What I’ve Learned By Taking Time For Myself

I think one of my biggest problems was always not valuing myself. I always equated that with selfishness and equated selfishness with being ‘bad’. At home, this created a situation where I was either fully immersed in my own world and berating myself for it or the days after that happened where I put my everything into trying to be better and doing everything I could to ask my family for forgiveness because of what I would say when I was sad, angry, and frustrated with the things life gave us.

It got to the point where I had this all or nothing mindset.. I either was perfect that day or I wasn’t. I either did exactly as I should or I didn’t. I either fought against my thoughts or let them consume me. I didn’t know what balance was. All my life in front of others it was always easy to present myself as a person that had nothing wrong with her. When I look at my yearbook and the things others have said about me it touched my heart, because it showed that at least in public I was the person I wanted to be. That people could tell I tried. That I cared. Even when I thought I wasn’t much noticed at all.

If it always easy to show that other side of me in public why was it that I have always been so reclusive at home? What is it about being in my own mind that made it think that I was doomed to be a person that I hated? An angry person. A jaded person. Someone that could barely stand to look in the mirror.

When I am at work or when I go out and speak to anyone.. I always think to myself that if I could I would be kind. Everyone has something going on beneath the surface and we all deal with it differently. If I could make someone smile or lift some small burden or make them feel good for a moment I would always make sure to do that. Yet.. even if I knew that meant that I wanted to be someone good I couldn’t stop thinking that I wasn’t, but I think I realize now that it’s not something I could or can control, but that it is a lie. You’re own thoughts can lie to you. They can tell you you’re ugly. They can tell you you’re dumb. They can tell you that you lack worth. They can tell you that who you are at a basic level is wrong. Those are all lies. When we believe the lie that we are terrible and unworthy we do things to prove that those things are true till we believe them.

I see that when my sister (the most well dressed person I’ve ever known) looks in the mirror and changes outfit after outfit thinking that she doesn’t look good when she always looks beautiful. It makes me upset. Why do we lie to ourselves? What causes that? How is it that there have been countless times that I had convinced myself that I didn’t belong in my own family when I know that they love me?

It makes me upset because even as I am starting to come out of the lies I’ve told myself.. I want to scream at the girl that wrote the most desperate heartbreaking poetry that it would be okay. That she was going to be okay. That she could handle what was coming and that she wasn’t awful. I want to hug her. To tell her that her sister loves her. That her mom accepts her for who she is. That even as her dad seems like a whole different person that she would always be his little girl.

I always wanted to prove that I wasn’t my birth mother who couldn’t raise me and gave me to my grandmother whom took the little girl I once was and all the love I wanted to give her and crushed it.. crushed it by saying I wasn’t enough, that I didn’t matter, that the person I was raised to be was too much like the family that she sent me to live with and not enough like her, that gave me conditions to her love, that thought that the only way to get what you wanted in this life was by playing dirty. Everything in me that was like her I hated. How sometimes I held a pen between my index and middle finger when I signed my name, or how I would sometimes stand with one of my feet pressed on the inside of my leg, or the competitiveness in me that at times went too far, or that I had to have an explanation for everything.. had to analyze everything, I even came to hate my own smile the way my lips were thin like hers, or that the shapes of our faces were undeniably similar. To feel that way constantly.. it’s no wonder I turned to YouTube and movies and tv shows to drown out the sound of my own thoughts.

These past few days.. these past few months of just trying to be kinder to myself. Of trying to find happiness in my struggles. Of actually being happy. I can see the lies. I am not my grandmother. I will never be like her. Being this happy. I’ve been able to let myself take care of me. I’ve found value in myself. It reminded me that there are things on this blog I’d like to do. Things like actually reading the Bible and sharing what I actually think about each chapter. Things like returning to Beyond the Surface and doing posts on books that discuss mental health and what it feels like to live with the weight of it. Things like poetry. Or talking about music and shows that I’ve watched. Being as spontaneous with my blog as I once was when I first began.

