Libba Bray’s Divine(r) Writing [re-direct to Mind the Gap]

Happy New Year!! I hope 2015 was awesome and that 2016 will be even better!

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If you’re not too tired from partying so hard (or, if you’re like me, reading until midnight), you can click here to read my review of the first two books in Libba Bray’s The Diviners series!

End-of-the-Year Survey – 2015

I enjoy filling out surveys, and I (obviously) love books, so this end-of-the-year survey hosted by Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) is right up my alley! Read on for my answers :)

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Number Of Books You Read: 111 + about 10 manuscripts during my internship (Jan-April)
Number of Re-Reads: 18
Genre You Read The Most From: probably urban fantasy (YA is NOT a category!)

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
It’s a cross between Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertali) and Every Word (Ellie Marney).

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Bane Chronicles. I mean, I wasn’t really surprised because I haven’t liked the last four Cassandra Clare books I’ve read, but Magnus was always my favourite character.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid) – it got a lot of buzz when it was chosen as one of the finalists for Canada Reads, and that in itself was surprising (in a good way!).

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I’m going to say Every Breath a) because I recommend it on pretty much a monthly basis (technically I read it in 2014, but it was literally the last book I read – I finished it on December 31!) and b) my sister read it and become just as obsessed!

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series started: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)
Best sequel: Every Word (Ellie Marney)
Best series ender: The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan)

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Susin Nielsen. I read literally all her books (including one that’s not even published yet!) this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Unbearable Lightness – Portia de Rossi

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Every Move (Ellie Marney). I could not move while reading it.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Cinder (Marissa Meyer) because I haven’t picked up the rest of the series yet, and I’ll probably have to re-read it before I continue.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath – Ishbelle Bee

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Book Thief (Markus Zusack) is gorgeous, but it was a re-read. “New” book that was beautifully written: Magonia (Maria Dahvana Headley)

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Soulless – Gail Carriger. It has so many things I love in it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I have seen the aftermath of death, the incredible mechanism of the body laid bare, and I know now that each person is a kind of miracle. A spark nestles like a bird inside our chests, so deep that we can’t find where it lives, but it is everything. It’s what makes us dream and think and feel and laugh and sing. And it is a mystery, and it is mundane, and, above all, it is fragile. Any moment could be our last. – Rachel Watts, Every Word

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
The shortest (not including picture books or comics) was The Little Prince with 98 pages and the longest was the Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy (Tallulah Darling) with 1080 pages total (it was all one ebook, so if I was counting individual books, it would be Outlander with 850 pages).

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud. THAT ENDING. I NEED THE NEXT ONE LIKE NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Wattscroft forever!!! Ellie Marney is in charge of writing all the kissing scenes forever.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Flavia and Dogger from Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket!)

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
My sister told me repeatedly to read a Gail Carriger novel and I’m SO GLAD I read Soulless (and the sequel, Changeless!).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Technically he’s from the end of 2014, but who doesn’t love James Mycroft??

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I flat out sobbed at the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan).

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Not published in 2015, but I really enjoyed Knightly and Son – Rohan Gavin

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
In terms of being sad, I’d say Why We Broke Up, but if you’re talking about one that beat me down until I finished it, I’d say Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Anne & Henry – Dawn Ius. I had such high hopes for it because it had such a great concept, but the characters infuriated me.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
This year was the first year I really paid attention to book blogs and really worked on my own reviews. Some of my favourite blogs include: Pop! Goes the Reader, The Broke and the Bookish, A Reader of FictionsSnuggly Oranges, Cuddlebuggery, and, of course Perpetual Page Turner, plus a whole lot more! I also have to shout out to all the blogs I follow/who follow me here :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Probably my Simon vs review or my extensive review for Every Breath/Every Word.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
The post with the most comments was my Top Ten Books of 2015 from a few weeks ago.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I helped out at OLA which was a really interesting experience, but I also got to meet Alan Bradley at Random House which was really cool (he’s such an adorable old man!).

