How I Pick My Novels

Hi everyone! I’m both glad (and not so glad) to be back home. I had spend this past weekend in New Jersey and New York. One of my college graduation presents was tickets to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway so I was beyond excited. I also got to visit Sleepy Hollow. Overall, it was a very exciting weekend. Now that I’m back, I decided to do a blog inspired by a author/Youtuber I follow, Jenna Moreci. Some of you may have heard of her as she has recently released her debut novel, The Savior’s Champion. She is very funny so I definitely recommend you look up her channel. She recently did a video called “How I Choose My Novels.” Naturally, I’m copying her. All credit goes to Jenna Moreci for this.

Genre: Like the rest of you, I have preferred genres. All of them fall under the fiction category. Within that, I like to see which genre I haven’t read recently so I can mix it up. I also like to see novels that break genre. I want to give myself a variety, as well as you who read my blogs.

Author: Normally, I don’t concern myself with authors too much but, obviously, I do gravitate towards my favorite author. I also like to know which authors are up-and-coming so I can hop on a bandwagon. I like being a part of fandom, as do a lot of you.

Reviews: There are many books I’ve picked up solely because I heard many people enjoyed it. Reviews really do have an impact on which books I choose. In fact, your reviews have helped me pick books. I prefer to read book by average readers rather than professional critics. I feel like professional critics can be “too” judgmental at times. I just want to know if a book was good or not. I don’t want an analysis.

Book Length: As much as I would love to read super long books, I don’t always have the time or the patience. I tend to have a short attention span so I’ll avoid thicker books. I would love to buckle down and read something like Les Miserables or War and Peace but, let’s be real, my last three brain cells wouldn’t be able to handle that.

The Blurb: Ah yes, the might blurb! I must read the blurb of every book in the store before I make a decision. A vague blurb isn’t going to interest me and a long blurb is going to lose my attention. I need a nice sized-blurb with just enough detail. The blurb is what’s going to sell your book.

The Cover: Unlike the popular phrase, I do judge books by their cover. I even did a post where I talked about book covers. A nice, eye-catching cover is the first thing that makes me pick up a book. I’m not going to gravitate toward something with a bland cover or a cover with too much happening. I will most definitely avoid a book with a movie poster as the cover. (I think it’s tacky but that’s just me.) We do judge books by their covers and we can all admit it.

 

How I Learned To Love My Writing (And You Can Learn Too)

Hi everyone! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything. I keep telling myself I’m going to finish my TBR pile soon but then I just want to watch Avengers: Infinity War on repeat until Loki is alive again (spoiler). Also, let’s face it, part of the writing process is just opening your Word document and then your just end up watching YouTube videos for five hours straight. Don’t act like you’re not guilty of doing that. Anyways, I wanted to talk to you about how I learned to eventually learned to love what I write. I made a previous post about my crappy writing habits and I mentioned how I don’t always like what I write. While that is true, I’ve learned more about how to appreciate what I write. I’ve decided to share with you all some of the things that keep me loving being a writer.

  • Accept that it’s not going to be perfect the first time around. We all wish that we could have a brilliant idea during the first draft. That, however, is not true. Chances are that you aren’t going to like how your plot sounds on paper. As someone who has studied editing and publishing, I can tell you that the process to “perfect” a book takes a very long time. The writing process itself may take along time and it may not be perfect even then. As long as you have the commitment and patience, you can accomplish it.
  • Don’t write hoping to impress others. In my sophomore year of college, I decided to start to pursue a minor in Writing. This made sense since I was (and still am) and English major. Once I got into the classes, however, I realized I was trying way too hard to impress my professors and classmates. It got to the point where I would spend way too long even thinking about the story then I would end up writing at the last minute. Most of those stories didn’t turn out great. Don’t forget that your writing is for yourself, first and foremost. Enjoy the solitude that comes with the writing process because plenty of people will come along to go over every detail of your work. Make yourself proud by just fulfilling your accomplishment.
  • Let your imagination run wild. It’s easy to get caught up in the genres. We all want to fit into one specific genre because we love certain authors so much. This, however, shouldn’t limit you. Your ideas are going to sound silly sometimes. Your worlds and characters are going to raise eyebrows but that’s perfectly fine. Get weird with it. Don’t settle for ordinary, regardless of your preferred genre. Let loose once in a while and that might be how you strike gold.
  • Tap into your emotional side. The best stories are the ones that move us emotionally. It’s hard to communicate your emotions. I still have a hard time with it. Don’t let this hold you back, though. Make your story sad. Make your story angry. Make your story joyful. Don’t be afraid to put a healthy dose of “the feels” into your writing. I’ve learned I feel more in tune with my emotions once I put them on paper.
  • Congratulate yourself every so often. If you’re a person with a day job, like me, then you can have a hard time finding time to sit down and just write. You might be too tired or just not in the mood. When you do find the time, make sure to give yourself a nice little pat on the back. It doesn’t matter if you get one page or ten pages done, you still made progress. So give yourself a round of applause for hitting your goals because you deserve it.