I want to say that I feel like a different person, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I am the same as I always was. My mom always told me that I was too honest. That I trusted people too easily. That I wasn’t careful. Maybe, I have always been honest with others, because all I ever did was lie to myself. “Always be the change you want to see in the world.” I took that to heart. I’ve always wished that people could be more honest and open with each other, more understanding. I do that in public, but the irony was that I didn’t keep that truth for myself. I think that so much of my life I did whatever I could to make myself believe my own lies. I gave into them, but not completely. I was my own worst enemy.

I knew that the day everything fell threw and the relationship with my grandmother ended.. I had already forgiven her, but I hadn’t forgiven myself. In the things in me that were like her I couldn’t forgive myself. But I think now. I think now I have or at least I’ve started to. My grandmother let the things that happened to her turn her into someone that carried her anger like armor, shield, and weapon. I could not touch her, but I can choose to be a different sort of person. Who set anger aside and picked up compassion instead. Someone who could choose love for herself and for others, for the family that raised her. I can choose to be happy. To let myself feel that I deserve it. To watch shows that make me laugh, to learn from video games that tell stories (like Detroit become human), to be present with my family and joke with them, to take time to enjoy every moment.

Living life in anger and hatred and self-depreciation isn’t living.. it’s a life trying to imitate the motions. I want to share who I really am and live in every single moment. I want to love. That’s what these beautiful few days have taught me. To take every good thing as an opportunity for happiness and joy and every bad as a opportunity to respond with kindness.

We all need to value ourselves. To value the heart that never stops beating. The lungs that bring us air. To value our passions and dreams. Our desires for a better world. To remind ourselves that sometimes we are the ones that lie the best to ourselves. That sometimes we need to step back and let ourselves enjoy being alive.

I never expected for this to happen. To feel like the part of me I carried that was damaged and broken would start to heal itself. That it was starting to heal itself not just these past few days, but slowly over these past few months, but accelerated by the past few days.

I want to thank all of you. Every single one of you that likes one of my posts, reads it, comments on it. This community has given me the world. I would have never felt like this without all of you. I would have never felt so much like the real me. You are all so beautiful. The lights of friendship that I will always hold dear.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts as always.

-Till next time!

Getting Back Into Routine

To many of you, this post might seem a bit odd. I’ve been pretty active with blogging recently and I’ve fallen back in love with the process of it and in general have spoken about my overall productivity being pretty good recently.

A few days ago, I wrote about Saying Goodbye to my Current WIP with the full intention of diving straight into my next project, but on day one I only ended up writing about 600 words (which isn’t bad) and I ended up shaving off part of my fingernail on accident and I took all of that as a sign to take a mini break. Plus, in general I wanted to celebrate a lot of amazing things that have been happening in my life recently. Including the biggest reason I wanted to celebrate being finding the most amazing person ever. (Actually this was more brought on by my happiness with them then..you know…finishing a draft) I’m going to pretend I just needed a break.

So I decided to give myself a few days of just doing as much as I’ve wanted and letting myself watch some movies I’ve wanted to see and generally not being upset if I don’t end the day with everything I usually would have done..done. This means that I’ve posted on here every day and written poetry and read, but just didn’t force myself to complete every little task I would normally take care of.

It’s been a time of such pure happiness. Even when I’m at work I’m not fazed by anything that might normally bring down my mood. I’ve laughed and enjoyed time with my family in a way that hasn’t really happened since I was a kid. I didn’t think that happiness could fuel others happiness like that. In the face of these past few months I feel like I’m a different person.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep this minimal schedule for a few more days and to start working on writing my new draft then. After that it’s back to my stricter schedule, but hopefully there will still be time left open for general enjoyment. I’m just going to take everything in and let my creative well fill up.

I’ve decided that my new horror WIP draft is going to be a 90 day rough draft due December 7th.. 10 days before my birthday. That way I can do something like this with a little extra stuff to think about celebrating. It’s going to be a ton of fun!

