Fangirling Friday: I created a book tag!


If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed that I created a tag this week! Inspired by one of my favorite books and fandoms, #ShadesofMagicalBooks is a play on the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab.

‘You don’t know anything about these worlds,’ he said, but the fight was bleeding out of his voice.

‘Sure I do,’ countered Lila cheerfully. ‘There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,’ she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. ‘See? I’m a fast learner.’

In the Shades of Magiseries, there’s four very different Londons. When Lila discovers that there’s more than her own world, her curiosity is piqued. So in the spirit of Lila, I want to know what books you’ve read that you think would match with each London.

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DULL LONDON: A book that bored you

KELL LONDON: A book that holds magic for you

CREEPY LONDON: A book that made you keep your lights on

DEAD LONDON: A book that gradually took over your life

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If you’ve read the series, you’re probably able to see where I got my inspiration from for each prompt. I had a lot of fun creating this tag! I hope that other bloggers and bookstagrammers enjoy this tag enough to continue it. So if you write about books, tweet about books, or take photos of books, please feel free to do this tag! I would love to see it blossom. Please tag me in any posts so I can see what everyone does!


Have a good Friday, book friends!

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Ten quotes that make my heart happy

I really love the prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday because I love book quotes. I love collecting them. I want to hang more art prints with quotes on my wall.

These quotes are all over the place in terms of why they were chosen. Some of them are words that just struck me as beautiful or have an important place in the book they’re from; others were chosen because they’re words I try to live by or have inspired or comforted me. I tried to choose different books, but some of them are from the same series because generally if I love a quote from one book I’m going to love quotes from the others in the series.

I wish I could list more than ten of my favorite quotes because there’s a ton, but for now, here’s the ten that I chose for today.

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1. 

“While I’m gone, dream me the world. Something new for every night.”

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2.

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

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3.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

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4.

“Reality is what you make of it, Elisabeth. The same as madness. Whether or not this is real matters not to me, but it matters to you. Therefore, which is it? What would you rather have it be?”

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5.

“Kell would say it was impossible. What a useless word, in a world with magic.”

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Top Ten Tuesday: How does it end? I’ll look it up online, because I’m not continuing these ones

I thought that it was going to be a bit challenging to find series that I’m not going to complete. Turns out I was wrong. There’s actually a ton of firsts in series that I started but I’ll never finish. Sometimes it’s because I didn’t enjoy the characters; other times it’s because I found the plot lacking. And sometimes, they just aren’t my thing, even though the synopsis made it sound super interesting. Usually I stop with the first book, but there are a few series where I’ve gone on to read the second or more. Basically that comes down to my mood.

The series I’m listing here are books I’ve read over the past few years. Some of them are extremely popular and are loved by many readers. But for me, these are books I just didn’t connect with on a level that’s needed to commit to three or more books. It’s purely my opinion, though I am curious if anyone feels the same!

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1. An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night: I didn’t particularly love the world. It was very harsh, which is fine, but it felt like the world building relied too heavily on the reader to fill in the blanks. The characters were okay. The problems I had in the first book basically became more problematic in the second, so I decided not to continue this planned four book series.

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2. The Bone Witch: I wanted to love this one. I think the dual perspective killed it for me. Both followed the main character, Tea: one in the past as she’s finding her powers and the other in the present as she’s trying to explain her actions. It split the book in a way that was confusing and kept me from fully immersing myself into the story. I did love the cover, though! There’s three books planned.

3. The 100: Maybe if I had read this one before seeing the show I would have liked it. I feel like the ideas in this book––though interesting––are undeveloped. It may get better in the next ones, but I think I’ll just stick to the show. Apparently the things I like about the show aren’t even in the books, which is weird. There’s four books in this series.

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4. The Graces: The reason I wanted to read this in the first place was because there’s witches in it. I’m a huge fan of Charmed, and have been constantly chasing that witch high ever since then. (Send me witchy read recommendations!) This had an unreliable narrator and I found that I just didn’t particularly care about anything that happened. So far there’s only two books in this series.

5. Blackhearts: I knew going into this that it was a prequel to Blackheart becoming Blackheart, but I still expected more pirate action than there ended up being.

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Fangirling Friday: Details, details, details

I recently got my hands on a copy of Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince. While this is a book that I added to my TBR list before there was even a cover, it ended up being a complete cover buy. But not because of the dust jacket. Because of what lay hidden beneath and in between the pages:

Completely stunning. This is one of the best designs I’ve ever seen. It’s so intricate and I love how the black makes the gold shine so brightly. I also really like the pairing of a white dust jacket with the black hardcover.

Books with maps. I probably will have a separate fangirling post about maps in books because I love them so much. I get so excited when I see that there’s a map in a book! It makes the world so much more detailed.

The dandelion seeds are darling. I love how the illustration frames the bottom of the poem.

These reasons. These beautiful, beautiful reasons.

I will be the first to admit that I am very extremely taken in by books with beautiful covers. I really love when you take off the dust jacket and there’s details underneath that are unexpected.

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Wednesdays are for Writing: The Fear


To say that I’ve been unproductive is an understatement.

Where has February gone? I’m looking at the end of February barreling down toward me and I’m realizing that I have gotten almost nothing done. Sure, I’ve read a few books, written a few posts, but my novel has languished on my computer and in my brain. My stellar plan of writing every day went away with complications of work, getting a cold, and fear.

