Writing

My Favorite Writing Advice, from Authors You Know

Some of you may not know that today is, in fact, a very important day: It’s the start of National Novel Writing Month! Or NaNoWriMo to all of us “Wrimos” out here. I haven’t participated in years, but I used to religiously and this year I am going to take a crack at it again.

I have always loved to write. Ever since I was a kid, that was the dream job, the dream activity, the dream thing to be doing during class when I was supposed to be learning something else…you get it. Writing, as an art form, has always captured me, and this year I’d like to focus a little more on that magic again.

For any of you other writers out there, “Wrimos” or not, these tips are for you. x


Read, Before You Write

“Read, read, read. Read everything: trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentic and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ― William Faulkner, author of The Sound and the Fury.

“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” ― Stephen King, author of The Shining.

Listen to the Stories People Care About

“Whenever I’m asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you’re being told.” ― John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars.

Take a Map With You

“I don’t outline, because I don’t want to have to follow a plan. But I do need SOME sense of direction, so I use what I call my skeleton. It’s my first scene, climactic scene, last scene and first line. I don’t start until I have them in place. Often they will change over the course of a first draft, but it gets me there.” ― Sarah Dessen, author of The Truth About Forever.

Make Time for Your Writing

“Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.” ― Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth.

Just Write, No Tricks

“Let go of the idea that you can somehow outsmart a first draft. Because I have never met anybody who can.” ― Leigh Bardugo, author of Six of Crows.

“You can fix anything but a blank page.” ― Nora Roberts, author of more than 200 bestselling novels. (also, omfg wow.)

“Write fast, edit slow. Get your first draft out quickly. Don’t look back, don’t correct anything, just keep going. Even if it’s a terrible mess in the end, it’s done! And that’s the hardest part. You then have all the time in the world to make it better.” ― Lauren Gibaldi, author of The Night We Said Yes.

Write What’s True to You

“You know that old piece of advice: ‘Write what you know’? It doesn’t mean write about a young person who likes to write. It doesn’t mean write about your school, or your neighborhood, or your community. It means: write what you know is emotionally true. You can write about Mars. You can write about werewolves. You can write about medieval knights. You just have to understand the emotional truths of your story.” ― E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.

Don’t Write “Alone”

“I’m always pretending that I’m sitting across from somebody. I’m telling them a story, and I don’t want them to get up until it’s finished.” ― James Patterson, author of Along Came a Spider.

“Once my characters start talking, then I know that I really know who they are. My favorite way to see if dialogue is authentic is to read it out loud and act out the characters. Luckily I’m alone at my desk (most of the time). If I’m writing in a café, I have to be very subtle and sort of mutter to myself.” ― Carolyn Mackler, author of Infinite in Between.

Enjoy the Process

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ― Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Take Advice, but Trust Yourself

“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” ― Neil Gaiman, co-author of Good Omens.

Learn to Let go

“It’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it…You have to let people see what you wrote.” ― Tina Fey, author of Bossypants.

Ignore All of These Tips

“Be skeptical of writing tips. There is no one right way to write a book. No one has ever had your voice before or had your story to tell, so find what works for you. Put one word after another, one scene after another; meet your word count or ignore a word count all together. Let your characters spark off each other or make them ignite (perhaps by following an outline or just adding dragons?). Give yourself permission to suck, but keep writing. The worst book you ever write will be better than the best book you never write. There really is no other magic than this: write the book you want to exist, the book that burns you up inside and that no one but you can write. Write one word at a time until you get the end. Then revise the hell out of it.” ― Alex London, author of Proxy


Happy reading and writing, all!

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Let’s be Wrimo buddies!

Recommendations

My Top 13 Spooky Reads of The Year

I don’t know about you, but I love a good book that scares, thrills, excites, and riles me up! If I have to throw a book in the freezer when I’m done with it, I consider that a huge success. Needless to say, October and Halloween are my favorite time of the year.