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
Interning at Tundra was definitely a highlight and I got to work on their blog, which was lots of fun!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding time to write the reviews in between writing for Mind the Gap/idobi!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Every Word blog tour (most views on one particular day); overall, it was my Blurryface track-by-track review (in terms of views) and top 10 books of 2015 (in terms of comments).

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I’m quite proud of my UK in YA TTT!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Apart from all the blogs I mentioned earlier, I’ve also really enjoyed Book Riot and the read-iculously cheap Book Outlet.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set 100 books as my Goodreads challenge and surpassed that goal!

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) is going to be the first book I read in 2016.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
I don’t even know if it will come out in 2016, but I’m salivating for the next Lockwood and Co (Jonathan Stroud) book.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Love That Split The World – Emily Henry. It’s been getting a lot of hype and it was the first book to come to mind.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I’m really hoping that Every Move will be published in North America next year so I can complete my collection!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I’m setting a goal for 120 books, plus one of my resolutions is to read more classics. And my sister and I (and possibly our nine year old niece) are going to do a full Harry Potter re-read which is really exciting.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
The two 2016 books I’ve read so far have been The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner) and Vikki VanSickle’s If I Had a Gryphon (illustrated by Cale Atkinson), both of which I recommend (and will have reviews up in the next couple of months!).

Top Ten Tuesday: UK in YA 101

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101. Up until about half an hour ago, I was fully prepared to write “YA URBAN FANTASY 101”, but then I thought about how much I love the UK and books that take place in the UK and, well, here we are.

A couple of these are technically middle grade, but they work as transitional pieces.

Required reading (in no particular order):

1) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (London; Oxford to be precise); read my review here!
2) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling (London and some magical place in Scotland)
3) Gemma Doyle trilogy – Libba Bray (Victorian London); read my review of book 1 here!
4) Stardust – Neil Gaiman (“rural England”; though technically “adult”, I’ve seen it on YA lists)
5) Lockwood & Co series – Jonathan Stroud (alternate England full of ghosts!!!!) (also highly recommend his other series, The Bartimaeus Sequence); read my review of book 2 here!
6) Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra (Victorian London); read my review here!
7) Sorcery and Cecelia – Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (Victorian London)
8) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs (Wales); read my review for books 1 and 2!
9) The Secret of Platform 13 – Eva Ibbotson (London)
10) Sally Lockhart series – Philip Pullman (Victorian London)

Recommended reading:

Every Word – Ellie Marney (takes places mostly in London, but you have to read the FANTASTIC first book, Every Breath, before tackling this one)
Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer (I know Ireland isn’t actually part of the UK, but it’s close)

I really enjoy Victorian England, if you haven’t noticed. I can’t think of any YA or MG books that take place in Scotland (though technically Hogwarts is in Scotland). Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations? What other UK-based books have I missed?

Liebster Award Part 2!

You guys! My ego is going to explode from all this blogger love: I’ve been (re)nominated for the Liebster Award by two people, SJ (Delirious Antidotes) and Cassie (Book Reviews & Haikus)! Thanks so much SJ and Cassie! Please go check out their blogs :)

I love answering random questions, so here we go!

Sidenote: when I was 17-18, I spent half my time on Facebook filling out those random questionnaires that you could post as notes, so this is pretty much my jam.

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Last time, I used the standard turquoise-y one, this time I wanted the pretty pink badge!

Questions from SJ:

1) Let’s kick this off with a little bit of self promotion, as it never did any harm: tell me about a project, website, post etc. that you want to draw attraction to. (URL’s are allowed)

My friend Jane and I are working on a pop culture website which we’re both very excited about! It officially launches on June 1st, but you can check out our snazzy home page here!

2) How did you/do you cope with exam season?

I made a lot of notes. Mostly on graph paper because, for some reason, it helped me focus (I was an English/French major, so I actually had to go out and buy graph paper, come exam time).

3) Who is your favourite band/musician?

How much time do you have?? I can narrow it down to my top five (in no particular order): You Me At Six, Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Maine, and Fall Out Boy.

