Sunday Swoons | The Friend Factor in Relationships

4:47 PM

Sunday Swoons is a weekly feature hosted by Briana @Reader, Writer, Critic and myself where we discuss all things romantical in fiction whether it's our favorite couples or quirkiest pick-up lines. We've both been busy which explains the lateness of this post. Oops. I hope you like reading our posts. Briana was the mastermind behind this topic :) Link up and have fun with us!

1. You're welcome (and, in fact, encouraged ;)) to use my/our button in your post, just please cite me as the source.

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts. You'll only have to enter once so don't enter on both of our link-ups.

This week's topic: The Friend Factor in Relationships--How Other Friends Fit into Main Characters' Relationships and What Effects They Can Have

First, I'd just like to clarify a few things about the title for today's topic. Don't be confused by the longness ;) we just wanted to make sure it was clear that you can write anything about friends/best friends as related to relationships. This isn't limited to a discussion post. You could also write a post on a list of your favorite fictional friends and why. In the "why" section, you could focus on how they affected the relationship of the main couple. So your favorites would be based on the things you liked about how they influenced the main couple. There's a ton of room for a HUGE range of topics, so have fun with this. :)

I always feel like if the main character has a close friend (especially of the opposite gender but also including the same gender) it shows that the relationship he or she is in is healthy. I don't want to focus on the philosophical-ness of it all too much today, but it really shows that the relationship is healthy if there are other close friends. It shows that they have time for other people besides each other. 

I'm not against close couples. Not at all. I just think that it's better if they have other friends besides each other. And it's just a given to me, that the couple should be good friends before they are a good couple. 

Friends are the best, because they're there when you need someone to talk to besides the one you're in like/love with. They usually give their opinion more freely than the guy/girl who likes you. The friendship isn't clouded with the confusion or nervousness that comes with a couple's relationship. that I've gotten it across that I'm all for fictional besties, what kinds are there? Glad you asked. :D

1. The Supportive, Sweet Friend.
This friend is always there for the main character. No matter what, they believe and support and love the MC. And sometimes that's the only thing that keeps the MC up. These kinds of friends also usually support the MC's romantic decisions, but if they don't they'll only let them know subtly. They'll be reluctant to bring it up. However, they'll do it. And if they do, you know there's something you should watch out for. Because this friend almost never straight-up dislikes anybody. 

2. The Jokester.
This friend is always laughing and joking around. Corny jokes, funny stories....yeah, you know a person like this don't you. ;) They don't seem to take life (or anything really) seriously. But if they're friends with the MC, they will take it seriously whenever they think something's up with the luuurve interest. If they don't like him/her, they'll probably cut the joking and go a little silent for them. When the smiles stop coming, you should be worried. Even though these friends don't seem like they pay attention, they know what's going on. 

3. The Sarcastic Skeptic
This type of friend has a personality that usually tends to go one of two ways. a) The friend is loud, popular and never hesitates to speak their mind or b) they are more of a quiet, loner type...and still never hesitate to speak their mind. Either way, you know they always have the MC's back. They will never hold back from telling the MC exactly what they think of the new love interest whether good or bad. While it won't be easy to get them to approve of a love interest, once they do you're good. 

What do you think? Do you prefer it when fictional couples have friends outside of their little lonely selves? What's your favorite kind of friend? Is it one of the ones I wrote about or is there another one? Tell all :)

Also, if you've read my Changes & Chocolate post about how I'm changing it up on the blog and haven't been able to vote on the poll I put there, I'm sorry. I re-did it today and it still doesn't work. I have no idea what's wrong but, for now, if you want to put in your vote just put it in the comments of that post. 

Have a great day! And don't forget to check out Briana's post. 

Next Week's Topic: Couples on Covers


Very Inspiring Blogger (No, I'm Not Just Randomly Complimenting Myself)

4:49 PM

Heeeey, guys. I know I haven't been posting regularly and none of them have been reviews lately, but I'm still in my first week of class so hopefully I can get a routine down soon and get back to, if not same, then similar posting pattern. Love you guys and thanks so much for following this blog and...just caring about what I think...which (admit it) is pretty awesome of you.