Fear of failure and not being successful. Fear of my book not being interesting enough or being too much of something done before. Fear that it will never get done, so for some reason my brain has decided to…not do it at all?

Confused Jane The Virgin GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It makes absolutely no sense. I understand that, but that is also exactly the reason why I haven’t gotten back to it after working on it during the first few days of February. If I don’t start it, I can’t fail. It’s a sort of backwards thought process that makes my procrastination okay. But it’s not. I’ve allowed the fear to creep into every aspect of my writing life, choking off any potential creative growth.

I need to shake off the fear and procrastination, but now I’m at that point where I’m afraid to go back to it because I haven’t written in a while. There’s this cycle that my brain gets into that I can’t escape. I haven’t written for a while, so anything I write won’t be good. And anything I write will be cut out anyway, so I should wait until I feel confident to write…and I hardly ever do. With Nanowrimo, I was forced to write every day. There was a community––both online and in person––and a low-key competition that motivated me to write. Even when I didn’t feel confident, I had to write. If I didn’t, I’d fall behind––and catching up on Nanowrimo missed days on top of work is not an easy thing to do.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Relationships in Young Adult Novels

Although the prompt for this week is romance, I wanted to focus on other relationships instead. Relationships often drive the story of young adult novels, whether it’s a contemporary romance or a subplot in a fantasy. There’s nearly always a relationship. Romantic relationships fill readers’ hearts with joy, anger, and hope as they read about their journeys and wonder if they’ll ultimately end up together. But love comes in many forms. To say that friendships are any less important than romantic relationships means that you’re missing out on a lot of vibrant relationships and books.

So for today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I wanted to focus on different types of relationships in young adult novels. So without further ado, the relationship post!

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Best Female Friends

In young adult, there’s a ton of times that women are often super catty toward each other. It’s a common trope, especially in contemporaries set in high schools. Everyone isn’t going to be friends, but I really don’t like when women shame other women. A little bit is realistic, because to pretend it doesn’t happen is naïve, but when it becomes the focus of the novel it’s a little uncomfortable for me. To use the quote from Mean Girls: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” That quote has really stuck with me. So here’s some novels I’ve loved where friendships between women are displayed.

There’s a little bit of the aforementioned woman on woman hate in this book, but I like how the friendships evolve. This is also a historical fiction fantasy novel, which is one of my favorite combinations.

While I didn’t love this book entirely, I did love the friendship between Hermione and Polly. In Exit, Hermione is date raped. Exit deals with the aftermath of that and Polly is constantly there for Hermione even when she has her own struggles. I loved reading their friendship.

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Best Friend Groups

Sometimes it’s impossible to chose between only one best friend. I love books where friends explore and discover together. Sometimes you love them in ways that are created when you are crushed into the same space, experiencing the same things and bonding over them. Other times you just stumble upon them and a light of connection flares up inside of your chest. I really enjoy the dynamic of a group of friends. Where there used to be one character, suddenly there’s more. These are my favorites.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Wait, so you’re *supposed* to finish your TBR list in your lifetime?

Every bookworm can relate to this problem.

The problem where you have a list of books that you know you need to get to, but then––Ooo, look! So pretty!––and on to your TBR list it goes. Mine has grown considerably since joining the book communities on instagram and on goodreads. I’ve added many a book thanks to these book communities. When I lived back in my home country, I’d visit bookstores roughly every two weeks or so in order to check out what was new or popular. Naturally, that included buying some of the books. Now that I don’t have that luxury, my TBR list has continued to grow but I haven’t read as much as I would like.

Today I’m going to talk about only ten–some are in order of when I added them and others are ones that I am really eager to read–but just know there are 878 books on my list. I really need to start chipping away at it.

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Me in real life. 

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 The Mind Thieves by Lori Brighton, added 2014

This is the second book in a series I started years ago. It also happens to be the first book that I added to my goodreads list of books to read! My tastes have changed a lot. I did really like the first book when I read it, but I have to wonder if I’d like the first book as much if I reread it now. It’s probably on my kindle somewhere. Anyway, this is an example of a book that I don’t know if I’ll ever get to. There’s a lot of those on my TBR. It’s a real problem I have, where I read the first book in a series and then promptly forget about it.  This book is a young adult paranormal romance where the main character has mind reading powers.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman, added 2014

This is a contemporary that has first loves, travel, and Shakespeare, which is probably why I added it. I’ve recently started liking contemporaries more (besides anything by Deb Caletti who wrote probably my favorite contemporary, The Nature of Jade), so I may check this one out. It’s also part of a series. I prefer stand-alone contemporaries, but it looks like there’s only two in this one.

The Selection by Kiera Cass, added 2014

I’ve heard conflicting things about this. Despite it being a dystopian YA novel, I’m not sure it’s going to mesh with what I like to read in the genre now. It seems weirdly dated, but I can’t really put my finger on why I feel that way about it. I’ll probably read it one day when I can read all five in one go. The covers are beautiful, which is always a plus.

 

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead, added 2014

I loved Walden. So when I saw that this book was about a teenager who has no memory of who he is but he does have a copy of Walden, I was intrigued. He decides to travel to Walden Pond and along the way he tries to figure out who he is. I love when books have connections to other books and this one also has a mystery!

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Me when I realized how difficult it is to narrow down my books. 

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