4) What is your favourite book?

One of my most favourite books of all time is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

5) When did you start blogging?

I started my blog in August 2013. I started talking about books in October 2013, and I’ve been reviewing ARCs/giving books actual ratings since April 2015 (before, I just talked about whether or not I liked the book).

6) What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Everything happens for a reason”. It’s not really advice so much as a proverb (is it even a proverb?) and I know it’s somewhat cliched, but it’s something I hold on to.

7) Explain the title of your blog.

My oldest sister nicknamed me “Bella” when I was little; she still calls me that and so now my three nieces call me “Bella” as well. When she was about three (she just turned nine), my oldest niece figured out that “Bella” and “books” both start with “b”, and thus she christened me “Bellsiebooks”.

8) Tea or coffee?

Tea! I have a borderline absurd collection of tea, but I love it.

9) What is your least “politically correct” opinion?

That’s a tough one…I don’t know how to answer that!

10) What did you think about before you fell asleep last night?

I’ve been telling myself stories to fall asleep ever since I was a child. For years, it’s been how I’ve worked out plot points for the books I’m trying to write.

Questions from Cassie:

1) What are three things you want to do/accomplish in life?

a) Publish a book (multiple books, ideally)
b) Become a kids’ book editor (or work in marketing for kids’ books…I’d take anything at this point)
c) Travel the world

2) Do you have a favorite musical genre and/or musician/band?

Pop-punk and similar genres (pop rock, metal, “emo”, etc). Please see above for my top five bands!

3) What was your first concert?

I saw Bon Jovi on the “One Wild Night” tour in 2001 with my sisters (I was 11).

4) Who is your favorite author? [If you don’t have one, what’s your favorite book genre?]

I love many authors, including Neil Gaiman, Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, and J.K. Rowling. I read a lot of YA (which is a category, not a genre), and I tend to enjoy contemporary or paranormal/supernatural/urban fantasy.

5) What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

I cannot possibly pick just one!! Ella Enchanted has been one of my favourite books for 17 years (I read it when I was 8), but I’m always swooning over some book or another.

6) When do you read most?

When I was working, I’d read on the morning commute and then continued for a bit when I got to work. Since my internship ended a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been reading a lot more at night.

7) What’s your preference: “real” physical books, e-books, audiobooks, or a mix of all of them?

Real books!!! I have a Kindle (which I stole from my dad) for my NetGalley ARCs and I sometimes use my phone if I don’t want to carry the e-reader around, but I much prefer the feel of physical books.

8) If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Telepathy!

9) What fictional character would you like to be friends with most? Why?

Oh, so many! Anyone from the Harry Potter universe, of course, but sometimes I wish I had a tiger friend like Hobbes (he’s furry and good for conversation!). And if we’re going outside of books, then I’d want to be BFF’s with Marceline from Adventure Time because she is my hero.

10) Do you have hobbies besides reading?

I write and I’m a huge music fan, so I’m constantly a) updating my collection or b) attending a concert.

11) What’s your favorite food or drink to have while reading?

I don’t really eat/drink when I’m reading, but I guess tea. And I’ll eat chocolate at any time of the day, so I wouldn’t say no if someone were to hand me a piece of Dairy Milk while I was reading :)

Thanks for reading! And thanks again for the nomination(s)!

You may recall that I was nominated for this award in April, so I’m not going to officially nominate blogs. However, here is a list of the last 10 blogs I followed – you should check them out too!

a bookworm’s escape
aBOOkishOwl
iamkira
thoughts and afterthoughts
Becca and Books
Owls and Things
Just my humble life
Barda Book Talk
Gilmored
Hardcovers and Heroines

Fiction Friday Round-Up – May 15th, 2015

Here are some books I finished over the past week and a bit (I’m currently unemployed, so I’ve had time to read). As always, please click the link for a full review!

