13 reasons why (i read)

Two months ago, when I finally decided to cut my past-waist-length Rapunzel hair, I brought The Architect of Song with me to the hair salon.

I opened my book and barely a minute later, a young girl who couldn’t have been older than 11 immediately exclaimed, “EW! Why do you read?!”

I thought I heard wrong. Seriously. Because how could I not read?

I can give you Thirteen Reasons Why I read. (Hi, Jay Asher.)

  1. My parents. I am extremely fortunate in that both my father and mother are avid readers as well. Even before I could read on my own, my dad would read short children’s stories to me every night before bed. And when I was a little older, my mum would take me to the local library every weekend to pick out a stack of thirty books that I could hardly carry myself. Their philosophy is that…
  2. Reading fuels the brain. It keeps your brain active! It makes you think, feel, laugh, cry, and just about everything in between.
  3. I read to enjoy and explore a world that is not my own. Through reading, I can live vicariously through my favourite kickass heroines or immerse myself in the rich complexities of another era.
  4. There’s a lot to learn from reading. It’s not just about building up your SAT vocabulary bank, or even refining your writing. Literature educates you about the human experience as a whole, and it allows us to take a look at our lives through a wider lens of understanding.
  5. It’s a way to de-stress. For me, reading is necessity. I typically read a little before heading to bed. (old habits from childhood die hard?) It helps me unwind after a long day, and it’s a perfect way to relax before going to sleep!
  6. It’s a means of escape. Sometimes, when I hit a rough patch in my life or a particularly terrible day, reading becomes my chief solace. I forget about my life and my surroundings and let myself be drawn into a story, as if I’m a silent character observing and following the main cast.
  7. Reading is infinitely more interesting than TV. I mean, of course I binge watch shows and anime, but not all the time! And when I do, it’s always on my laptop. TV has never been appealing to me.
  8. It starts conversations. Having knowledge from reading scholarly works can automatically make an intellectual conversation more engaging and interesting. Reading fictional accounts can spark conversations among social circles, with friends. It’s even better when others have read a certain book too, so you can all fangirl together! So yes, I’d say that reading has the potential to expand your social skills. Not all of us are introverts!
  9. It improves focus and concentration. Reading takes time. I often hear my classmates complain about not being able to finish assigned reading because it was too boring and too long. It takes a considerable amount of focus to read and continue reading, but if you can sit it out, you’re bound to improve your concentration!
  10. It sparks imagination. Reading makes me think. That’s why I write reviews and put my thoughts online. Hell, it even inspired me to start blogging!
  11. Reading is easy to do! All you need is a good book and a source of light. Optional: a hot mug of green tea.
  12. I read to understand different perspectives. This is especially true nowadays, with the push for more diversity in literature, especially YA lit. In my 7 am literature class, we are currently discussing poetry written by people of different race, beliefs, experiences, and ideas. So although I don’t agree with William Butler Yeats’ version of the “ideal woman” (from A Prayer for My Daughter; I believe his thinking is rather antiquated), I can still understand that he simply wants his young child to grow up with peace and innocence, unmarred by the tumultuous world.
  13. So why do I read? Perhaps the simplest answer is the best one. Why not?
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photo credit: Google images

Why do YOU read? Do tell me, I’d love to know!

hello, 2017!

Happy New Year, my friends! I hope you’re all enjoying the festivities and fireworks. May 2017 bring you all things good.

To be frank, 2016 was quite a whirlwind. Many people might be inclined to say that it was absolute shit, but I disagree. Why focus on the negative aspects of 2016, like the deaths of our beloved Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher? Or the hate that has practically torn apart our country? Now, that’s not to say that we should overlook and dismiss these events simply because they are in the past, but rather, we should focus on the positives and propel ourselves forward.

I’d like to focus on one word for 2017: POTENTIAL.

po·ten·tial /pəˈten(t)SHəl/

(adjective) having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future

(noun) latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness

We have potential. Heck, even electricity has “potential.” (Electric potential? Where are my physics nerds? hah.)  Point is, everything has potential. 2017 has the potential to be great or…not-so-great. It depends entirely on you and what you make of it.

