challenge

February Challenge | An Idea a Day

5:00 PM

Hey guys! Two posts is a lot for one day (and I never double post) but I just wanted to let you know about a really awesome challenge that Go Teen Writers is hosting.

It's called February's Monthly Challenge: A Daily Idea and the gist of it is that you have to come up with a story idea every day of February. You can check out the link for more detailed information (I hear there's a chance to win an Amazon gift card *wiggles eyebrows*).

I'm going to be doing this challenge because I feel like it will help my creativity in writing grow and also just make me more confident about my story-telling skills. I'll update on Twitter as far as how I'm doing... if I'm frustrated... There might be the occasional blogpost update too. :)

And, if you decide to do it, I would love for you to let me know how it's going for you.


I already went out to buy special note pads to write my ideas in so I can make sure that I stay motivated and on track (and I'll feel bad if I waste them ;) ). My strategy is super sound don't worry. 

Are you going to be doing the challenge? What's something you do to keep your creative writing juices flowing?

back to school

6 Steps to Conquering a New Semester (Kpop Style)

4:00 PM


Since I've been back at school for a week and seeing as how Kpop's such a huge part of my life now (as you probably have noticed in my song section of recaps hehe), I thought I'd incorporate it into one of my posts in a fun way. *grins* This way I get to talk about Kpop without totally losing you non-kpoppers. ;) 

Welcome to my Back to School: VIXX Edition post! 

For those of you who don't know, VIXX is my favorite Kpop (that is Korean pop music) group ever. My favorite member is the cocky one who raps and...







At this point you're probably rolling your eyes because everybody *cough* parents *cough* has told you this SO MANY TIMES. 

But I'm here to tell you... being organized actually helps. Like a lot. I am normally a very unorganized, scatter-brained person but at school I have tons of things going on. Things with scary deadlines. Things that I have to carefully set up around each other. 

So, be organized. I promised it will make things easier. 

1. Get a planner. Planners are life savers. I write down everything
2. There's also this really cool free (yup) program called Wunderlist that you can get that's basically a digital to-do list.
3. Keep your desk clean and relatively empty. It'll make you want to use it more. :)
4. Make it fun to be organized: get a cute planner or cool stationery just for making lists. 

this is mine





If you're an awkward person like me, going back to school after a sizeable break is always a rude awakening. You have to talk to people everyday. You have to be semi-social. It's gross. 

There are two ways to own that awkward. 1) Tell yourself that there are thousands of other awkward people in the world, nobody's going to remember that awkward thing you did that you will remember forever, and therefore you can go on being awesomely awkward. 2) Tell yourself you're not awkward. You are in fact a super-confident human being who is not intimidated by crowds or small talk. The more you tell yourself that, the more you'll start to act like it. 






Guys, yes this is school where, if you're like me, you work really hard at getting good grades and are usually too busy to focus on anything else. 

Relax. Have fun. Take ten. Hang out with friends sometimes. Randomly decide to go watch a movie at your local theater. Binge read a book you've been aching to read. Go window shop at your favorite store. Take a drive. Whatever. 

You'll thank me later. 






Look good for yourself. I don't know about you, but when I put on one of my favorite outfits I feel like a boss. Like I own the world. It gives me a huuuge confidence boost. 

Does it matter that it's a Wednesday and Wednesdays in fact suck and nothing special is happening? Nope. Just dress up. It'll be good for you ;)






MUSIC. Music is my life basically. It helps calm me down, it helps me de-stress, it helps me sleep faster. It's my favorite. So listen to music. Get headphones, earphones, drown out the world. Listen to something to help you organize, to make you finish that darn paper. If you're feeling a little bit stressed out by all your new homework and expectations, take a breath and listen to your favorite song. 

If you really don't feel like walking to class, listen to music. Theme song, baby. Walk to the rhythm. Lip sync like a boss. You'll feel better. 






Stock yo pantries. It can be hard to remember to eat (either healthily or at all) during school. When I get focused, I get super focused and I have a tendency to skip meals or just heat up something really fast (and probably unhealthy). 

Trust in me. I am a food master. Take care of your body. Feed it. All the brain cells required for school have to operate on something. If you're worried about not having time to fix good meals (for you college kids), prepare a few meals beforehand. 

What do you do to get yourself focused and ready for school/work? Are there any other kinds of Kpop-ish posts you'd like to see?


On a side note, Briana from Reader, Writer, Critic is hosting a giveaway this month with the following books:

image is Briana's

The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Endure by Sara B. Larson

You can check that out HERE. (Or you can choose not to too of course. Be my guest. Better chance for me ;) )

blog posts

Survey time!

