Just wanted to let everyone know that I won't be updating my blog because I'm headed on vacation to Costa Rica for two weeks.
I'll be back December 31st, but probably won't post anything until Jan 1st.
Talk to you guys then!
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Hi! So 2014 is coming to an end. I honestly don’t know where the year went. It’s already December! My semester is technically over. I mean I still have finals to get through, so this blog post is going to be pretty short and sweet. I’m going to make a point not to mention anything that spoils the books so don’t worry! (All the links are to the Goodreads pages btw.)
1. In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
This shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that this is number one. I really love this series and the author. I made a post about it here. It was honestly the best ending to a trilogy I’ve read in a while. Seriously, go read this book! You won’t regret it, I swear!
2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I love Rainbow Rowell’s books. I know Eleanor and Park is more popular than this one, but I think Fangirl deserves a little more love. It had be squealing in my bed as I read it. I definitely recommend it to anyone in college because Ms. Rowell has a knack for capturing the college life (eating granola bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—definitely did that my first year of college).
3. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
This is the third book and ending to The Grisha series. I’m really glad I finally read the second and third book to this series. Ms. Bardugo’s worldbuilding is amazing. I'm sad this series if over, but I am so excited for another series set in the Grisha world called Six of Crows!
4. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
This is the fifth book in the Bloodlines series (which is companion series to Vampire Academy series). Let’s just say that I read both series in the span of a month this year. My only regret is that I didn’t know about these books sooner! I can't wait to read the last book to the Bloodlines series, The Ruby Circle.
5. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
This is the second book in the Cinder series and while I loved Cinder. I loved Scarlet even more. If you haven’t heard about these books, but like fairytale retellings with a sci-fi twist, I would definitely pick them up over the holidays!
Bonus: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
This book doesn’t make my top five, but I had to have it on here because…well just because! It’s the prequel to the Throne of Glass series. It gave me great insight into the main character, Celaena. Ms. Maas' novels just get better and better. Also how amazing is this cover?
Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite books you read in 2014? I would love book recommendations for 2015! Comment below!
Monday, December 8, 2014
Whenever the post title has BR, it’s going to stand for a book recommendation/review. So if you see BR and know it’s not your thing, you can just close the window if you want, no hard feelings!
Now that’s out of the way….Where do I even start explaining how much I love this series?
The Darkest Minds (1) Never Fade (2) In The Afterlight (3) is a series written by one of my favorite authors Alexandra Bracken. It’s a dystopian trilogy where the majority of children in the US have IAAN (Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration). There’s only two outcomes when the children have IAAN: they either die or obtain Psi abilities classified into the groups Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue (why does it feel like I’m in microbiology class? Though the alternative to death was never as cool as developing mind powers or anything.). The kids that survive IAAN are considered to be a danger and under the guise of rehabilitation, they are taken to camps where they endure mistreatment, etc. The main character is Ruby Daly and the series is all about what trouble she runs into as she lives her life as a Psi.
Now onto why I recommend reading this series. This is only a small list because honestly I can talk about these books for days.
1. The Darkest Minds series is the reason I love dystopias. It was written so well. It’s the exact reason I still buy or check out every YA dystopia even though the market is saturated with them. When they’re done well, they just make me squeal. If you have any interest in dystopias, but find yourself a little tired of the typical ones, pick this book up!
2. The characters. Ruby, Chubs, Liam, Zu, and many others…I adore them so much. From the first time the main four characters were introduced, they were written so well. Realistic, complex, three-dimensional—Ms. Bracken has a skill in creating distinct characters and it really pulls you into the story.
3. Who doesn’t want to read about kids with awesome powers: pyrokinesis, mind control, electrokinesis (I’m not sure if this is actually a word, but basically the ability to control electricity), enhanced intelligence, and telekinesis.
4. It’s a finished series now, so you don’t have to suffer like I did waiting a year for each book to be published. Go out and buy all three. I’m warning you now. It’s in your best interest that you just buy all three so you don’t even have to suffer the car ride to your local Barnes and Noble or local indie store to get the next book.
5. I really admire Alexandra Bracken (if you haven’t noticed). I love the way she writes and I love that she does her research (regarding IAAN especially in the 3rd book—biochemist/pre-med in me really appreciates that she didn’t just leave the science out of the series). Most of all, she really cares about her fans. She’s active on Tumblr and Twitter—I mean she retweeted me and answered a question on Tumblr. It’s the first time I reached out to connect with the author of a series I loved and Ms. Bracken exceeded my expectations. If I can just have a fraction of her writing ability, I would be satisfied with my writing (well not really, but I would be happier :D)
6. Bonus: The book titles make a sentence! The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight. How awesome is that?
Seriously, I really recommend that you read this series. You will not regret it. Let’s just put it this way, I will be buying anything Ms. Bracken writes until there’s nothing left.
Have any of you read this series? Or are you now interested in reading it after this blogpost? Comment below! I would love to fangirl about The Darkest Minds.
Friday, December 5, 2014
No one has ever said I should be a writer. I’ve heard doctor (friendly classmates that really shouldn’t get to have an opinion), pharmacist (parents who want an easy life for me), secretary (people who don’t know anything about me other than the fact that I’m meticulous), etc.
But never once has writer or author come out of someone’s mouth. I mean it’s only two syllables. My parents can even say it without being misheard because of their accent. It’s really just a simple word. It’s not even the fact that I don’t talk about with my friends and family. I think the only thing I’ve talked about this semester is my writing (and how much my classes are kicking my butt).
They know how much I love it. They know how happy I am thinking about anything pertaining to writing. They know it all. But not once have then said “you should be a writer”. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve definitely told me that I should be happy, that I should choose a career that’s going to please myself, and that they would be okay if I chose something else other than being a pharmacist and a doctor.