There are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to in 2017, namely:

  • the Beauty and the Beast live-action film
  • graduating high school and setting off for college
  • traveling with friends and family
  • SHERLOCK SEASON 4
  • Hamilton’s West End debut in LA
  • release of A Court of Wings and Ruin

I typically don’t make New Year’s resolutions because let’s be pragmatic here, they’re usually not fulfilled. And also because I think that the drive to complete a goal should be present year round, not just at the beginning of the year. Still, I believe it’s healthy to set a few personal goals for self-growth every year. Some of my own objectives for the upcoming year include:

  • reading another 100 books for my Goodreads challenge
  • making at least three new friends
  • quitting my disgusting nail-biting habit
  • traveling to a new country + visiting a new place
  • writing and journaling on a daily basis (or at least every other day)
  • learning to cook at least 10 different dishes

Unfortunately, the we don’t live in Cinderella’s world, where everything changes at the stroke of midnight. We can never forget the tumultuous events of the past year, but what we can do is move on and forge new memories and relationships. The new year brings new beginnings and allows us a chance to start fresh. I encourage all of you to set goals and pursue them! And above all, never ever let the hard days win. Have a little faith, and focus on the positive side of things and on your potential to be a part of the goodness in the world.

Let’s make 2017 good for all of us.

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the joy of christmas book tag

Merry Christmas, lovelies! Did you get all the books you asked for? Or, better yet, a gift card to Barnes & Noble?

Christmas has always been special to me, not because of the gift-giving, but because it means time off from work and school for family. Though holiday dinners can be nerve-wracking (trust me on this one) it’s always nice seeing relatives get together and catch up. I personally love talking the night away with my cousins, with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. Like Sierra from What Light, I use a candy cane to stir the chocolate into the steamed milk to add in a taste of peppermint.

So when I saw The Joy of Christmas book tag on my friend Rachael’s blog, I knew I had to participate as well! Here goes nothing:

ANTICIPATION: the Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOWAR, which might as well just be called A Court of Want a Rhysand) by Sarah J. Maas

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

CHRISTMAS SONGS AND CAROLS: what book or author can you not help but sing praises for?

Heartless by Marissa Meyer. It. shattered. my. heart. and. I. still. haven’t. recovered. ugh.

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GINGERBREAD HOUSES: what book or series has wonderful world building?

gingerbreadhouse

Ohh, this is so difficult! My first thought is actually my friend Tiffany’s book-in-progress. The way she structured her world is totally insane. I really felt like I was there, in the world she spun out of her imagination.

But if I had to choose from a book/series that’s already been published, I can’t go wrong with J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, can I? Harry Potter was practically my childhood! Seventh year Hogwarts Ravenclaw Head Girl here. 🙂

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: favourite classic or one that you want to read

I meant to finish reading Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I guess that’s something I can do with the rest of my winter break…

CHRISTMAS SWEETS: what book would you love to receive for Christmas?

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Can I just get ACOWAR right now? Please? May 2 is too far away!! But to be more pragmatic, I’d love to receive the illustrated versions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

CHRISTMAS TREES AND DECORATIONS: what are some of your favourite book covers?

I love the covers for the Starbound trilogy! I think I’ve raved about how gorgeous these covers are in a previous book tag, but I mean look at this:

starbound-trilogy

CHRISTMAS JOY: what are some of your favourite things about Christmas and/or some of your favourite Christmas memories?

I love driving around the neighborhood, admiring the lights. Almost everyone on my street puts them up, and the myriad of twinkling lights is really breathtaking at night. It’s such a small thing, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

My dad gifted me my first fountain pen this morning, and it’s so beautiful I want to cry a little. I’ve always wanted one, so he got me a dark blue one from Cross! So while this memory is fairly fresh, I know I’ll remember for the years to come. Yesterday my uncle gave me a medical encyclopedia, which I am SO excited about! He says the virology section is the most interesting, but so far, I think anesthesia, cataract surgery, and the history of microscopes are cooler. Yes, I know. I’m such a nerd!