I’ve read so many good books this year, SO many, and so many of them horror or thrillers. Below are only a few of my favorite creepy reads from the year. Hope you find something spooooooooky!

~ Happy Halloween! ~

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

I recommend this book a lot. I didn’t read it for the first time this year, but I did reread it and it held up just the same. A Head Full of Ghosts follows a family in crisis, their story akin to the Exorcism only this time we are watching through a documentary crew who is there to film the entire thing. Questions are raised: how much of this is real? All the way up to a shocking end, this adult psychological horror novel consistently keeps my attention. The end of this book…I thought about it for weeks after I finished. This one is not for the faint of heart.

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this YA horror novel from BookishFirst. I’d never read any other Marshall’s other work, but the premise caught me from chapter one. Rules for Vanishing is about Sara, who’s sister Becca disappeared one year ago following one of the town’s local legends: The Road. Once a year, a pathway opens to “The Road,” but once you step on you can’t step back off until you’ve completed the path. Sara and her friends find the road and embark on a dark and dangerous adventure, hoping to find Becca somewhere in the ambiguous mist on the other side. I was riveted by this adventure and wholly creeped out by some of its masterful twists and turns. Unlike some YA horror, Rules for Vanishing doesn’t shy away. Interspersed with interviews, video transcripts, and so much more, this book was modern, fresh, and thoroughly spooky.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

How could I make a list of spooky books from 2019 without mentioning Ninth House? A brand-new release from much beloved YA author Leigh Bardugo, Ninth House is her first foray into Adult fiction and this one is a doozy. Following Alex Stern, a young woman looking for her next opportunity in life, suddenly she is given one: a full ride to one of the most prestigious universities in the country. But what’s the catch? Featuring dark topics that would make any seasoned horror-buff squirm, Ninth House is sure to make an impression on you.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

The second YA entry on this list, City of Ghosts is a ghost adventure story with a hero twist. Cassidy, our main character, is very familiar with the world of the dead: her parents are “The Inspectors,” a two-person ghost-hunting team that travel the globe. When she and her parents relocate to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, life becomes rough for poor Cassidy. Not all the ghosts she sees are friendly, and there’s one here especially that does not belong in our world. As Cassidy comes to terms with her powers to see the dead and what she can do about it, she has to grapple with also trying to save our world in the meantime. This book is a fun, thoughtful little romp and I enjoyed it very much.

No Exit by Taylor Adams

Even though this was published at the very tail end of 2018, I only read this recently and I was hooked from the first page. This book is intense and I loved it. I can’t say it enough. No Exit follows Darby, racing a blizzard home in her beat up car so she can say goodbye to her dying mother. When she’s forced to stop at a rest stop and wait out the storm, she finds something she never could have expected: there’s a little girl in a cage in one of the other cars in the rest stop’s parking lot. Stranded without police on the other side of the mountain, Darby has to figure out who the kidnapper is, why they took this little girl, and what to do next now that she’s seen her. The story that follows is gritty, fast, action-packed, and does not slow down for a second. This is the thriller you’ve been looking for.

Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis

There are all kinds of niches in horror, and this one falls firmly in the Survivalist Thriller category. When Ashley and her friends go out to the State Park to camp, she doesn’t expect a night of drunken fun to end up breaking her heart. After catching her boyfriend with another girl, Ashley takes off into the night– and falls, down, down, down into darkness. When she wakes up the next morning she is lost, injured, and alone, with no idea which way she ran from camp. The next eleven days are a test of Ashley’s strength, fortitude and will to survive as she encounters every set back one might have to face in the wild. I read this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. Another win for YA horror this year. Or technically next year. Look for this one on shelves in March, 2020. (Looking for something similar in the meantime? Try I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall.)