You guys deserve all the chocolate you can get, but since 1) I'm not blessed with unlimited money and 2) I don't know my way around this (new) darn town yet you'll have to satisfy yourselves with imaginary chocolate.

You'll be okay. *pats head*

Thanks so much for nominating me, Kate! I'm so glad to know I'm a VIB. ;) 

1. Thank and link back to the amazing person(s) who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award. 
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate some other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

1. I have played a sport called wiffleball (I think that's what it's called anyway) which is a simpler, kinda wacky version of baseball. I injured myself too. I think this shows that sports and I are not compatible. 

2. I can eat a lot if I'm really hungry. I'm talking three large pieces of pizza plus hot wings and salad. I feel it's fair at this point to inform you that I'm 5 foot 3. 

3. I don't like mayonnaise on any kind of sandwich except for Reuben sandwiches. They are pieces of divineness. But don't take my word for it, you need to try it. Go. *shoos*

4. Despite me not liking sports that much, I can do a pretty good job of catching any type of ball. Not to brag or anything. ;)

5. My hair frizzes when it's humid. Or just frizzes. 

6. Even though I'm scared of heights, deep water, and roller coasters, I have walked across an extremely shaky, blowing-around-in-the-wind suspension bridge, swam in the 8 1/2 foot side of the pool, and ridden a small ring shaped roller coaster. I have heart problems now. 

7. I love all Marvel movies. Like even Fantastic Four or whatever the heck it's called that nobody likes. 

My Nominees...
Tansie @Totally Tansie
S.R. @McKade 
Ashtyn @Wonderland's Reader
Sophia @Ravens and Writing Desks
And whoever else wants to join in!


Changes & Chocolate

11:01 AM

This is my first weekend home since I moved to college. I know I haven't been posting regularly with the exception of my Sunday Swoons posts but that's to be expected with the new schedule and everything.

So, I have decided to give you the run-down of a tentative new posting schedule. Hopefully it works out...If I make more changes, I'll be sure to let you know about them.

My Plan

Eh. Just kidding. (Mostly.)

My blogging plan for now is to have posts up for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Sundays, of course, will be for the Swoons posts or maybe sometimes another post added to that one. Fridays and Saturdays will be for my reviews and discussion posts. This will be what you can expect unless/until I find a better schedule. 

One exception to this though is the week of Freshmen Assemble (bloggers going to college) posts that will be going up like I planned before. 

I want to thank you all for sticking with me through this time of basically no posts ;) If you want to talk to me or talk about one of my posts, you don't have to comment or only comment. You can tweet me! I love getting tweets and talking with you all on Twitter about everything. :) 

Now that this blog is going through some changes, I'm curious. What posts would you like to see more of? Is there something I haven't done (Ex: a topic, a feature, etc.) that you'd love for me to cover? TELL ME. And that was yelled in the nicest way possible. *hugs* Hugs make up for everything. 

What would you like to see more of? free polls


Sunday Swoons | Sarcasm in Relationships and Couples

8:00 AM

Sunday Swoons is a weekly feature hosted by Briana @Reader, Writer, Critic and myself where we discuss all things romantical in fiction whether it's our favorite couples or quirkiest pick-up lines. This week's topic is brain child of both Briana and I. I really think it has room for a lot of different topics and I can't wait to see what you come up with. :) As always, don't forget to check out Briana's post. 

1. You're welcome (and, in fact, encouraged ;)) to use my/our button in your post, just please cite me as the source.

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts. You'll only have to enter once so don't enter on both of our link-ups.

This week's topic: Sarcasm in Relationships and Couples

When we decided on on this topic (Sarcasm in Relationships and Couples), I brainstormed a lot trying to find something I could write about that wasn't cliche or over-written. Finally, I got the idea to talk about sarcasm and whether it shows the strength of a relationship or not. 