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Merry Christmas, everyone! Spend time with family. Eat good food. Laugh a lot. May the days ahead be forever merry and bright.

too late: a discussion

Who’s a fan of Colleen Hoover? *raises both hands*

CoHo is such a talented writer! She has a way of tugging at my heartstrings and making her readers, myself included, fall in love with her characters. I don’t know what it is, but I always find myself sucked into her stories. The world could be exploding into smithereens and I wouldn’t notice because I’d be too engrossed in one of her novels.

I was, at first, hesitant to pick up Too Late by Colleen Hoover because I wasn’t sure if I’d be okay with reading really graphic scenes depicting abuse, rape, murder, and drug use. But damn, I am so glad that I went ahead and took the leap anyway. Here is the synopsis:

Sloan will go through hell and back for those she loves.
And she does, every single day.
After finding herself stuck in a relationship with the dangerous and morally corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to get by until she’s able to find a way out.
Nothing will get in her way.
Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the best thing to ever happen to Asa. And if you ask Asa, he’d say he’s the best thing to ever happen to Sloan. Despite Sloan’s disapproval of Asa’s sinister lifestyle, he does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead in his business. He also does exactly what he needs to do in order to stay a step ahead of Sloan.
Nothing will get in his way.
Nothing except Carter.

For those of you who have already read Too Late–

We need to talk. About Asa Jackson.

I know everyone despises him and hates him for the hell he put Sloan through, but he was a much better developed character than Sloan and Carter. He had substance. He was dynamic and interesting.

I could understand that Asa really did love Sloan, even if it was in the most twisted way possible. Sure, he was all f*cked up, but not without reason. His behaviour made sense when it was revealed that his father had basically ruined him, ruined him to pieces with his “advice” on women and whores. Of course, this in no way excuses what he did, though. But as a result, Asa ended up growing up with a very…complex way of viewing things. He was manipulative. Undeniably smart. Deceptively charming. He knew his way around people, and he knew how to please Sloan in more ways than one. Because of his sorry excuses for parents, Asa just wanted a love that would stay with him, and a love who, by his father’s definition, wasn’t a whore. For this, I sympathized with him. I felt a little sorry for the broken boy inside of him.

Reading from Asa’s point of view was both scary and surprising. Yes, he drops a lot of f-bombs and profanity. Yes, he constantly thinks about sex. He always took me by surprise with his scheming, especially the whole act with schizophrenia, as well as the FBI bust. If he weren’t so psychotic, I’d be tempted to say that he’s wicked brilliant.

Colleen Hoover is extremely talented for creating Asa’s multi-dimensional character. As a reader, I could see that Sloan brought out the best in him, almost like how Vanessa Mariana brought out a more human and vulnerable side to Wilson Fisk from Daredevil. But like I’ve already said, this definitely doesn’t excuse any of the terrible things he did–committing murder, engineering a drug ring, rape, cheating on Sloan, etc. One of the things I was most disgusted with was when he told Carter that the reason why he cheats constantly on Sloan is because he has to satisfy his sexual cravings as a male, and that females don’t operate the same way. So…wait? If Sloan cheats, she’s a whore, and if Asa cheats, he still gets to be Asa? No way in hell is that twisted logic going to be acceptable!

I have never felt more conflicted about a character in my life, ever.

As for Carter, he honestly felt like an archetypal shining knight in armor to me. Boring. Cue the yawns. I couldn’t really connect with his character. And even though Sloan had her moments of strength, I found it frustrating to read from her perspective because she was almost always crying. Like, girl, if you don’t like something, quit bawling in bed and do something about it! I think she only fell for Carter because he was the exact opposite of Asa, and he was who she needed at the time. But luckily, she grew on me as the book progressed. By the epilogue of the epilogue, she’d grown a spine of steel! To avoid spoiling the ending, I’m just going to say it was bloody f*cking brilliant. And it involves a trash can.