  • Speaking From Among the Bones – Alan Bradley: “Part of this book felt like filler, but since spending any amount of time with Flavia is always a delight, it wasn’t a chore to read. It just wasn’t very memorable.”
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty (re-read) – Libba Bray: “I was still hooked by the first few paragraphs, the writing was just as evocative as I remembered, and there were even a couple of creepy moments that sent a small shiver up my spine.”
  • The Rearranged Life (ARC) – Annika Sharma: “This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures…a cute summer read.” *includes a giveaway!**
  • Endless Nights – Neil Gaiman: “This is both a good and a bad way to be introduced to the world of the Sandman. On the one hand, you get a story starring each Endless sibling, which gives you an idea about them […] On the other hand […], I had no idea what to expect.”
  • Nimona – Noelle Stevenson: “I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a strong, badass female villain/shapeshifter […] whose default form is a “pudgy” girl.”

And I’m also helping to host a giveaway!

Last week, I read a new adult ARC and was sorely disappointed:

  • Sing for Me – Gracie Madison: “I have complicated feelings about this book. It wasn’t bad per se, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I read the whole thing, though admittedly I started skimming at about 30%.”

Also, I got an Indigo giftcard so I bought some books I’ve been meaning to buy for a while, and it’s all terribly exciting.

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Obviously, I’ve already finished Nimona, but I’ll have reviews for the other three at some point, hopefully this month or next.

What have you read this week?

A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray

304306It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

That summary’s not identical to the jacket copy on my hardcover, but whatever. I don’t want to spoil too much of this book for you!

Libba Bray is one of my favourite authors. She’s funny and cool and I genuinely like her style (writing and otherwise). And while I knew I loved her Gemma Doyle trilogy, I actually couldn’t remember very many details, which is why I’ve been (slowly but surely) re-reading them at night.

Of course, re-reading it, some parts starting coming back to me: mostly the characters and their personalities (sidenote: I stole the name Pippa from these books when I started writing my first novel). This can be awkward because sometimes I forget how much Gemma does/doesn’t know (i.e. as of the beginning of book two, Rebel Angels, she has not figured out who Sarah Rees Brennan/Circe is. But I know, and it’s SHOCKING).

I think the characters are the best part of this series. Some people may find them annoying or silly or whatever, but they’ve always intrigued me. The four girls – Gemma, Felicity, Pippa, and Ann – are a lot a like, and yet totally different at the same time.

“Shall I tell you a story? A new and terrible one? A ghost story? Are you ready? Shall I begin? Once upon a time there were four girls. One was pretty. One was clever. One charming, and one…one was mysterious. But they were all damaged, you see. Something not right about the lot of them. Bad blood. Big dreams […] They were all dreamers, these girls.

I also remember Kartik as being totally swoon-worthy, and while he hasn’t really done anything swoony yet, I remain hopeful. I can’t have made that up, right? Otherwise I wouldn’t have been so devastated by the thing I know happens at the end of the third book, The Sweet Far Thing.

One thing I noticed, though: it starts off with a bang, but then there’s quite a lag (i.e. lots of exposition) before stuff really starts to happen. And if I was reading it for the first time, I might be bored, or at least have a hard time getting through it. But since I know for a fact that I love this series and I know that it picks up, the slow pace doesn’t bother me as much as it might have, had I been newly introduced to Libba Bray (if that makes sense).

All in all, I was still hooked by the first few paragraphs, the writing was just as evocative as I remembered, and there were even a couple of creepy moments that sent a small shiver up my spine.

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A Bookish Alphabet

If there’s one thing I like, it’s answering questionnaire-type things, especially when it has to do with books!

I stole this from The Hidden Staircase who in turn was inspired by Just My Humble Books. Go check out their posts and thanks for the great idea, ladies!

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket. I’ve read all of A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 in total), plus the “extra books” (The Beatrice LettersHorseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and The Unauthorized Autobiography – which is hilarious, if a little nonsensical, by the way) AND the first three books of All The Wrong Questions (just waiting for book four to be released this fall), AND his YA novel, Why We Broke Up.