I think it does in a way. 

I mean, think about all those couple that are always trading jabs with each other and picking on each other. They're both sarcastic and witty, and it's kind of like watching a tennis match but it's also awesome because sarcasm is the best. 

Oops, I went off track there a little bit. My point-- Don't these couples seem like they have a stronger relationship than others? Stronger than the relationships where no one can get insulted without getting hurt or relationships where people are always fighting over the tiniest things?

It seems to me that if there is a couple who can take reasonable insults and trade sarcastic retorts with each other, it says that they are confident of their status as a couple. They know where they stand and are comfortable with each other. They can take jabs and laugh at the same time. 

To me, it says a lot when a couple can be sarcastic and express their feelings to each other. This means that they know each other to the point of them not sugar-coating or censoring. This makes them, in my opinion, one of the strongest couple types out there. Maybe that's why I like those kinds of couples in fiction so much. It just feels real to me. 

Of course, this can go too far too. There is a point where to much sarcasm can weaken a relationship instead of making it stronger. For example, being sarcastic in the wrong times or with the wrong things. It can damage a person if they take too many sarcastic remarks that are supposed to be sarcastic but actually feel really real. It can go wrong. 

And I'm not saying that sarcastic couples are always the strongest. I'm saying that most of the time (according to me) they're pretty darn strong. 

What do you think? Do you agree with me that sarcastic couples are usually the strongest or is there another couple type that you think trumps them? Do you have any favorite sarcastic couples? Comment away, peoples. :)

Okay, so I realize that this post is kind of tiny but that's just the amount of space I needed to get my point across I guess. College update: The first day's the worst. So now I'm feeling better. If you have any questions about living at college or preparing for college, go ahead and put them down in the comments . I can use them to fill out posts for the Freshmen Assemble project! 

Next week's topic: The Friend Factor in Relationships | How Other Friends Fit into Main Characters' Relationships and What Effects They Can Have


Figments Friday {2}

8:00 AM

source: Briana @Reader, Writer, Critic
Figments Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Briana @Reader, Writer, Critic where we share our writing and anything related--like snippets from our WIPs, character interviews, or even conversations between a character from one story and a character from another story. 

Today I'm sharing another snippet from the story that I'm mainly working on now. Maybe sometime in the future I'll do an interview or something like that. :)

My hand burns where it touches Keelin's. And I see flashes of images, fast as the speed of light, hurtling, zipping, careening through my mind. They are so intense--so strong--that the air itself seems to be resisting the attempts I make to breathe it in. 

And worst of all. The very worst of all is the emotion that rolls so strongly through my body that I feel like vomiting up my breakfast. 

I yank my hand back and give Keelin a forced small smile. "You'll be fine, sweets." I reach over the table and give her a tight hug, carefully making sure that none of our skin is touching. 

At which, the mother gives an outraged squawk and rips her out of my embrace. 

I don't know whether to snarl at her or laugh at her. So I do neither. And as the two walk out, I barely register their actions. I'm lost in the maze of my mind yet again. 

Because...because, what I saw when I touched that girl was horrifying. Enough to make me shrink with terror in the far corner of the tent. 

I saw her dreams, her nightmares. And I can only shudder. 

Because I am a dream walker, and I have walked her dreams before. 


Sunshine Award Times Two

11:10 AM

This is the first time I've gotten any award besides the Liebster and it was given to me by two people! I'm so excited. :) Thank you NevilleGirl and Sophia SO much. And I'm so happy you guys thought of me *grins hugely*.

According to what I learned from my nominators' posts and my own (casual) research into it, the Sunshine Award is really similar to the Liebster Blog Award. The purpose of the Sunshine Award, like the Liebster, is to help bloggers connect with each other.

1. Tell us five facts about yourself.
2. Answer the five questions given. 
3. Write five questions for your nominees to answer.
4. Nominate five bloggers for the award and let them know about it (although this isn't mandatory since there's all kinds of variation here).
5. Thank the person who nominated you!