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

If you like zombie books but are sick of the same old story, this is the book for you. I enjoy zombie stories, but sparingly. I’ve always been more interested in the human survival angle of apocalyptic stories than zombies as a supernatural creature, but sometimes they do go so well hand-in-hand. The Girl with All the Gifts is one of those instances. I’m not even sure how to describe this book without giving too much away, but this story follows a young girl named Melanie in a world that was once very much like our own. That was a long time ago, and now a pathogen has ravaged most of the planet into unsafe war zones or barricaded fortresses. Melanie lives in one of these fortresses, at least until its attacked and she and her teacher, Mrs. Caldwell, a doctor and two soldiers from the facility, are forced to flee. None of them are ready for what comes next, which ends up being a melancholy, poetic, almost beautiful examination of loss, change, and what it means for the human race to persevere. Don’t miss this one. (There’s a sequel now too!)

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

So full disclosure, I’m a big Riley Sager fan. (I’m already drooling to get my hands on the next one in 2020.) His other two books, pictured above, are also some of my favorite scary stories to pull out this time of year and- really any other time of year too. Lock Every Door is a classic locked room mystery with a haunting, gothic feel. The story follows Jules, recently single and absolutely broke, when she finds an add in the newspaper looking for an apartment sitter. When she inquires after the job, she gets it on the spot, along with a tremendously generous salary– that is if she promises to follow a set of very strict rules. Jules moves in and takes care to follow instructions, at least until some very strange things start to happen in the building. She starts to wonder, was this job too good to be true? Lock Every Door was one of the most fun books I’ve read this year, it is a blast to read, and so creepy. Please do yourself a favor and look this one up.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

This might be one of my favorite stories, and its definitely one of Atwood’s most underrated novels by far. Alias Grace follows Grace, a convicted murderess, as she speaks in a series of interviews conducted by a doctor: a new kind of doctor for this point in time called a psychologist. Equal parts a crime mystery and period piece, Alias Grace is ultimately about deciding what you believe. Is Grace guilty? Is she innocent? Did something else sinister happen when no one was watching? The beauty of this story is how much the reader must involve themselves, mentally and emotionally, to get to whatever answer they find. And, as a side note, Netflix made an absolutely amazing mini-series based on the book. Do yourself a favor and check them both out.

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

The Ghost Bride is such an underrated little gem that never gets enough buzz. I read this a few years ago and only recently reread it and was reminded how much I enjoyed it. The Ghost Bride is a horror novel and a love story, all at once. Li Lan, the daughter of a poor family in a small town that still clings to old customs, has few marriage prospects. All of a sudden, she is given a proposal by one of the wealthiest families in China: to become Ghost Wife to their only son, who died mysteriously just a few months earlier. Night after night, the lines begin to blur between reality and the dark otherworld of the dead where her husband lies, but during the day she is falling for the families’ new heir. Uncovering darker and darker family secrets the longer she stays, she realizes that she must save herself before she is lost to the darkness forever. Ghost Bride is meditative and compassionate, while still sending shivers down your spine. If you haven’t read this one, and a lot of people haven’t, add it to your TBR ASAP.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

I’ve talked about Baby Teeth so many times on this blog. I doubt I’ll stop any time soon. I even connected with the author, which floored and humbled me. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that constantly had be asking myself “what the hell am I reading and why can’t I stop?” Baby Teeth follows a normal family like any other, Suzette, Alex, and their 7-year-old daughter Hanna. Only things are not as “normal” at home as they seem from the outside. Told from alternating perspectives of mother and daughter, Baby Teeth blurs and examines the lines between real fears and imagined ones, between illness and intent, between love and hate. Baby Teeth is equal parts horrifying and empathetic and I had such a good time reading it. It is not a pretty story but I promise you it will keep you hooked until the very end.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

I can’t believe I’m including this one, since I’ve only read three chapters as of right now, but I can’t help it. It’s ~the~ most talked about new release in Horror right now AND I am personally already fascinated. I never would have guessed that, in 2019, I’d be reading a horror novel by the same man who wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a YA contemporary novel that I loved in middle school. It’s just wild. Needless to say, Chbosky’s been hiding this eerie talent of his for long enough and Imaginary Friend is looking to be one of the most notable books of the season. I’m sure enjoying it. At least when I read it with the lights on.