I also think I have one of his adult books on my shelf (haven’t read it yet), and I’d like to read his latest, We Are Pirates.

B. Best Sequel Ever

That’s like asking parents of multiple children which kid they like the most. I could write an entire post about the sequels (and series) I love.

C. Currently Reading

It’s on hold right now, but I’m re-reading A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray). I’m also reading I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley), two manuscripts for work, and I’ve just started When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid).

D. Drink of Choice While Reading

I don’t often drink while reading, but tea is my go-to drink.

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E. E-Reader or Physical Books

Physical books!! I’ve recently been using a Kindle (it’s actually my dad’s but he doesn’t use it, so I “stole” it) for all my NetGalley ARCs, but I do miss the feel of a physical book (even if the Kindle IS lighter than a 300+ page novel).

F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School

James from Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway). He’s a big music nerd and is genuinely sweet (plus at the start of the book, he was working at an ice cream store, so I would just eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. And then at the end of the book, he was working at a music store, so then I would buy CDs ALL THE TIME!).

G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance

I picked up The Beautiful and the Cursed (Page Morgan) on a whim because I liked that there was a character named Grayson (my current work-in-progress main character is named Grayson). SO GLAD I READ IT, IT WAS AMAZING, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRILOGIES NOW.

H. Hidden Gem Book

Middle Grade: The Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. I don’t know anyone else who’s ever read them – they’re excellent for (younger) Harry Potter fans.

Young Adult: People are all about Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles for some reason (I read the first one and thought it was awful), but her first YA series – Intertwined – was fantastic.

Adult: My sister, Ro, has a knack for finding excellent books that no one else has heard of. If I had had a rating system when I started talking about books on this blog, these would have gotten five interrobang hearts: Mathilda SavitchGods Behaving BadlyJohannes Cabal: The NecromancerProspero Lost.

I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life

I chose three big moments:

-my oldest sister (Vanessa) handing me Ella Enchanted for the first time when I was 8. It remains one of my favourite books of all time and it got me interested in the idea of re-tellings and fractured fairy tales.

-my other sister (Roanna) starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to me around the same time and eventually just handing it over so I could finish it myself.

-reading The Sweet Far Thing (Libba Bray) at 17 and realizing that books don’t always have to have happy endings.

J. Just Finished

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (Ishbelle Bee) and A Red Herring Without Mustard (Alan Bradley). Both reviews will be up this Friday!

K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read

Satire type things and/or stuff by Chuck Palahniuk (sorry if any of you are fans). I read Invisible Monsters in high school (because Panic! at the Disco‘s song “Time to Dance” is based on it), and while I appreciated how well the song retold the story, I didn’t actually enjoy the book.

L. Longest Book You’ve Read

That I’ve finished? Probably Inheritance (Christopher Paolini) – 860 pages. It took me several months because I was bored to tears by it (and was also in my last year of university). I was just so unimpressed with that entire series.

Long books I haven’t finished: in third year university, I started both Our Mutual Friend (Charles Dickens – 880 pages) and Ulysses (James Joyce – 1056 pages), but didn’t finish either of them because my professor spoiled the ending of Our Mutual Friend and Ulysses was daunting, plus I had 5 other books to read that week (yay for being an English major!)

M. Major Book Hangover Because Of

This happens on a constant basis, but after crying my way through the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time functioning for about an hour after finishing it.

N. Number of Bookcases You Own

Three – two of them are double stacked (the third is too short and stout otherwise it would be too), plus there are four individual shelves on my walls that are packed with books.

O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times

There are so many, but I’m going to go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) because I was just talking about it on the weekend and it made me want to re-read the series.

P. Preferred Place to Read

My room (i.e. my bed), or the living room.

Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels

Just last week, I talked about my top ten favourite book quotes, but I’m really tied between the first two:

“Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” – Instructions (Neil Gaiman)

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (spoken by Dumbledore)

R. Reading Regret

I regret buying all of the Cassandra Clare books in hardcover. Yes, they are gorgeous, but they take up SO MUCH ROOM and, as I’ve grown out of her, I cringe at the thought of how much I spent on them (thankfully, I bought them all at Costco, so at least my parents saved some money).