So those are the ways I have learned to love my writing. Let me know about how you learned to love your writing as well. I can’t wait to hear from you all.

Books I Grew Up With

Hello everyone! I’m not going to begin this post with an apology about not having a book review. You’ll get that when you get that. Since I have moved back home, I have had to do some sorting in my room. My book obsession started early so I had to sort through the years of books I had accumulated. As I was going through all of them, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much some of these series or stand alone-novels piqued my interest in writing. I decided to create a list of some of the most important books that got me through the confusing and whimsical time of childhood. (Note: I am talking about the books I read up to eighth grade. I think I might make another post about the best and worst books I read in high school.)

  • Where would I be without the Harry Potter series? It was the first full length novel I ever read on my own. It was my first real “fandom.” It was the first book that showed me a character like myself. I was Hermione for more than one Halloween. I even had a Harry Potter quote on my graduation cap. To this day, my dedication to this series knows no bounds.
  • One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I am fascinated with the paranormal. My interest for this topic began when I started reading R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps series. I read so many of these books. I even wrote book reports about some of the novels. Along with this series, I also read the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. I still remember being terrified and thrilled by both of these series and I still remember a good portion of what I read.
  • As I got older and entered middle school, the vampire craze swept the nation. I soon fell in love with the Twilight series and the Vampire Diaries series. As cheesy as these books are, I loved the romantic aspect of vampires. The books were more “grown up” than Goosebumps and really played into my romantic side. I give these books credit into easing me into more mature books that I read nowadays.
  • As a lot of you know, I’m a big fan of crime/mystery novels. Obviously, this had to come from somewhere and it came from the Nancy Drew series and A Series of Unfortunate Events. I used to love the Nancy Drew computer games. Much like with Hermione Granger, I saw similarities between myself and Nancy Drew. Lemony Snicket, on the other hand, offered such an interesting writing style full of cynicism, tragedy, and intelligence that most people don’t expect to see in a children’s book. I definitely connected with his writing style. (Note: I highly recommend the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.)
  • Another genre I do love is sci-fi. Scott Westerfield’s The Uglies series only fueled my fascination with the genre. In fact, I am excited to say that Westerfield is releasing another book in the series called Impostors. I am very excited to read it as it takes me way back. I was also a huge fan of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series. I was incredibly dedicated to that series for a long time. I’m almost sad I lost track of that one. I still own a chunk of the series and have fond memories about them.
  • Going back to the fantasy genre, another book series that I loved (and still love) is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. It was a natural progression from reading Harry Potter. I was always interested in mythology, particularly Greek mythology. I might even go so far as to say that Riordan might have inspired me to eventually study Latin. (In case you didn’t know, I actually took Latin classes in high school and have a minor in Latin.)
  • I’d be silly not to mention some early childhood staples, such as the Judy Moody series and the Junie B. Jones series. I feel like a good majority of girls latched onto those books in grade school. I was certainly no exception as I lived vicariously through these outspoken characters. Looking back, I might think of Junie and Judy as being kind of bratty but, I have to give them credit where credit is due. I was (and still am) way too nice to be as bold as either of them.
  • I distinctly remember reading the Wayside School series as a child. I feel like this series is somewhat obscure but it was essentially about this grade school that was built like a giant tower and all of the students and teachers would get into wacky adventures in the bizarre building that had no 13th floor. I really hope some of you remember this series because I loved how weird it was.

That is the end of my list. There were a bunch of books I didn’t mention, such as the Magic Treehouse series and A Wrinkle in Time. Let me know what kind of book you read as a kid. Maybe there were some I forgot or some I didn’t read fully. Either way, I’d love to know about your favorite childhood books.

Some Thoughts, TBR List,and Plans for this Blog

Hi everyone! I’m back at school and I have the day off due to Martin Luther King Jr day so I decided to do a little ramble, if you don’t mind. I’m not expecting a ton of you to be terribly interested in this but if you stick around to read this then I appreciate it. For starters, I’m pleased to say that I’ll have much more time to do some leisure reading as I don’t have any required novel reading this semester. I have a lot of really awesome opportunities coming up and I am beyond excited. I’m even considering doing posts about these things but I am still on the fence. Privacy is very important to me, as it is to you but I might be opening up a bit more about myself as posts I have done about that in the past have seem to have gotten very good reception.

As for other blog posts, I’m going to experiment with other reviews. I’m a big movie fan so I would like to do movies reviews and see how that goes. Also, I’m considering doing a big series where I re-read series that I used to be especially obsessed with give my thoughts on them as an adult. Some of the series I want to re-read are the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series, The Mortal Instruments series, and the Hunger Games series. Those are (almost) the complete YA series I own. I also really wanted to kick off my Bad Fan Fiction Friday series. I did a previous blog post with more detail but the abbreviated version is that I want you guys to send me bad fan fiction and I will do a semi-serious analysis of it. I think it would be really funny and interesting. I also might do some other non-book related posts but I don’t have any specific ideas at this moment. Let me know if you have any ideas that you would like to see.