Sometimes a lack of productivity isn’t failure. Sometimes it’s an act of self care. Sometimes it is the need to celebrate life and what beauty the world has given you. Especially in light of darker times. I want to bask in this feeling I have right now. I know that the feeling is going to stay for a long time, but I really want to revel in it. We all deserve that at one time or another.

If any of you are interested in what my schedule is actually like and the tasks that I commit to doing let me know!

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear all of your thoughts. Do you ever feel the need to have a week or a few days to let yourself do as you please? What are some things you do for self care?

Check out my Twitter and Instagram!

-Till next time!

Advice for Newbie Bloggers

I was thinking a lot these past few weeks about what it was like when I first started blogging. What I wish I knew. What my hopes were. How blogging became a gift that has brought me the greatest joy that I’ve ever had. At almost two years of blogging I am no longer a newbie. Yet, it feels like I only blinked a little before getting to this point.

To every person that wishes to be a part of this community, here is what I want you to know:

Your entering a place of magic. Blogging is amazing because you connect with others simply by writing about the things you love. You build friendships here. You create a corner of the internet for yourself that is full of amazing and beautiful people that will support you through everything.

To never forget to add tags on your posts. On your way to building your own personal community you have to make sure others can find you. Before publishing each new post the tags you add in the settings of your drafted post are the gates that allow others into your world. Use them!

Sometimes things get lost. Blogging isn’t always rainbows.. sometimes there are storms too. WordPress specifically can be frustrating at times. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Timing when publishing a saved draft. Most of my posts are published immediately after I write them. I do this because I find that the scheduling mechanic and the save mechanic to often be finicky. One of the issues I ran into a lot was writing a post, saving it, and coming back to it, finishing it, and having it publish, but instead of it publishing immediately.. it sets the time published for a day or two earlier… which means it won’t go into the reader’s feeds the way they should. You can fix this by fixing the publish time in the post’s settings. (In particular this has made me want to pull out my hairs).

Images are important! You don’t have to have a fancy looking blog to have it be successful, but having some simple imagery of some sort in your posts help keep people engaged and it breaks up the text nicely. Especially as a book blogger always try to share images of the book your talking about after the title. It’s pleasing to the eyes and it gives others a reference to remember the book and what you said about it should they see it online or in a store.

Engaging with other bloggers is imperative! Comment, like, and converse with others in the community! It is the best part! This is where the magic truly happens. The people in this community are all really welcoming! You don’t ever have to worry about anyone here thinking your annoying or anything else with you commenting. Bloggers live for the comments on their posts!! So don’t be afraid and engage!

Most importantly, be you! Don’t write what you think is popular or what is going to get you more ‘likes’ or ‘views’. Write what you believe in! Don’t be afraid to mix it up with different posts. People will flock to you just by you speaking your truth. Don’t feel like you have to present a persona on here. People will accept and enjoy your content just as it is.

All in all! If you’re a newbie blogger welcome!! This is the start of one of the most wonderful Journey’s in your life! Enjoy it!! Also, if your reading this and your new introduce yourself in the comments and I will give you a follow. Supporting you guys is so important. I can’t wait to watch as you all grow!

Thanks for reading! Leave me your thoughts down in the comments below.

Check out my Twitter and Instagram!

-Till next time!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Let’s Get Sappy!

Sometime in 2014 this book was first published and shortly after there was a me walking in a Kmart pushing my mom to let me go to the book section as always. That me picked up this book and swooned I had to have it. So I begged my mom and she let me buy it. I read it within the following four days.

I was either a freshman or sophomore in high school when I picked this up. The story made me feel warm and fluffy feelings and put a smile on my face. I adored it. I asked my mom to buy the next book later on when that was published, but alas that never happened. Nevertheless, Lara Jean stayed a star in my heart.

Watching the movie the day after it premiered was like stepping into a world of nostalgia. Hearing lines from the book on screen brought back happy and beautiful memories and I couldn’t be more happy for it.