S. Series You Started and Need to Finish

I’m steadily working my way through Alan Bradley‘s Flavia de Luce series, and I’ve only read The Fellowship of the Ring (many years ago), so I should probably read the rest of those at some point.

T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books

  1. Ella Enchanted
  2. Audrey, Wait!
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

U. Unapologetic Fangirl For

Harry Potter!!!!!!! #always

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W. Worst Bookish Habit

Buying books because they’re pretty/look interesting and then not reading them for several years.

V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other

Calvin – Martine Leavitt

I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes fan and this book will either be the greatest thing to happen to me or the worst. Either way, I’m intrigued!

X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)

I chose my biggest bookshelf because the selection is much more varied: The Boleyn Inheritance (Philippa Gregory).

Y. Your Latest Book Purchase

I haven’t bought a book in a while (one of the perks of working in publishing!!), but the last book I picked up was Vanessa and Her Sister (Priya Parmar).

Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)

Every Word – Ellie Marney (which I haven’t written a review for yet because it doesn’t come out until September!).

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Authors

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Authors, which was a lot harder than it sounds. The top five are probably constant, though the others could shift up or down or maybe even be replaced, depending on my mood. But they are all authors that make me react like Jake the dog when someone interrupts me:

reading time

  1. J.K. Rowling
  2. Neil Gaiman
  3. Libba Bray
  4. Melissa Marr
  5. Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler
  6. Jonathan Stroud
  7. Ellie Marney
  8. Page Morgan
  9. Robin Benway
  10. Gail Carson Levine

A year ago, Ellie Marney and Page Morgan would not have been on this list, but after discovering them over the past few months (Marney’s Every series and Morgan’s The Dispossessed trilogy), I can say with certainty that they made it onto my “as soon as they release a new book, I’m going to run screaming to the bookstore” list.

Actually, a year ago, Neil Gaiman wouldn’t have been on this list either, and my reading life would not have been nearly as FULFILLING as it is now that I’ve “discovered” him (why did it take me so long to read his books?!? WHY?!!).

gaiman reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters You’d Like To Check In With

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Characters You’d Like to Check In With and is described as being characters in books/series that are over “and you so just wish you could peek in on the “life” you imagine they are leading years down the line after the story ends”.

I can’t talk about them without spoiling the last book in the series, so here’s a list in no particular order:

1) Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire (and Beatrice Snicket!)

From Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (13 books)

2) Artemis Fowl (and Butler and Holly, obviously)

From Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series (8 books)

3) Charlie Bone and friends

From Jenny Nimmo’s under-rated Children of the Red King series (8 books)

4) Aislinn, Seth, Donia, Keenan, Niall, and the other faeries

From Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series (5 – technically 6 – books)

5) The Vampirates crew

From Justin Somper’s Vampirates series (6 books)

6) Gemma, Felicity, Ann, and (maybe) Pippa

From Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy (3 books)

7) Bartimaeus the demon

From Jonathan Stroud’s Bartemaeus Sequence (4 books)

8) Lydia, Emily and Cassie (and their respective boyfriends)

From Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Year of Secret Assignments (standalone, but technically part of the Ashbury/Brookfield books)

Sidenote: I love that it’s called Finding Cassie Crazy in the UK.

Fun fact: I have an ARC of it, and it was the first time I learned that there was such as thing as advanced copies (I was 14 and my sister had got it from work).

9) Audrey/James, Victoria/Jonah

From Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait! (standalone)

10) ALL THE WITCHES AND WIZARDS FROM Harry Potter

Do I even need to tell you who wrote this series?

Sidenote: Yeah, there’s all the extra content on Pottermore, so maybe I’d get my fix if I actually logged in once in a while, but I’m sure most HP fans will agree: sometimes I just want random details about their day-to-day lives. In book form. So that I can read it forever.