Let’s get to the TBR list. I actually went through a bunch of various posts from all of you and compiled all of your favorite books into my own list of novels I want to read now. So I have to give a big shout out to all of my fellow bookworms for giving me the ideas. I currently have eighteen (!) books I’m hoping to read in this year alone. I might post this list in a separate post along with a very honest DNF list.

Thank you so much for reading this post if you decided to stick around to the end. You can look forward to two book reviews coming up soon. In the meanwhile, I hope you stay warm and live your best lives.

 

My Favorites of 2017

Hello all! So my finals weeks has ended and I will be home tomorrow. Overall, it felt like a successful week, even though it felt as though Kent State was out to get me with my finals schedule. Regardless, I am feeling incredibly relieved and decided to celebrate some of the ups I experienced in 2017. I won’t just be sharing books but I will also be tell you about my favorite movies, songs, podcasts, and even some of my favorite memories of this year. I hope you enjoy.

Favorite Books: 

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

Favorite Movies: 

  • Wonder Woman
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Spiderman: Homecoming
  • Baby Driver
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Logan
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (I technically haven’t seen it yet but I know I’m going to love it)

Favorite TV Shows: 

  • Stranger Things: Season 2
  • Marvel’s The Defenders: Season 1
  • Gotham: Season 4
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1
  • Crisis on Earth X (Second Crossover between Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. I love all of these shows so I’m just listing the crossover)
  • Supernatural: Season 13
  • Lucifer: Season 3

Favorite Albums/Songs: 

  • “Zombies on Broadway,” Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (album)
  • Human by Rag n’ Bone Man (song)
  • “+” Ed Sheeran (album)
  • “After Laughter,” Paramore (album)
  • “One More Light,” Linkin Park (album)
  • New Rules by Dua Lipa (song)
  • “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” Halsey (album)
  • Wolves by Rise Against (song)
  • “Lust for Life,” Lana Del Rey (album)
  • “Evolve,” Imagine Dragons (album)
  • “Melodrama,” Lorde (album)
  • Darkside by Ty Dolla $ign, Future, Kiiara (song)
  • Drive You Mad by Amy Shark (song)
  • Find Me by Sigma feat. Birdie
  • Hold Me Tight or Don’t by Fall Out Boy (song)
  • World Gone Mad by Bastille (song)

Favorite Podcasts: 

  • Alice Isn’t Dead
  • Small Town Murder
  • The Hilarious World of Depression
  • Lore
  • Steal the Stars

Favorite Classes I Took This Semester: 

  • Colloquium: Roman Decadence
  • Literature for Young Adults
  • British Literature from 1800-1900
  • Cicero

Favorite Moments/Milestones: 

  • Turning 21
  • Getting my Driver’s License
  • Having my First Internship Interview
  • Going to Kent’s Potter Fest
  • Starting this Blog

That’s all I have for 2017. Let’s hope to making even more good memories in 2018.

The Anything but Books Tag

It’s no surprise that I’m doing yet another tag but I figured I do one that is not related in anyway to books so that you all can get to know me a bit more. I found this tag from Charlotte Annelise so check out her blogs. In the meanwhile, feel free to learn some things about me.

Name a Cartoon that You Love – I’ve actually become a fan of Rick and Morty recently. Normally, I’m not a huge cartoon person outside of Disney movies but this cartoon matches my sick sense of humor.

rick and morty

What is your Favorite Song right now? – I’m currently a fan of “Angel on Fire” by Halsey, “Too Good at Goodbyes” by Sam Smith, and “Heroin” by Lana Del Rey.

lana del rey

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading? – I’d probably be watching movies/tv shows/YouTube videos because I’m a bum like that.

tv

What’s something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by? – I don’t know but I guess you all might be surprised that I like cooking. I don’t do it often but I do own cookbooks that I’ve used.

cooking

What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing that you like to learn about? – I’m a bit of a conspiracy theory buff. Do I exactly believe what in those theories? No. Are they still fascinating to learn about? Yes, if you ask me. Also I just love learning weird facts so feel free to send me some good ones.

conspiracy

What’s something unusual that you know how to do? – I actually know a lot about camping stuff, like how to tie certain knots or properly cook food over a fire. I used to camp a lot when I was younger and was a Girl Scout for a time.

camping

Did you make something in the last year, and if so, can you show it? – I’m pretty darn inartistic. My mom, on the other hand, is super crafty so if I had a picture I would show you one of the Halloween wreaths that she made.

What is your most recent personal project? – I’ve had a novel and some short stories on the back burner for a while now but I’ve done anything with them in a while.

writing

Tell us something that you think about often? – What am I going to eat next?

pooh bear

Give us something that is your favorite but oddly specific – Hair-brushing ASMR, Songs with a Person’s Name in the Title, Jalepno Poppers that have Cream Cheese Filling, Vintage Ghost Photos, and Dark Blue Boot Cut Jeans

weird

Say the first thing that pops into your head – what the fuck is happening now?

thats me