I have reservations about recommending this book because while I thought it was quite good in a dark and disturbing way, it might not be the right fit for younger readers and those who are more sensitive to graphic scenes.

My full review is here, on Goodreads.

fantastic beasts movie review

I know, I know, I’m so unfashionably late to the game! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them features a magizoologist named Newt Scamander who accidentally sets loose a briefcase filled with (yes, you guessed it) fantastic beasts in 1926 New York City. I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on November 26 with a good friend of mine and needless to say, it was FANTASTIC. (excuse the overused pun.) I loved Newt and his whole menagerie of magical creatures.

BE WARNED: mild spoilers ahead!

Eddie Redmayne was the perfect Newt Scamander. (Okay, Eddie Redmayne is perfect. Have you seen him as Marius in Les Misérables? And Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything?) The way he cared for his magical creatures was so moving! I could really feel and see the emotion behind his actions. Personally, my favorite “beast” is Pickett the bowtruckle. When Newt reluctantly handed him over to a goblin, I swear my heart was screaming “NOOOOOOOO! DON’T. YOU. DARE. DON’T DO IT!” And the scene near the end when the magizoologist was trying to get Pickett to smile was so adorable. Shy little Pickett just made a face like are you joking my life you betrayed me!!

The other magical creatures were just as endearing. How adorable was the shiny stuff-loving Niffler? And can we talk about how the invisible little Demiguise took care of the Occamy? I was also ecstatic to see the Thunderbird make an appearance, the bird for which my Ilvermorny house is named after.

The most hilarious scene in the movie HAS to be the Erumpent mating dance in Central Park. I watched the behind the scenes clip on how it was filmed and I think I died in a fit of giggling. Eddie Redmayne is one super talented actor to be able to pull that one off!

Though the visual effects were stunning, I must admit that the plot was a bit lacking. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that there was a plot until much later because it was so slow. It was too easy to guess who the real villain was, and I wasn’t a fan of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. But maybe that’s because I still have a mental image of Jamie Campbell Bower as a young Gellert Grindelwald from the previous Harry Potter films. Fantastic Beasts did bring back a lot of nostalgia for the wizarding world, though. I just wish ‘Muggle’ was a universal term, rather than a strictly British word for ordinary folk. America gets ‘No-Maj’ instead. Ah well.

All in all, I’d say that Fantastic Beasts was a pretty solid and enjoyable film that sets the premise for the next few movies. JK is still out there, Rowling! (hahah) I can’t wait to see what the following films have in store for us!

 

life update

Hey bookish people!

I know I haven’t exactly been diligent with blogging and posting lately. Sorry about that! A few things have happened since I last published a new post:

  1. FINALs are FINAL-ly over! (I admit, that was weak.) This means no more cramming for tests and stressing over grades that are living on the edge and perilously close to plunging over the wrong end of the grading cliff.
  2. I completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 100 books this year. I went from being 12 books ahead during the summer to 5 books behind once school started again for the fall semester. But somehow, I managed to catch up and finish my goal! If you really love something, you’ll always find time for it right?
  3. I’m on Christmas break! Which means: a) more time for reading + blogging and b) less time to finish the college applications I still haven’t submitted.
  4. I played in a winter orchestra concert as the principal violinist. We played Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, as well as a handful of traditional Christmas songs, such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Sleigh Ride.
  5. I finally watched Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. Asa Butterfield. That. is. all. (Did it bother anyone that it was so different from the books? And that Olive’s and Emma’s peculiarities were switched?)
  6. I found out Zayn and Taylor Swift did a collab for Fifty Shades Darker (no, I haven’t read the books or watched the movie and I don’t think I ever will do either of those things). But their new song, I Don’t Wanna Live Forever, is so addicting! Which is totally weird because I usually don’t like pop music.