BONUS:

Rachel Watts and James Mycroft

From Ellie Marney’s Every series

Technically the last book has not been released in North America, but I’ve read it and it was wonderful, and I just want 5346984 more stories about Rachel and James. Wattscroft forever!

Liebster Award!

Thank you very much to Kristi (Hidden Staircase) for the nomination! I really appreciate it! Please go check out her blog! :)

Some of her questions are tricky, but I had fun coming up with the answers.
Liebster award

How it works:

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer 11 questions from the individual who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new bloggers (with under 200 followers) and come up with your own 11 questions. You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform your nominee on being nominated.

And here are my answers:

1) J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?

Harry Potter always (*cries*). I’ve never been able to get into LOTR, but I’m going to try again soon.

2) What is the number one book you always recommend when someone is looking for a great read?

I feel like I constantly mention Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway) but when asked, I always say my favourite book is Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine). I also can’t stop talking about the Every series (Ellie Marney) or the Dispossesed trilogy (Page Morgan).

3) You can spend a day with one author (living or dead). Who do you pick and why?

Neil Gaiman. He seems like a fascinating person and I think a conversation with him would be full of amazing advice and kooky anecdotes.

I mean, I wouldn’t say no to meeting J.K.Rowling, but I really don’t know if I’d be able to do anything except yell “WHY’D YOU KILL THOSE GUYS?” and then cry for an hour.

4) If you could transport yourself into any book, where would you be?

I’ve always wished I could fall asleep and dream my way into the alternate Italy in the Stravaganza (Mary Hoffman) series.

5) I love books, but I also love a good TV show. What’s your favorite?

Most of my favourite TV shows (Scrubs, Gilmore Girls) are over and have been for a while :( Other than those, I love Adventure Time and I became obsessed with Sherlock late last year.

6) You are forced to pick one book genre to read for life. *gasp* What do you choose?

I’m going super specific and saying urban fantasy (not just regular fantasy!) because there’s so much you can do with it! But I also can’t imagine sticking to one genre forever (YA is not a genre, so that doesn’t count).

7) How many books do you read at one time?

Lately I’ve been reading 1-3 at a time; right now I’m reading 6 because this week has been chaos and I haven’t had time to focus/finish one.

8) Quick pick: Billy Joel or Elton John?

Elton John, I guess. I’ve never been a big fan of either of them, but here is my favourite EJ moment:

9) What book are you looking forward to reading in 2015?

Ahh, so many!! Libba Bray finally announced the sequel to The Diviners, so probably that, but also The Hollow Boy (Jonathan Stroud). OH and I just started The Wondrous and the Wicked by Page Morgan which I was dying for!!!!

10) When you’re not reading, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love going to concerts, but since that’s (unfortunately) not an every day occurrence, I can most often be found writing.

11) The Doctor shows up with the TARDIS, and invites you to travel in time with him for one round trip. Where do you go? 

Elizabethan England. I would like to meet Elizabeth I because she is my favourite queen (I saw her tomb at Westminster Abbey and had to take a moment to fangirl). An added bonus would be an appearance by Shakespeare, but if I just got to hang with the queen, I’d be okay with that.

Nominations:

Um, I really suck at actually following other blogs (I’m working on that). So here are six that I’ve (relatively) recently followed. Some of them may have already been nominated (by people who pay more attention than me)!

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Books
Starlight Dreamer
Being Tori in Victoria
Reading Rachael
Bibliowormed
Once Upon a Bookshelf

And even though she has a fancy-cool website and not a blog:

My friend Jane at janesviews

Questions:

This are mostly simple, but some of the answers could be complex if you’re like me.

  1. Tea or coffee?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  3. Who/what is your favourite cartoon (or animated) character?
  4. What kind of music do you like?
  5. Winter or summer?
  6. Who is your book crush?
  7. If you could live in a fairy tale, which one would you choose?
  8. What is the best event you’ve ever been to (a show/concert/festival, etc)?
  9. Vampires or werewolves (or something else entirely)?
  10. What was your favourite childhood book?
  11. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?