5:08 PM

This is just a quick interlude in the regular blogging schedule to give you all a survey which I really, really hope you all will take a few minutes to finish.

It only has nine questions and it won't take a lot of your time. :) It just asks for blog followers' opinions on different things like blog posts or social media.






Create your own user feedback survey


lists

Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR

4:00 PM


It's been a while since I did a Top Ten Tuesday buuuut I'm back! At least, for this Tuesday. :)) 


The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion by Chris McCoy

This sounds pretty ridiculous which is probably why I put it in my TBRs.


I know. My reasons are so profound.




Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

This is a beautiful (unique) cover and I'm all for books about time-travel.




Roommate Wanted by Nina Perez

First of all, in my opinion, the most interesting stories are about ordinary people who would've never noticed each other accept that somehow they now exist in each other's lives aka live in the same house.

Second of all... Yeah. I only had the one point.




Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

I like lists. I like not being cliche. A story about trashing lists and being cliche? Hmm, interesting.


In all seriousness though, I've heard great things and I've been wanting to read it for a long time.




A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

This book. sounds. breathtaking. It is a fact (or I'm pretty sure it is) that women were packed off to asylums sometimes in the olden days when they were too different or too outspoken (once again, I think. correct me if I'm wrong). Anyways, women + asylum + detective work. Yes.




The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

I have to admit. The whole best friend being worshiped by mountain lions threw me off. Just a little. But that's okay. This book sounds unique and different. I like unique and different.




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

The blurb has gotten me so curious. I've forgotten how this book came to my TBR but I shall read it eventually.




Reawakened by Colleen Houck

A re-animated Egyptian prince sounds like fun. Honestly, it sounds like Night at the Museum which I think is the perfect reason to read it because that movie is one of my all time favorites.




Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I read Red Queen and loved it to death. Thus, Glass Sword.





The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine

I have to admit... I was dragged into this one based entirely on appearances. LOOK AT THAT COVER. It is gorgeous. And besides, Snow White retelling? Um yes?


What are books that you've added to your TBR recently?

book review

Review // The Bane Chronicles

8:00 AM





The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, & Maureen Johnson
Pages: 528
Published: November 11, 2014
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA, Magic
Cover Rating: ✰ (not bad, I like the picture and the title placement but it's not amazing imo)

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.





I'm so glad I read this book. I kind of already had a soft spot for Magnus Bane...his flair, his sass, and his continual help even though at times he seemed reluctant or cold (and of course he had the right to be). 

But now I think I understand better how hard it could be to continue on through the centuries, continually finding and losing people. And how it would most definitely be easier to not care. Magnus is so strong. 


He continued to help people, to risk breaking his own heart, because he couldn't abandon anyone. THAT, my friend, is true heroism. In the end, morals matter much less in the face of kind actions. 

Sass though. We can't do a review with Magnus Bane in it and skip the sass.



I am completely convinced that the brain of the fabulous Magnus Bane represents book bloggers/tumblr-ers as a whole. I dunno. :D We are fabulous though. 

There was also a page of beautiful cartoon/graphic novel work for each short story which I loved and thought added a lot. It was unique!


The (Shadowhunter) family history was, as always, intertwined throughout in really cool ways. But I STILL have a hard time remembering all those last names. It takes me five minutes to try to remember Will's last name. It's a problem (I understand you Magnus). 

Some of my favorite lines from this book were... 

What Really Happened in Peru

Ragnor's suspicious nature continued to make Magnus very sad and disappointed in him as a person.
~~
Magnus refused to wallow. Wallowing was for elephants, depressing people, and depressing elephants.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale

"I'm so sorry," Magnus said politely. "Somebody incredibly attractive just came into the room, and I ceased to pay attention to a word you were saying."
~~
"Very well," Magnus said. "Let us pause for a moment and consider--Oh, you have already run off. Splendid."

The Midnight Heir

"Betrayed!" Will muttered. "Cruelly maligned by my friend and now by my own cherished wife, scorned, my name blackened--"

"I see you are still fond of histrionics, Will," said Magnus. "As well as still handsome."

Saving Raphael Santiago

"Oh no, Raphael, please don't leave me," Magnus said in a monotone, "Where would I be without the light of your sweet smile? If you go, I will throw myself upon the ground and weep."

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything

personal note: hilarious interaction with the demon squid.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute

Every age thought they were so enlightened, and every age was stumbling around in much the same darkness of ignorance and fear.

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)

personal note: Magnus and Catarina being cutie BFFs.
~~
The redheaded guy squawked, revealing braces, and flapped his hands in what seemed to be either urgent surrender or a very good panicked duck impression.
~~
personal note: Erik the werewolf waiter. 'Nuff said. 