This post is about the movie. How it reminded me that deep inside there is this girl inside me that just wants that whirlwind romance. A reminder that it is ok to want that for myself. Especially when love hadn’t seemed like something that could happen for me right now.. when my life is less then ideal in its chaos.

I’ve never been in a relationship. I’ve had crushes aplenty and maybe at some point I had gotten close enough to touch it, but as is said no cigar. (That saying really doesn’t fit in this fluffy post, but ohh well!!)

What I do know is watching Lara write those letters reminded me of every boy I ever liked and how sometimes I would write my own.. no address included and no longer existing letters, but I wrote them. It feels really embarrassing to even admit it. I think it’s why I connected with her so much. I had people I liked that would never like me back and that’s ok, but it didn’t stop the feelings. It didn’t stop the wonderings and dreams of what could have been.

Her fantasy coming to life as her letters are sent out allowed me to imagine my own coming to pass. So if it takes my story longer.. that’s ok. I’m willing to wait for a love that is right, true, and intensely beautiful. Until then, I just keep on living, pursuing my passions and my dreams.

Jenny Han wrote a story that spoke to me. The other part about seeing representation in the books and on screen is amazing and it’s just another thing to love about it. There are some critiques that could be said about how they handled some of the rep and things they changed, but truly that’s not what this post is about.

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” made me hopeful for romance in the future. It reminded me that I should never feel guilty for hoping for it.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the movie?

Check out my Instagram and Twitter!

-Till next time!

Let’s Talk: #Bookishwish

The twitter sensation that brought out some of the biggest shows of love and generosity from the bookish community has given me so much hope. Ever since it’s inception I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of love and support and it means a lot after all the financial, mental, and family struggles I’ve been dealing with for such a long time.

I put off creating this post for a while, because I wanted to make sure I could talk about this the way I wanted to and because I couldn’t quite believe the disparity between how I was feeling at work and the worry at home with my mom and dad’s health declining. It’s like now more then ever there have been people cheering me on many who never spoke to me before now and who have given me some slices of joy to hold in the middle of my stagnant situation.

For those of you who haven’t heard Bookish Wish is a hashtag where you can share your book wishlist and have your wishes granted. As for my own I had created a list of diverse books featuring various backgrounds, mental health reps, and sexualities. I figured, if I’m going to get some books they needed to be books that were supportive of the many different human beings out there, because if I could read those titles I could scream and shout my love for them on my blog and that felt right.

This is a post to thank all the bookish fairies who have graced me with some amazing titles. I have only received in the mail a few so far, but I want to share this so you all can give these people the love they deserve.

The books I’ve received in the mail:

This copy of a Frozen Heart from Alexa @pageoflovealexa

I saw a #bookishwish post from Alexa with a photo of some books she wanted to give out that was first come first serve so I asked for A Frozen Heart, because I loved frozen when I first saw it and I couldn’t help myself!

This copy of Starfish:

And this copy of Six of Crows from Soph @lif3sophi4

Soph is an amazing human being and I managed to win her bookish wish giveaway. When speaking to her she was such a sweetheart and she suprised me with SOC when she only told me she was sending Starfish (The Book I wanted to own since I read it because I am so in love with it!!!). I am so grateful to her.

Books I have not received:

They Both Die at the End & American Street from Allana @allanamanana

Talking and becoming friends with Allana has been awesome! She is super sweet and loves book with all her heart! Send love to her booktube! The Awkward Book Nerd

When the Moon was Ours from Mikee @RWMTrade

My obsession with magical realism has escalated and I need all the magical realism in my life! Mikee is an amazing Bookish Fairy who has done her fair share of wish granting so I hope everyone goes and showers her with love!

A unknown novel from The Bookish Fairy @tbookishfairy

She is granting one of my wishes to send out in October… I have no idea which one, but whichever one it is I know I will love it!!! I can’t wait!!! Also her name is literally The bookish fairy! How cool is that! She is a lovely human!