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Little Darlings is every mother’s nightmare. When Lauren first gives birth to her twin boys she is ecstatic, but that first night in the hospital something happens: she sees someone- some thing- come into her room and try to take her babies and replace them with…something. Everyone thinks she’s imagining it. Months later when she and the boys take a trip to the park they momentarily disappear…and when they are found again, something about them is different. Lauren begins to wonder: are these even her children? Determined to bring them home, she will do anything. But worst of all- what if she’s wrong? Little Darlings is a journey through the psychological stress of being a new mother and the spectre of supernatural malice over your shoulder. If this one doesn’t leave you creeped out and wondering, nothing will.


I hope you find something spooooooky that’s right up your alley!

Happy Halloween, friends! What’s your favorite spooky read??

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WWW

It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

The Return by Rachel Harrison

I really should have waited to pick this one up, since its release date isn’t for quite a while, but I couldn’t help myself. The premise was just so intriguing: Julie, the main character’s best friend, goes hiking and doesn’t return. For two years. Until she’s back again, with supposedly no memory of where she was. Um. What?? Yeah, I had to read this, and its perfect for the spooky season too. I’m moving through this book so quickly and I don’t want it to end, which all bodes so well. Look for a review of this one as the release date approaches.

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

First, let me just say, that I was so excited and proud and surprised when I was approved to read an ARC of this book through Netgalley. Wicked Saints, the first novel in this YA fantasy trilogy, was one of the most talked about YA novels of the last year and its sequel is highly anticipated as well. I liked Wicked Saints, though it wasn’t perfect, but the world that these books take place in is utterly fascinating to me. The mix of magic and religion is so intriguing, and I for one am really looking forward to seeing where this series takes us. I just started this one, so expect me to report back soon.

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

I’ve been reading mostly horror or thrillers this month (cause duh, it’s October) but at one point I needed to take a break and this ARC fell into my lap. Taking place in the same world as Fix Her Up, Tessa Bailey’s debut novel, this Adult Contemporary novel is so many things. It’s about romance, how it starts and how it can fall to the wayside when life becomes difficult. It’s about falling back in love with yourself and with a partner you have drifted from. It feels so fresh to read a book that starts with a married couple and works through them finding a new romance together, instead of most romances that tend to end with a wedding. I am loving this so far and I’ll report back soon.

What I’ve recently finished:

No Exit by Taylor Adams

Holy hell. I will definitely be writing a full review of this book because I just loved it that much. I started it one morning and then…the whole day disappeared. I did laundry, I worked, I lived my life that day, but every single second I could grab in between all the adulting, I was sticking my nose back into this story. What. A. Book. No Exit starts off fast and intense and never, ever, once, lets up. I was tense, I was anxious, I was so attached to the characters and immersed in this world that I didn’t even notice it got dark while I was reading. If you’re looking for an adult thriller to make your day disappear, this is the book for you. Just make sure you don’t have anything else important to do that day, because all you’ll want to do is read.

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

I also enjoyed this, but given I read it right after No Exit (which I just talked about how much I loved) it was a little bit of a letdown. Some of that is my comparison between the two, which is unfair, but some of it was earned by The Escape Room. Ultimately, I did enjoy this story. It was tense, mysterious, and something about it did keep pulling me back until I got to the end. I just needed to know what had happened to one of the characters. This book is told in alternating chapters of present day and the past and while I loved this format immensely, The Escape Room suffered from the unfortunate fact that- well, one of those storylines was just more interesting than the other. And I don’t think it was the one the author intended, given the title of the book refers to the present day timeline. Those chapters weren’t un-enjoyable, but I kept wanting to hurry through them just to get back to the much more intriguing story behind it all. If you like thrillers, I would still recommend this one. While it wasn’t perfect, I had a great time reading it and I felt satisfied at the end. Check it out.