I don’t like making excuses for myself, but the main reason why I wasn’t able to post at least once last week was because I was drowning in school and finals and the dreaded, unfinished college applications. Hopefully, I’ll muster up the motivation to polish off the last couple of college apps that I have and get back to posting more regularly!

So, how’s your life? Did I miss anything interesting while I was gone?

acomaf book playlist

Hi everyone! I recently reread Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury (often abbreviated ACOMAF) because you know, what are other books?!

By the way, did you know that she’s working on writing a series centered around a female version of Thor? I’m sure it’s going to be epic!

The Night Court candle featured here was hand-poured by Tris from @BurningPagesCandles. It smells EXACTLY like what I’d imagine Rhysand to smell like–jasmine, the ocean, and notes of citrus. Use my code FRAGILEMYTHS10 to receive 10% off your order from Tris’ etsy shop!

But I digress. Back to ACOMAF! I put together a book playlist for specific scenes in ACOMAF. Most don’t have spoken lyrics, just instrumental and music because I think that lyrics distract from the words that are used to create the scenes in the book.

Disclaimer: There *may* be some mild spoilers, and this list might have some scenes that are out of order because I just listed them as they came to me. Enjoy!

Feyre’s mixed frustration, sadness, determination, and anger when Tamlin locks her in: Time (Inception) » Hans Zimmer

“Hello, Feyre darling”: Collision (Prometheus) » Marc Streitenfeld

The Spring Court’s Tithe and the Water Wraith: Exogenesis Symphony Part III » Muse

Feyre steals Rhys’ mother’s ring: Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah » Camille Saint-Saens

Feyre sees Velaris for the first time: The Crystal Chamber (Atlantis: The Lost Empire) » James Newton Howard

Feyre meets the Inner Circle: A Peaceful Place (The Legend of Korra) » Jeremy Zuckerman

Starfall: Across the Stars (Love Theme from Star Wars) » John Williams

Rhys enters the Court of Nightmares + Feyre realizes that Amarantha’s Under the Mountain looked like the work of a child in comparison to the Court of Nighmares, a work of the gods: Concerto to Hell (Drag Me to Hell) » Christopher Young

“Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.”: Pavane for a Dead Apatosaurus (Jurassic World) » Michael Giacchino

Tarquin sends blood rubies: Circle of Hell (Constantine) » Brian Tyler, Klaus Badelt

Feyre tracks Rhys after he’s shot with poisoned ash arrows: The Imperial March (Darth Vader Theme from Star Wars) » John Williams

Feyre realizes that it’s not a bad thing to be Rhys’ mate: Star Sky (Two Steps from Hell) » Thomas Bergerson

Rhys recounts his whole story to Feyre in the cabin: True Love’s Kiss (Maleficent) » James Newton Howard

THE ENDING OF ACOMAF: The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner) » John Paesano

I couldn’t choose a song for Chapter 55 because it’s so physical and emotional that I don’t know of any songs that could do it justice, except maybe Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you have any song recommendations or book playlists of your own, let me know and I will definitely listen to them. Have a lovely rest of the week; it’s almost the weekend!

 

harry potter: the microsoft paint edition

In need of a laugh? You’re in luck! I came across the SILLIEST “artwork”/condensed format of the Harry Potter movies and characters on Twitter the other day, and I just had to share it.

Warning: Wildly inappropriate spew of profanity, atrocious grammar, incorrect (yet ridiculously hilarious) spelling ahead. Read on at your own risk!

image1-3image2-2image3-2image4Every time I look think about this series of stupidly comical Paint drawings, I practically die laughing. My cheeks hurt, and my stomach gets the most intensive ab workout ever! I honestly feel like the terrible drawings only add to the comedic effect. My personal favourites are “im cho chung” and “gobble of fiyah.”

Hopefully, you got a few laughs out of this short post. Or maybe more than a few. 🙂

7 ya books to keep your eyes on – december 2016

Happy first day of December! Ah, so this is what happens when you throw a watch. Time flies.

Though the year may be coming to an end, my love for reading YA certainly isn’t ending! In this post, you can expect to find books expected to be published in December 2016. I’ve tossed in a few holiday reads as well, just for the fun of it.