The Extra Special Cases:

Signed copy of In Sight of Stars + ???? From Gae Polishner @gaepol

So this was not for bookish wish, but this happened a few days after I first posted my wish list and I wrote an e-arc review for Gae’s In Sight of Stars. I cannot say enough how much her generosity means to me. Not only did I interview her… not only did she offer to let me Giveaway her book, but she also offered to send me a copy of this one… speaking with her has been so amazing and I had already loved her from the beautiful book she wrote, but I loved her more after seeing what a genuinely beautiful person she was. This has to be one of the best things to come from this blog. What a gorgeous and heartwarming surprise.

If you want to enter the giveaway here is the link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92adb0f42/

E-book copy of The Darkest Part of the Forest from Andrew @Groovy Glasses

Ok so.. *calms heart*. Andrew is one of the most incredible human beings I have had the pleasure of getting to know. He first approached me on my 2,500k follower celebration. He blew me away when he offered to send me this ebook as a thank you for inspiring him to start his own blog. This was not a bookish wish gifting, but I could not create this post without mentioning him. I can’t fully describe how genuine and awesome he is. Every single time we talk there is just one more thing to love about him. The fact that the post where I mentioned that I hadn’t gotten to read Holly Black was decently far away from my 2.5k celebration post was not lost on me. I can’t say enough how grateful I am to him. All of you reading this need to sprinkle his new blog with all the love!!!! https://groovyglasses.wordpress.com

So now…

The people I have mentioned here have all been a part of a time in my life where chaos is everyday. Because of them, I have some beautiful pieces of joy to hold on to.

In essence this is what Bookish wish is all about. Community coming together sharing without asking anything for it. The kindness this has sparked especially for those who don’t have as much access to books because they live internationally is incredible. Hashtags like #bookishwishPH have given others the opportunity to read books that may be banned or unavailable. It’s an incredibly beautiful thing. I know that a website is being worked on for the tag and that bookworms everywhere are doing their best to give.

I felt extremely guilty at first when I wanted to enter. Yet it was unfounded guilt. I knew that I could not and still can’t afford to give or even buy books for myself, but I pledge that when I can I will return all this generosity ten-fold. I want to be the reason for someone’s happiness as much as all the people above have been reasons for my own. I have been feeling more positive then ever by being filled with the love and support from this community. If I could do that for others… that would mean the world.

I encourage everyone to give the tag a try on twitter. You never know what might come from it.

If you wish to support me and this blog I leave my Amazon wishlist here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3DL770B1I3VFV

I promise that every book I receive will be read and loved and shared everywhere I can.

If you have any wishes leave them below and maybe someone reading may grant your wish as well. Also, if your looking to grant wishes make sure to check out #bookishwish on twitter! There are so many people dreaming of owning some amazing books!

Thanks for reading! My heart is so full after writing this. I will forever be grateful.

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my twitter and Instagram!

-Till next time!

The Evolution of (My) Twitter

When I first started blogging I was 17 almost 18 and I had no social media except for a bookstagram that I rarely posted on. Shortly after I created this blog I decided that I should also create a twitter for it because it sounded like fun (and it is), but I had no idea how to use it properly (if there really is a “proper” way) and I fell into it in the wrong way.

My twitter at the beginning was me following a lot of my favorite authors and bloggers and realizing that book twitter giveaways were a thing… I was so excited! I could use this new place to have a chance at gathering more of what I love? Hell yeah!

So for a very long time my Twitter was me entering giveaways and promoting my latest blog post occasionally interacting with others. This was a big no no. I was not branding myself. I wasn’t interesting. I wasn’t doing all the things I love to do on other social media platforms. I was just a giveaway hog and my follower count showed it.

It took a bit, but now I have transformed my twitter to being what it should have been. Thoughtful, bookish, and full of my thoughts, hopes, and aspirations. It’s not a feed full of giveaways anymore and that’s something I can be proud of. I may not have many followers, but I love the people I get to interact with and my hope is that by being myself my twitter can grow as much as my blog has.