1. I've never gone to any book events like author signings, book con (or whatever they call it), etc. 

2. I have hazel eyes and sometimes in pictures one of my eyes looks green and the other looks brown. #truestory

3. I hate shopping for stuff when I'm the one who has to deal with the cashier and everything. 

4. When I was a kid, I chopped off lots of my hair so my mom had to take me to get a bobbed/bob haircut to make it look like a weed-eater didn't just try to eat my hair. 

5. My favorite color of nail polish is dark maroon (well, I guess maroon is, you know what I mean) with the kind of shiny sheen to it. It's not sparkles but it's not matte either. 

1. What book will you read next?
Oh gosh, I don't know. Probably Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner or Gypsy by I-can't-remember-right-now.

2. Do your parents, siblings, or any other relatives read your blog? What do they think of it?
Only my sister reads my blog. And well she rolls her eyes at a lot of my jokes but I think she secretly likes it ;) *whispers* She reads all my posts. 

3. What's the funniest thing you've seen or heard recently?
Haha it has to be this video clip of Orange Caramel (a Kpop girl group). 

It's hilarious. 

4. If you could choose, right now, to be either ten years younger or ten years older than you currently are, which option would you pick?
Definitely ten years younger (which would be eight for me, if you're interested ;)). When I was eight, there wasn't anything to worry about except my piano lessons and schoolwork that was pretty easy to me then. I ran around and played with my guy cousins and little sister all the time. It was carefree *sigh*

5. What is your quest?
Uh...I'm not really sure how to answer this question. If you're referring to some fandom then sorry, no idea what you're talking about. 

However. If you're talking about my quest in life, then I'd say it's to do normal stuff like go through college and get a job I love, but also other stuff like continue to blog (forever) and write a book and travel the world. I want to make a difference in someone's life and find direction for my own. I want to be me and be proud of it. Yeah, I have a lot of quests :D

1. Do you buy books from a bookstore, or borrow from a library more often? Why?
I usually borrow from a library more. Because free books. 'Nough said. :)

2. If you could have one fictional character as your best friend, who would it be?
I'd say Mallory from Going Vintage. She has an awesome sense of humor.

3. Have you ever written a letter to an author - and actually sent it? (if so - did you get a reply?) [Note: I have done none of these things. Bad me.]
I guess I'm bad too because I haven't done any of these things either. I've thought about writing a letter to an author, but that's as far as it's ever gotten. Maybe I should change

4. What is your favorite reading place?
I'm not very picky so probably just sitting against a wall somewhere in the house or on my bed (sprawled very gracefully of course). 

5. If you could pick one kitchen utensil that describes you, what would it be and why?
I've never thought about that before. Good question ;)

I'd say a spork. Yes, that abominable thing. I hate using sporks. Anyways. Off topic. I think I'm a spork because it's a cross between two very different things, a fork and a spoon. And I'm a confusing mixture of personalities myself and I like all sorts of contradicting things like rap and Celtic music. XD

1. What color describes your personality best?
2. Given the choice of swimming in a lake or a pool, which one would you pick?
3. Who's your favorite fictional couple?
4. If you had the chance to give a foreigner only one American food to convince them it was awesome, what food would you pick?
5. What is your least favorite part of writing (if you write)? If you don't write, what's your least favorite animal? (You weren't expecting that were you. Admit it.)

Ella @Once Upon a Bookish Time
Ashtyn @Wonderland's Reader
AND anyone else who wants to join in. Leave me a link and I'll make sure to check out your post.


Book Cover of My Life

11:03 AM

This is kinda an awkward add-on to the Liebster that I got recently. There was a question that asked--if there was  book cover for my life, what would it look like?

Well, I immediately proceeded to create a book cover and almost finished it. BUT something on my computer (I think it was a program that wasn't working then or something) wasn't working and I got frustrated *grins* and didn't finish it.