28114396Title: Ever the Hunted

Author: Erin Summerill

Expected Publication Date: 27 December 2016

Synopsis: Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

 

blackmoon-hiresAuthor: Romina Russell

Expected Publication Date: 6 December 2016

Synopsis: One final secret stands between Rho and the enemy. But will the devastating truth be enough to destroy her first?

Rho, the courageous visionary from House Cancer, lost nearly everything when she exposed and fought against the Marad, a mysterious terrorist group bent on destroying balance in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now, the Marad has disappeared without a trace, and an uneasy peace has been declared.

But Rho is suspicious. She believes the Master is still out there in some other form. And looming over all are the eerie visions of her mother, who died many years ago, but is now appearing to Rho in the stars.

When news of a stylish new political party supported by her best friend, Nishi, sends Rho on another journey across the galaxy, she uses it as an opportunity to hunt the hidden master and seek out information about her mother. And what she uncovers sheds light on the truth–but casts darkness upon the entire Zodiac world.

wayfarer_final_coverTitle: Wayfarer (Passenger, #2)

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Expected Publication Date: 3 January 2017 (Okay, I cheated a little, but this was too close to not include it! It’s one of my most anticipated reads in the upcoming months.)

SynopsisAll Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

icelingTitle: Iceling

Author: Sasha Stephenson

Expected Publication Date: 13 December 2016

Synopsis: Lorna’s adopted sister, Callie, is part of a mysterious group of non-lingual teens, Icelings, born on a remote Arctic island, who may not be entirely human. Now Callie wants to go home.

Seventeen-year-old Lorna loves her adoptive sister, Callie. But Callie can’t say “I love you” back. In fact, Callie can’t say anything at all.

Because Callie is an Iceling—one of hundreds of teens who were discovered sixteen years ago on a remote Arctic island, all of them lacking the ability to speak or understand any known human language.

Mysterious and panicked events lead to the two sisters embarking on a journey to the north, and now Lorna starts to see that there’s a lot more to Callie’s origin story than she’d been led to believe. Little does she know what’s in store, and that she’s about to uncover the terrifying secret about who—and what—Callie really is.

29093326Title: What Light

Author: Jay Asher

Synopsis: Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

51sqcuypm9l-_sx307_bo1204203200_Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Author: C.S. Lewis

Synopsis: ‘They say Aslan is on the move. Perhaps he has already landed,’ whispered the Beaver. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delightful strain of music had just floated by. And Lucy got that feeling when you realize it’s the beginning of summer. So, deep in the bewitched land of Narnia, the adventure begins.

They opened a door and entered a world–Narnia–the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Lucy is the first to stumble through the back of the enormous wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old country house, discovering the magic world beyond. At first, no one believes her. But soon Edmund, Peter and Susan, too, discover the magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. And in the blink of an eye, they are changed forever.

81pqonpy7jlTitle: Let it Snow

Authors: John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle

Synopsis: Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks.

Side note: If Sarah J. Maas wrote a book all about Prythian’s Winter Court, you know that would be up on this list too. 😉

Did you add any books to your tbr list? I’d love to know what some of your favourite Christmassy reads are! I can’t quite believe we’re almost through with 2016. Even if you’re 12 books behind on your goodreads challenge, I BELIEVE IN YOU. Finish the year strong, my loves!

bookstagram q & a

Hello, my lovely bookwyrms! I hope your holiday weekend was great. Because I reached 5,000 followers on bookstagram this month, (yes, holy crud, that is totally insane! I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that over 5,000 people have decided to tap the follow button.) I decided to hold a Q & A session with my bookstagram followers! They asked the questions, and I answered them.

I’ve bolded the questions and my bare-boned answers for the people who like to skim instead of close read. So without further ado…

pagesinparadise: If an author would write a book about your life, who would you choose? 