Twitter is a weirdly wonderful place, much like all other forms of social media. It has its wars and it has its bits of joy, but most importantly it has some bookishness as well. I am happy to be a part of it.

I may have jumped the gun a bit in the beginning due to my excitement, but I am happy that my Twitter is now a place that I am happy to have as a representation of me.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Be sure to check out my giveaway for “In Sight of Stars”! https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92adb0f42/?

Check out my social media on Twitter and Instagram!

-Till next time!

Tags and Why I Don’t Always Like Them

Tags are wonderful ways that us bloggers connect with one another and share common posts that are fun and interesting to do. However, sometimes they can get repetitive and that’s why I don’t always enjoy doing them.

When I first started blogging I adored tags. I did them all the time and had fun doing them, but very quickly I found a trend. There were different tags carrying different names but the questions seemed to be all the same. Favorite book (in any genre), favorite author, favorite character, favorite and least favorite of everything under the sun. I found myself time and time again using the same books over and over to do different tags and after a while I had had enough.

For me, variety is important. I hate doing the same sorts of things with the same sorts of questions all the time and so I had starting dwindling with my tags and it wasn’t long before they completely stopped being featured on my blog. However, I do miss doing tags and every once in a while I do find one to be unique and I do my best to participate.

The other thing I did to combat this boredom I had gained from tags was to create my own. The Dreamy Book Covers Tag. It was a lot of fun to create my own tag that I felt showcased a love for something that we don’t always appreciate enough, beautiful covers! However, I think I got to the point were I was so exhausted with doing tags that any tag was no longer fun to do.

Even though this post is about why I sometimes don’t like tags it is also here to say how I will approach them in the future. I will try and participate in tags as much as I can, but I am going to be a bit more choosy in the tags I do. I like tags that engage me and force me to really think about what answers I am putting out there. I also really want to start creating more tags. I’ve always been told to “be the change you wish to see in the world” and I think that helping to create a new variety of tags can help keep things fresh.

Thanks for reading! Have you ever gotten tired of doing tags? What are your thoughts on this topic?

-Till next time!

TOG Books 2-4: A Discussion

At the beginning of this year, I started off my reading with Throne of Glass… as the year progressed a little I finished books 2-4 consecutively with no regrets. I was going to do a review of each, but then I realized I cannot talk about one without talking about the others.

So here we are… with a super spoiler filled discussion of books 2-4 of the Throne of Glass series.

Let’s start off with Crown of Midnight

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Rating: 5 Stars

Everything that was lacking in TOG was completely forgotten in Crown of Midnight. In this book we get some true Celaena assassin badassery. Plus a finally approved ship to route for. Although in retrospect the fact that I said in my original review that both Celaenas og romances felt a bit far fetched and kinda wrong for Celaena was right, but I can’t help but admit that I really enjoyed Choal and Celaena coming together in this book. (Man do things change later, but it was good while it lasted).

In this book we learn about just how bad the king truly is and every time he set Celaena out to kill it filled my head with dread. However the fact that she kept faking people’s deaths and hiding info from everyone gave me hope. However, I want to also mention that a certain “friend” that Celaena is sent out to kill is a complete and utter idiot and and a-hole. When Celaena did eventually kill him I was glad, but the fact that Choal didn’t understand it or really even want her because of it made me so angry. I was glad when she is told to leave.

Also I have to mention Fleetfoot the dog here. I live for the fact that Celaena has a pet! It’s a wonderful addition and their moments together made me so happy!

Heir of Fire

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

Rating: 4 Stars

You see this is where things really start melding together for me. I felt that this book was better then TOG but not as good as Crown of Midnight, but I can’t even remember why? The feeling of Crown of Midnight is very different from the other two books and I think it’s more of a transitional book then any of the others.