What I think I’ll read next:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I have been hungering after this book for SO long that all I want to do is start it. It’s been a battle to really focus on the books I’m reading now (which I’m enjoying) and not just jump right into this one. Leigh Bardugo is an author I highly enjoy and this is her first Adult Fantasy novel. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, also written by Bardugo, are two of my favorite books in the world and I am so excited to read her debut into the world of Adult fiction. Looking forward to this immensely!

Imaginary Friend by Steven Chbosky

This is another spooky novel I’ve been trying to get my hands on all month. A total departure from his previous work (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is a YA contemporary) this work is pure Adult horror and I cannot wait to dive in. I’ve read the first chapter of this book through Amazon and I am already hooked. Hopefully it’ll be just as spooky, creepy, and scary as I want it to be.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, & Jonathan Snipes

Black mermaids!!! This has been one of the most anticipated books of the season, at least for me, but I also see it being talked about everywhere. Mermaids and other magical sea-creatures have been a big trend as of late but the diversity in these books has been seriously lacking. This book is the answer to that unmet need and I couldn’t be more excited to see what’s in store in The Deep.


What are YOU reading this week? Drop me a line in the comments! x — A

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WWW

It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Wow, this series. I read ACOTAR years ago and didn’t love it, but only finally picked this series back up after much coaxing and cajoling. I’m really enjoying it now. The second and (so far) third books have had so much more of all the things I wanted in the first, dark and complicated topics and emotions, old magic, and a wide and diverse cast of characters. I am definitely looking forward to getting some vengeance in this last installment of the trilogy.

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

I just started this but it sounds so good! This one has been all over the internet, snagging a spot in Reese Witherspoon’s book club as well as being one of the most talked about books in adult fiction right now. I’ve heard it compared to Big Little Lies and also that its a cathartic read for those of us watching the growth of the #MeToo movement today. I really like it so far and I can’t wait to finish. I’ll definitely be reviewing this title, so keep an eye out!

What I’ve recently finished:

Growing Things by Paul Tremblay

This was…very interesting. Growing Things is a collection of short horror stories and I found it very hit or miss, depending on the story. I’ve read and enjoyed both of Tremblay’s novels and this definitely had his signature style and grit. I’m not a big short story reader in general, but I found myself easily drawn into these little microcosms of scary stories. Every one was wildly different and my feelings about them were too, but overall I enjoyed this. If you’re a horror fan, check this out.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

So it begins! I’ll be doing a feature on this, I think, but I am officially starting my Grishaverse re-read! I’ve been trying to read King of Scars, the newest installment in this world, for months but haven’t been able to get it into my TBR, so I started toying with the idea of reading the whole series again to build up to it. I didn’t love or hate the Grisha trilogy the first time I read it, though I LOVED the Six of Crows duology, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to merge those two feelings and worlds this time around. This will also be my first time adding Language of Thorns into that lineup. Looking forward to it!

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

I’ve read this book so many times but it had been a while before this reread. I recommended this to a friend in my book club the other day and just talking about it made me feel the urge to read it again. Noah’s memoir is funny, touching, smart, observant, and feels like listening to a friend. I particularly love the audio of this book and I highly recommend it to anyone. This book is excellent.

What I think I’ll read next:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I’m really looking forward to starting this one, eeeeeveryone I know who’s read it has loved it. Does that mean my expectations are high? Oh, they are so high. But I’m hoping this lives up to the hype. I’ve been really digging YA fantasy lately so I’m optimistic!

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

This is one of my most anticipated novels, I’m so excited to read this. I won this ARC from BookishFirst and it looks so good. Lauded as “Westworld meets A Handmaid’s Tale,” I could not be more eager or excited to see what that looks like. This book looks feminist AF! And hopefully it’s an amazing story too. I’ll report back when I’m done!

What are you reading this week?? Leave a comment letting me know!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic asks us to list our “Top 10 Unique Character Names.”