They’re supporting the idea that I should be happy. They’re supporting the idea that I have the freedom to choose my own career. They’re supporting the idea that I can change my mind despite being a semester away from graduating. But those are just empty words.
They’re doing the “right and responsible and loving” parent thing where they support their child. I love them for putting up with all my indecisiveness and uncertainty. But honestly I probably won’t ever forget the fact that they’ve never once said “you should be a writer”.
Writing is a hobby. Maybe you’ll become a famous fantasy writer when you pursue writing, but you still need a job. We can’t keep supporting you forever, so you have to do something. Honestly, all I can hear is—you can’t do it as a career, so why waste your time.
Those words are hard to ignore. They hurt because it took me nearly a year and a half just to tell them I love writing enough for it not to be a simple hobby. It was a stab from a knife and frankly, I saw the knife coming. You have to see it coming when your parents are the ones telling you that you can do anything you want to. The worst twist of the knife came from the fact that my mom just completely ignored what I wanted and asked me why I needed a year off from school if I wasn’t going to medical school.
Mind you, this is after the time period for applications for medical and pharmacy school to go out. And it was after part of me started to believe they would be okay with me getting lower grades as long as I was happy. And it was after I spent hours and hours and hours (time I could have and should have been studying) looking up things about writing, revising, publishing, agents, queries, and everything else you could think about in this long path to become a published author.
I know it’s going to be hard work. I know things aren’t going to work out the way I want them to. I know I’m probably just going to end up in the slush pile of agents and hopefully eventually editors.
Despite this, I’m still hoping that I’ll have just a bit of luck. I’m hoping that maybe things will work out the way I want them to. I hoping that someone’s reading and understanding that we as humans deserve to pursue what we want, what we’re passionate about.
If that puts us at the bottom on a well, that’s where it puts us. Frankly, I know I can get out of the well. I know I can climb (well not really, I really can’t climb a tree or anything really, you would laugh at my attempt) out of it because I’ve never wanted something so much.
I never wanted something so much that I’m crying every night thinking about the way my life could end up if I just ignore everyone and pursue this. I never wanted something so much that I can’t focus in class (albeit one of my classes are really really boring this semester). I’ve never wanted anything so much that it hurts to think about it, about how I don’t have it, but then get excited because I still get to go through the process, the journey, the path to get there.
But despite this fact, no one around me seems to see how much deep I’ve fallen. All they can say is that they “love me and support whatever decision I make”.
No. Tell me something substantial. Tell me something that’ll make me want to hug you. I need the conformation.
Hell, tell me something that’ll make me want to slap you. I would settle with someone saying “No, you shouldn’t be a writer” because then at least I can ignore the “No and n’t”.
What do you guys think? Isn’t it just nice to have a conformation sometimes? Comment below!
Monday, December 1, 2014
Hi! Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I was just really, really lazy over Thanksgiving break. Like really lazy. I didn’t get anything done…other than finish my 50k for NaNo!!! You got it right, you’re talking to a NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner (er…technically reading, but you get the point). I finished NaNo with 50,099 words for my GUARDIANS story at exactly 6:16 PM on November 30th, 2014. GUARDIANS isn’t completely done, and I expect it to be about 80k words, which rather short so I’ll definitely have to add a subplot or flesh out a rushed one or two. I’m excited to wrap it up though soon and hopefully start revising some of my other stories.
Now onto the real topic of this post. Thanksgiving. Isn't the turkey cute?
I’m not a big fan of major holidays—I just don’t like making a big deal about things really. I’m always more reserved about how I feel about things, but no matter how quiet I am, I would like to state that I love Thanksgiving. It’s not because of the delicious turkey, yams, and other savory foods. It’s not about going to Barnes and Noble after reading a Tumblr Post about how they have signed copies of books on Black Friday (yes I love books that much). It’s not even about getting time off from school—a much needed break.
I love Thanksgiving because it forces me to remember how thankful and grateful I should be. I love Thanksgiving because I get to lay around with my family (though not on the actual Thanksgiving day).
It more or less gives me an excuse to say two simple words: Thank you
Mom and Dad, thank you, for always supporting me. Thank you for putting up with my crazy and foolish ambitions. Thank you for telling me it’s okay to chase my dream. Thank you for loving me despite all of my mistakes. Thank you for everything…I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you (quite literally, I mean, they did give birth to me and all).
D (my younger brother), thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for putting up with all the times I infuriate you to the point where you can’t say another word. Thank you for listening to all my fears and worries no matter how small they are. Thank you for giving me the kick I need sometimes. Thank you for being my best friend even though you would probably deny it. Most of all thank you for NOT being funny, it makes me smile.
R (my younger sister), thank you for being my first and sweetest reader. Thank you for being the best younger sister who still gets me a cup of water when I am literally closer to the sink than you are. Thank you for being so passionate about your art because it inspired me to be as passionate about my writing. Thank you for being who you are—because it teaches me a lot about life. Thank you for being the opposites of me—kind, friendly, nonjudgmental…the list can go on and on.
Friends (I don’t have very many, so I hope you know who I’m talking about to all of my friends reading this), thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for being willing to “hang out” with me when what I actually meant is sit across from each other in silence and study. Thank you for listening to all my worries and showing me that I’m not alone in my fears and concerns. Thank you for always responding to my texts and actually saying that you missed me when we haven’t seen each other in a couple of days. Thank you for being my closest friends in a long while.
This is just a small list of who I’m really grateful for in my life and honestly I could continue writing about what I’m thankful for, but I don’t really think you want to read about it, so I’ll stop here. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and I hope we can remember to be grateful for all the great things in our lives year round.
I’m curious, what are you thankful for?