In this book Caelena is Caelena no longer. She is Aelin. The fact that this book is where Caelena takes on the arduous task of getting over her mental state and claiming herself made the reading of it feel without hope and it made me wish I could speak with her and give her guidance (not that she would listen).

I will say that I was so excited for Rowan to appear. There wasn’t that much romance sparking in this book because it was very focused on getting Aelin to be stronger and become capable with her powers, but I loved Rowan from the moment he came into the picture. He is absolutely incredible.

Queen of Shadows

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Rating: 5 Stars!

This book is by far the best of the series so far. There is magic and progression and talk of witches with their point of view. A mixture of a little bit of everyone and everything coming together to form an epic apex for this story. Things happen in this novel. Morality is skewed in new ways and Rowan and Aelin are finally fully together and I love how powerful they are together.

However my absolute favorite part of this novel was Manon’s point of you. A Blackbeak and proud of it she is ruthless, cunning, and has a questioning mind. She is a character that becomes so real and so fully developed you can’t help but love her. I am so happy that Manon exists. I love how she seems to grow and take charge with no sense of consequences or anything else. She does as she likes and I’m so excited to see what more happens with her in Empire Of Storms. Especially where the Wyverns are concerned.

This mammoth of a book is jam packed with rises and falls, real decisions to make with harrowing consequences, and a set of characters that all have their own agenda. I hope that this series continues to get better and better. I know that right now, I’m fully in love with it all.

Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on the TOG series?

-Till next time!

Anime Romance VS YA Romance

One thing that I have never talked about on this blog is the fact that I watch anime and I watch a lot of it. The other thing about this is that I am OBSESSED with Anime Romance in a way that YA Romance never quite gets to.

So let’s put these two together in a face off Anime vs. YA Romance in a way you’ve may or may not have thought about.

Anime Romance:

There is something about Anime Romance that is just deliciously addictive. Every time I watch it I feel so warm on the inside and I often feel like I’m wishing for the kind of romance that anime has to offer.

For one thing characters take forever to finally get together:

Every time I watch an anime Romance I know I am in it for the long haul. After a while you just feel like pushing the two love interests heads together screaming at them to kiss already. Romantic animes are so good at building romantic suspense in a realistic way that while it can be extremely frustrating, I love it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The comedy:

In romantic anime characters seem to always get into the most awkward, cute, and hilarious situations. I love that aside and even part of the romance comes hilarious and generally happy situations. Sometimes the cuteness of the weird and outlandish things that happen are enough to bring a smile and maybe a bit of a giggle too.

The random sadness:

When something sad happens in a romantic anime you get hit hard. There will be tears and your heart will feel like it is being split in two. Something about the stark contrast between the lightness of everything else that is happening and the “WHAT? NO! WHY?” of the sad parts simply break you in a way that you never realized you wanted to be broken. It feels so real and you then realize how much you deeply care about all the characters.

The romantic parts are just so good!:

When something romantic happens and characters do something that makes your heart skip a beat you feel like the world is whole again. With a look or a touch or even a simple gesture Anime Romance can melt your heart into a gigantic puddle and I absolutely adore it!

VS.

Ya Romance:

*disclaimer* “I know the above are not contemporary ya Romance, but they are some of my favorite romances and just because they all happen to be fantasy-esque in one way or another means nothing!” “Also I know ACOTAR is not quite considered a ya, but the romance in it is just to good to not include so it’s here to stay!”

Anyway, I love a good Ya Romance and in a way if you love ya you know that they are everywhere and are prevalent in every single ya genre. However, ya takes a very different approach to romance then anime tends to.

Insta Love:

One of the biggest (love or hate it) tropes in ya is insta love. The time line in ya fiction tends to be short and so when love happens it burns fast and it burns hot. In ya when characters are attracted to one another they don’t waste much time in getting together. Honestly, I still get sucked in with these romances and as talked about as they are there is something totally alluring about a whirlwind romance that just can’t be denied.