Well, I chose more than 10, cause I LOVE NAMES!! I usually have a list of names I love from media, but I had to write this list while I was out of town, so these are just off the top of my head! Haha and yes, there are fourteen of them. Some of these are old favorites and some are new discoveries, but I love finding new and unique names within literature. Hope you have as much fun reading as I did making this list!

Arya & Sansa

A Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

Scout

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Hermione

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Mercy, Adam, & Bran

Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs

Niklas

Gemina, The Illuminae Files by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

Sekani

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Kaz, Jesper, & Inej

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Elias

An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

Theo (Theodora)

The Haunting of Hill House (Book & TV Series) by Shirley Jackson

Jamie, Marsali, Phaedre & Jem

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Rhysand (Rhys)

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas

Briar

The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce

What are some of your favorite literary names?? Tell me in the comments!

Book Tag

Mid-Year Freak Out!

For those of you who don’t know, which included me too until this week, there is a popular book tag out there that’s a bit of a tradition in the bookish community, The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! This year, I’m participating, and to be honest I cannot believe half the year is already over! So many books, so little time…

I stole my questions this year from The Literary Phoenix. I loved reading her post and love her blog! Check her out.

And check out these questions! Let’s goooooo:

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?

Ohh boy. This was a tough one. I chose three.

  1. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

Gemina & Obsidio by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover The Illuminae Files! WOW this series was amazing. It’s YA Sci-Fi, but I would honestly recommend it to anyone who likes Sci-Fi, or anyone who likes fast-paced novels that read like you’re actually in the book. I could rave about this series for a long time.

Is there a new release out that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited for?

Yes! Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff.

Haha on the note of my last answer, the same authors came out with a fourth book this year and I cannot wait to read it. It’s already been optioned for a movie and has stellar reviews. So excited.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

See last week’s Top 10 Tuesday! There are so many!

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare — I’m sorry! I wanted to like this so badly because the series is so beloved in the YA world. I might check out one of her other series or try the sequel, everyone swears it gets better, but I wanted to love this immediately! Sigh. It happens. I tried.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte.

I loved this!! I expected it to be relatively similar to a lot of other YA fantasies out right now, but Four Dead Queens surpassed my expectations. It was original, it was fun to read, it had like a hundred twists at the end and I didn’t see most of them coming, I was so pleased. Would definitely recommend. Look for a review of this title soon.

Who is your favorite new or “new” author?

Robin Benway, who is new to me, has blown me away this year. I read both of her books in the same month and blew through them both. Far From the Tree is one of my favorites of the year.

Who is your favorite fictional crush from this year?

I don’t really have one I feel crazy strong about, so I decided to answer a slightly different question: Who is your favorite fictional SHIP from this year?

And that, my friends, would be Wylan van Eck and Jesper Fahey from Crooked Kingdom. I squealed through that entire scene!! So cute.

Which book has made you cry?

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This book made me feel…pretty much every human emotion, haha. I loved it so so much and it was so tragic and beautiful. I recommend this book to anyone, all the time, with all my heart. Just have tissues nearby. And maybe your therapist on call.

A book that made you happy?

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I enjoyed her debut novel, Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda, but I LOVED Leah on the Offbeat. This book felt like parts of my teen years, the feel and the spirirt of it, and I loved Leah’s surly, insecure, whole-hearted self. She and Abby are one of my favorite couples of the year!!! OTP

Your favorite book to movie/tv adaptation that you’ve seen so far?

Can I choose anything other than Good Omens by Neil Gaiman??

I reread the book this year and since the adaptation came out this year I’m going to count it. This show might be the best adaptation I’ve ever seen, when it comes to accurately capturing the spirit of a wonderful book. I loved every bit of it! Can’t wait for more.

What is your favorite post that you’ve written this year?

I really enjoyed writing both the reviews for Baby Teeth and The Unhoneymooners! I also love Top Ten Tuesdays.

Show us the most beautiful book that you’ve bought this year!

I have spent a lot of energy and patience this year trying to buy fewer books and borrow more, so I don’t have a book for this! A lot of them have been gorgeous but then I return them to the library and they go brighten someone else’s day for a while.

