. She talked about how not only does keeping a sketchbook keep your creativity flowing, but it can also help with emotional distress and a needed release in the times that I really need it.

And, frankly, she’s right. For someone like me who loves to do creative things regardless of what it is or what medium (making art, listening to music, writing, etc), I think doing something like this will really help to keep my interests and my momentum and desire for drawing going. I won’t feel that dreaded slump or that high and need when I finally do draw or paint or whatever after months of not doing so.

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So I’m taking on one of the challenges she suggested in her post: draw at least one thing in my sketchbook every day for a year. Even if I don’t do it every day, as long as I draw multiple times a week that will be good enough for me.

Art has been such an integral part of my life that I can’t imagine ever not having it be in my life somehow. I may not become a professional artist, but I’ll be able to see my progression, to see what I can create, to do studies and take notes and more.

So why should you keep a sketchbook?

  • It’s an emotional release. If you’re feeling happy, draw something that represents happiness to you. If you’re feeling angry, use dark, bold strokes to represent it. If you’re feeling sad, draw something that represents sadness to you. It’s a healthy way of dealing with emotions, and even if you don’t know what to draw, that’s okay because it leads to my next point:
  • You can make it your own. A sketchbook isn’t going to be graded (unless you’re in school and you need one for a grade), you don’t even have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. You can write in it, put magazine clippings in it, cut up pages, do whatever you want. No one’s going to judge you for it.
  • It’s a place where you can dream big or small. And by that I mean you can create as much or as little as you want. Getting your ideas and thoughts out can be extremely rewarding and all you have to do is draw what you think needs to be drawn.

Let Nela said in the article: keep the sketchbook with you at all times (sketchbooks come in a variety of sizes, page textures, etc, so find the one that fits you), because if you don’t keep it with you then you’re never going to draw. But if you have a scrap piece of paper or a receipt or napkin, draw on it then stick it in your sketchbook later.

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Art is one of those things that I’m very passionate about, and I know that, for me at least, keeping a sketchbook will help to keep that passion alive.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you have a sketchbook? How do you use it? Do you use it like a diary? Or are your works more open to the public? Tell me all the things!