I love this question! Unfortunately, my life happens to be rather boring, so I’d want Sarah J. Maas to write it into something with lots of action and full out epic-ness. And maybe give me a Rhysand of my own? Or Rowan? Dammit, I’d even take Lorcan. Because, you know, brooding Fae warrior males are my favourite. 😉

zoe_hoibian: If you could spend a day with three fictional (book/movie/tv show) characters, who would it be and why?

1). Cath from Heartless. I’d stuff my face with rose macarons and other delectable baked treats.
2). Kaz from Six of Crows. Please teach me some of those lock-picking skills.
3). Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock. I just want to see his reaction to everything. I want need those powers of deductive reasoning! Maybe we’ll even solve a few crimes along the way. Preferably those that don’t involve Kaz.

travel.by.book: What’s your favorite genre?

Historical fiction. It’s such an oxymoron. You’d expect something historical to not be fiction and fiction to not be historical.

alinabooklover: Team Captain or Team Iron Man? Top 5/Top 10 favourite tv shows?

Hey, that’s two questions!! That’s a tough choice, but I think my heart’s with the Captain and my mind’s with Iron Man. As far as TV shows go, here’s a sneaky confession: I don’t watch TV often, BUT Sherlock is my absolute favourite! I also love Downton Abbey. Once Upon a Time is my guilty pleasure. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Outlander, but I like it so far. I have plans to binge-watch Mr. Robot, PoldarkDoctor WhoGrey’s Anatomy, Stranger Things, and House in the near future…

mybookacademy: Who are your top two fictional boyfriends AND hypothetically if you were in a vicious love triangle between them who would you pick??

Girl, you are vicious. I think you and Maas are molded from the same sheet of evil. (just kidding, you know I ❤ you, Sally!) But if you forced me to choose at knifepoint, I’d choose Rhysand from ACOMAF over Kaidan Rowe from Sweet Evil.

mylifeisanovelmylifeisanovelIf you could only read one series for the rest of your life, which series would you choose?

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. This trilogy is absolutely perfect! You can’t go wrong with a likeable, bookish main character. TID also contains one of the only love triangles that I didn’t have problems with.

bookish.marls: Would you rather read a book about your whole life or read a book about all conversations that had been said about you?

Conversations. I’ll feel like I’m reading minds. My life is (sadly) quite uneventful.

readingisinevitableWhat/who inspired you to start bookstagramming? How do you find inspiration for your pictures? What’s your favorite less-known book or series?

Xan from twirlingpages! Interestingly enough, we have mutual friends, though Xan and I have never met in real life. I find inspiration all around me. There’s so much raw beauty in nature and created beauty in music. And of course, I take into account of the book’s content and cover (especially the colour) whenever I take a photo. My favourite lesser-known series is Wendy Higgins’ Sweet Evil trilogy, featuring angels and demons and my favourite British drummer/badass!

sentrancedbookworm: If you had to change one thing about one of your favorite books, what would it be?

Nothing. If it’s my favourite book, there’s no way I’d want to tamper with anything. Although preventing a character I love from dying would be good for my bruised heart…

scarlingwolf719: Who are your top three book character crushes?!?!

You’re making me choose?!?! Fine.

1). Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury
2). Kaidan Rowe from Sweet Evil
3). Adrian Ivashkov from Bloodlines

fictionalpassionPopular character you don’t really like?

Alina Starkov from the Grisha trilogy. Sadly, she’s the reason why I didn’t enjoy the Grisha trilogy as much as everyone else seemed to.

libraryamongstarsWho’s your favourite Disney princess?

Ariel! #mermaidsforlife

bookhuggerreviews: If you could meet a fictional character and hang out with them, who would you choose?

Manon’s wildflower-loving wyvern, Abraxos. (from Queen of Shadows) I’d spoil him sick with wildflowers, and then bribe him with honey to take me flying through the skies. Or maybe he won’t need bribing.


I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! I honestly loved answering all of your questions. Some of them took a loooong time to reflect on. (hello, multiple book crushes) If you have more questions, feel free to ask, and if not, I will see you in my next post.