What are six books that you want to read by the end of the year?

There are WAY more than six, but here are a few.

  1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  4. Snow Falling by Jane G. Villanueva (haha any more Jane the Virgin fans out there?? I have to read this)
  5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  6. Educated by Tara Westover

Whew, that was in depth! That’s it for this year, and what a seriously fun year its been. And it’s been a month here at Story-eyed! I’m a little overwhelmed with how much I have to read right now, but more than anything I am so grateful for all of it.

Tag, you’re it next, @Jenniefromthebook! Have fun! ❤

Did you freak out this year? Send me your mid-year posts in the comments!

WWW

Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

I am almost finished with this one and I have enjoyed it SO much! The way this story is told is brilliant. This YA fantasy follows a world where each of the four countries on this continent is run by a queen…until all four of them are killed. The chaos, mystery, intrigue, and creativity in this book abounds. I love the way the author plays with technology and the use of timelines. I really could go on and on about this book right now. Definitely a fan.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Unlike Four Dead Queens, I only just started this one! This is one of the Books of the Month in my book club so I am trying to get it done before July! So far, I’m really liking it. This is my first foray into Schwab’s work but I know how beloved she is, so I’m excited. I’m ready for the rest of this spooky story!

What I’ve recently finished:

Roomies by Christina Lauren

I’ve been on such a Christina Lauren kick lately. This is book three in my unofficial marathon and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s probably my least favorite of the three I’ve read (this, Autoboyography, and The Unhoneymooners) but maybe only because I LOVED the other two more than I can describe. This was still so much fun! Definitely recommend for anyone who likes romance and contemporary.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I’d been reading a lot of romance and fantasy lately, I needed a good thriller. Whew! This was fun AND it was my first Karin Slaughter novel, an author who’s been recommended to me hundreds of times by people I know. I enjoyed it a lot! Pretty Girls was chilling, well-paced, and fascinating. I’ll definitely be looking into more of Slaughter’s work.

What I think I’ll read next:

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been waiting to read this all month! I’m so excited haha. I couldn’t fit this one into my bingo/challenge/review schedule for June and I kept giving it the eye as it sat neglected on my bookshelf. It’s finally time! Muaahahaha

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

This is an ARC I received from Netgalley and I’m also participating in the blog tour for this title, which is great! Because I wanted to read it so badly! This was on my list of intriguing new releases, so I’m grateful and excited that I get to read this one early! Keep an eye out for my review and a GIVEAWAY of this title next month!

What are you reading? Tell me in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic asks us to list the “Books On My Summer 2019 TBR.”

I have got a LOT of books that I want to read this summer, but below I’ve listed mostly books that I’m on schedule to read for Netgalley or various book exchanges or challenges I’m participating in, except for a few that are just for fun! There are so many exciting books coming down the line, I won’t have time to list or read them all. Here goes!

  1. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  2. Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer
  3. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  4. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
  5. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
  6. Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
  7. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  8. The King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Reverie by Ryan La Sala
  10. Ill Wind by Nevada Barr

And here are just a few of the other books that I hope I get to read this summer! Too many books, never enough time. SIGH.

What are you reading this summer??

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I am so excited to participate in Top 10 Tuesday for the first time! I love books and making lists, so this ought to be fun.

This week’s topic is “Top 10 Books From My Favorite Genre.”

I wanted to pick so many different genres that I love, but ultimately I chose Fantasy. I’ve been reading Fantasy since I was a kid and it’s probably what I listen to and seek out most consistently. There’s something about faraway worlds and astounding powers and magical adventures that has always called to me.

For starters, I could not choose favorite books within most of these series, so I just put the series on the list. Some of these are listed because I’ve read them recently and they were amazing and some are old childhood favorites, full of sentimental love. All of them have made me laugh, cry, and want to throw things. I’d recommend any single one of them.

So here are ten of my favorites, in no particular order:

Tell me your favorites! If you had to pick a genre, which would be your top choice?