The love triangle:

Some of the most popular of Ya Romance have this sometimes hated sometimes loved trope. From Twilight to The Hunger Games to (one of my personal favorites) The Splintered series, the love triangle happens a lot for better or for worse. I think the one thing that makes me love this trope (at times) is the passion it ensues in readers fighting for their own ships regardless of its inevitable sink or swim. I know that in the Twilight days I definitely raised my voice in favor of team Edward and that I still raise my voice in undying affection for Team Morpheus in the Splintered series. From tumblr to talks with friends you can’t get away from the ships (especially ones where love triangles are concerned) because there is nothing like fighting for the love that you believe in!

The teasing romances:

This is something both anime and ya romances gets and gets well. We all know those characters that love each other and tease each other to no end and a lot of the time that teasing turns into something hilariously beautiful. From the way that Rhysand teaches Feyre to read to the playful and nerdy albeit often cynical conversation in The Fault in Our Stars we all know that kind of arrogant I know you love me kind of banter that makes our hearts beat just a little bit faster.

It’s the romance of my childhood:

The book that got me into reading in general was Twilight and that first taste of YA Romance has stuck with me long after the series completion. It’s that imperfect love that drew me into a whole new world of fun and I will forever have a soft place in my heart for everything that Ya Romance is and all that it could be.

It’s an adventure!:

Ya Romance is an adventure of self-discovery, hope, attraction, and figuring out that yes we are all deserving of a fantasy kind of love. A lot of the time it’s not just about falling in love, but how we find ourselves at that point. It’s not always logical and it almost never makes sense, because in the end it’s our hearts that are taking the reigns.

Who Wins? You Decide!

I could not go without either of these types of romances in my life. They speak to different parts of me and I am hopelessly in love with both! Who knows maybe one day I could write a novel that incorporates a anime kind of romance. I wonder what it would be like to see those two worlds collide?

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

Why Reading A Book A Day is Surprisingly Doable… Update

On July 13th, 2017 I posted my most popular post of all time A Book A Day for the Rest of the Year? a post that I never expected to get so much attention that blew up to have more then 200 likes and 100 comments. I was filled with a inner sense of insanity. I never expected to be able to accomplish such a lofty goal and I didn’t not at first. I had given up thinking there was no way and I could never do it, but I came across an article about how much time the average human spends on social media and watching tv in a year and it got me to thinking. If I spent that time reading would I be able to accomplish that goal I had once set for myself?

The thing is, it worked. Since August 30th, 2017 onward I have read a book every single day. I have kept this up for 16 straight days and I couldn’t be happier! At first, it was mostly about getting into a rhythm that worked and setting for myself a plan of action of how I could make reading a book a day sustainable for myself. At first I started out with some books I had already started reading since I always read more then one book at a time and that helped me transition into starting to continuously finish books. Then after those books were finished I got into the habit of reading a few chapters of the next book I wanted to start to make it a little easier to finish for the next day. After that, more and more I started and ended the complete book in the same day and it has become a ritual.

As the days went by and I continued to finish a new book for that day I started to feel like it became surprisingly manageable. I even came up with a game plan for books that are 450pgs and beyond so I could make them manageable. After I finished with the book I dedicated myself to reading for that day I would read a few chapters of the longer book (or really several of the longer books) until I could diminish the size of it enough so I could dedicate a day to reading that book.

However, with all the technicalities and the how’s of reading a book everyday, you may wonder if I was truly absorbing and enjoying what I was reading each day. The answer to this too is surprisingly… yes. I have never been happier with myself and with all the affect the stories I have read have impacted me. During this time I have read more 5 and 4 star reads then I feel like I have all year and I have come to really feel what it was that drew me to reading in the first place. Reading so many amazing books and feeling so happy with how I’ve decided to rededicate my spear time is why I feel like I am going to continue this for as long as I can. I have fallen in love with reading all over again and that is the greatest gift this experience has given me.

Thanks for reading! I will definitely give more updates on this in the future! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

-Till next time!