My Rating:

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. All opinions or thoughts expressed are my own. 

book tag

The Milk Tea Book Tag

8:00 AM



Tansie @Totally Tansie tagged me for this ages ago (something like September last year) and I have horrible memory please forgive my forgetfulness. I'm sorryyyyyy. *grins winningly* Anyways, thank you so much girl you da bomb. (This whole post is kind of ironic though as I don't like tea at all. Oh well.)


Tea: the foundation of your reading life

I would say either the Little House on the Prairie series or Marguerite Henry horse books. I know that I've always loved to read but I can't remember what I read when I was super little. I loved imagining Laura's adventures and constant traveling. And I loved horses. A lot. 

Milk: a rich, smooth book


I agree that Cruel Beauty was amazing (everybody should read it imo), but another book that I think fits this spot is The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. No... I wouldn't describe it maybe as the smoothest book. But it was rich and the language was beautiful and raw. It wasn't a story about vampires (even though yes it actually is I'm just being poetic). It was a story about two broken people that fixed each other. 

Sugar: a book you love but is controversial


Okay, so Tansie interpreted this to mean this-book-has-controversial-life-question-content but when I saw this I thought oh this means this-book-has-been-argued-over-on-whether-or-not-it's-good. I'm shallow like that. *tosses hair* I'm just gonna go with my interpretation for this one. My pick is Red Queen. There was so much talk in the blogosphere of whether it was awesome or whether it was a rip-off of other similar YA book... in my humble opinion, it was great. I loved it! 

I can see that there were some very similar parts to one very popular series that has been made into movies *cough* the Hunger Games *cough* BUT it is really darn hard to come up with a completely original plot. Especially in that genre. What do you think of as a catalyst for a dystopian-ish book? Obviously, there are the good guys and the bad guys. Obviously, you make your MC small and ordinary looking so lots of readers will think they identify with her. Obviously, there is a rebellion because the good guys are like that. 

I mean, it's just really hard to not go in that direction when you think about a dystopian or dystopian-ish book. 

But that's just my opinion. Which is obviously right.

Ice: a book just for fun


Gamer Girl is just a fun, super fluffy, short book about gaming and manga. It doesn't have a fabulous plot or extremely well-rounded characters but it's relatable. The layout is cute. It understands gaming and moms-related-to-gaming (who generally don't look at it too positively from my personal experience lol). 

Silk stocking: A book that's much better than it sounds


I mean, look at the cover. It already doesn't have much going for it and it sounds like a corny, shallow (albeit paranormal) high school romance. The Ghost and the Goth did have pinches of that but it also went a lot deeper into the paranormal and mysteries and the development of people. I thought it was a really great book (and needs a better cover). 

Yinyang: A book with foreign influence


Indian culture was woven throughout this story, not only modern stuff but also ancient legends and old gods and it was super cool. There's also a circus. Which I've always thought was almost another culture in itself. And the cover is gorgeous. Look at it. 

~~~

So those are all my answers for the tag. I wish I could've picked a few newer books but I didn't have a stellar reading year so I'm just gonna have to take what I can get. :) 

Who to tag...who to tag. Hm.

I tag:

Ely @What Can I Say?
Aneta @The Graffiti on the Wall

and aaanybody else who wants to. When I say nominate yourself and don't feel bad, I mean please for the love of god nominate yourself and don't feel bad at all because I don't know people and I need to expand my blog circles. Just remember to put your link in the comments so I can come see your post!

2016

Hi There || 2016

12:14 AM

I have big hopes for this year :) I hope that I'll be more productive and less procrastinatory not only in school things but just in other things that I do because I love them. Like reading and blogging. I hope that I can find a good balance between hanging out with friends and getting over-exhausted by socializing. I hope that I sleep good hours and watch good movies. I hope I don't let stress run my life. I hope I dress up once in a while for no reason. I hope I actually go to the library in my college town once in a while.


BUT, I've also made some defined resolutions. After all, what would a new year be without them?



1. Finish all the books I started but put aside.

2. Buy at least one Kpop album. 

3. Finish my design website. 

4. Go on small adventures. 

5. Spend more time with friends. 

6. Get my ears pierced. 


Simple, pretty short. But I like it. And of course we can't forget my Goodreads Challenge. *grins*


I know 35 books isn't a lot. I mean in a good year, I could probably easily read three times that many. If I'm being honest with myself though, 35 books is a good year now. As unfortunate as that may be. 



Happy (Late) New Year to you all! I hope you have the very best of years this year. Tell me about the books you can't wait for that are being published this year :))

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