Since I've learned from sources *wiggles eyebrows* that you (Briana) really really wanted us nominees to come up with a cover...I decided that I'd finish up the tiny bit that needed done and put it here.


This basically describes my life right now. Music is awesome and a huge part of my life. Lists are life-savers. And I really don't know how many I have. ;) The car on the bottom is my baby Mustang and the road kind of symbolizes my life but then it kind of symbolizes me going off to college too.

I couldn't decided on one title because I'm just indecisive like that. :) "Life of a Random" because I just kind of feel like that sums up everything pretty well. It's my blog's name, it's me basically.

But I also put "Crossword Puzzle" because if people take the time to figure me out, they'll be awesomely surprised (I thought that was pretty smart of me ;)). They'd come to realize that I'm not just a shy bookworm with extreme introvert tendencies but also someone who loves joking around and laughing and just being ridiculous sometimes.

Anyway, this is for you Briana! Hope you liked and to everybody else, I know my blog hasn't been having a lot of book reviews lately but hopefully I can speed read and write some up so that you'll have some this week and the near future.

Hugs and chocolate.


Sunday Swoons | Things Girls Do to Their Significant Others (That We Hate)

11:59 PM

Sunday Swoons is a weekly feature hosted by Briana @Reader, Writer, Critic and myself where we discuss all things romantical in fiction whether it's our favorite couples or quirkiest pick-up lines. This is our second week co-hosting! (For some reason I always forget to add certain parts to these posts and add them later. Oops.) We've been having a blast coming up with topics and working together, and it'd be awesome if you had a blast by doing the link-up too. ;) Make sure to stop by Briana's post and comment because she's the (duh) amazing creator of Sunday Swoons and you need to recognize her greatness. :D

1. You're welcome (and, in fact, encouraged ;)) to use my/our button in your post, just please cite me as the source.

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts. You'll only have to enter once so don't enter on both of our link-ups.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: Things Girls Do to Their Significant Others (That We Hate) 

Just because I'm a complete supporter of all-things-girl doesn't mean I don't want to throttle a few for the unfair way they treat guys.

It's true.

What is it exactly that I hate about friendzoning? I mean, it's not like a girl can like every guy that likes her. And that's a good thing. But, as a general rule, I stare at it with mistrust and extreme dislike.

And here's why.

Let's set the scene.... this girl and boy have been friends since they were in elementary (and maybe even further back). They've had the best adventures, memories, and stories. They have each other's backs all the time. They know that, even if no one else is there, they will be there to support each other.

And then, the inevitable happens. The guy falls in love with the girl, but the girl doesn't love him. Well, she does, but as a brother. Gosh, think of the sick feeling you would get in your stomach at that announcement if you were in that situation.

I understand though, that these things sometimes happen and that they're fine when they do because sometimes two people don't fit that way (but on another line, how many fictional guy and girl best friends have you actually seen get together and stay together?).

But it's the way the girl usually behaves after the guy tells her he's in love with her that I hate.

Fictional girls have this problem where they think that as long as they've cleared everything up with their guy friend they can go off and get into relationships without another thought. Not only do they usually participate in PDA shamelessly and talk about their dates with their BGF (best guy friend). They also completely expect him to spend as much time with them as always.

This is not fair. It's not fair, girls. The guy's heart is already broken that you think (and always will think) of him as a sibling. Don't rub it in his face that he can never have you no matter how hard he tries.

He needs space and time to get used to the idea that, well, you're not into him. His broken heart needs time to heal. And to not be there if you like another guy.

Yeah, maybe you will be friends through all of that. But you can't honestly believe that everything will be the same. It can't be. Don't be selfish and tell him that you need him.

Just don't. What do you think that's going to do to him? When he loves you and you tell him, I need you but I don't need you enough to be my boyfriend. He has feelings too. You need to be sensitive to those feelings and not treat him like a gadget or toy that you can call on whenever you need.

And for god's sake, don't use him as your "boyfriend" in desperate times that are only desperate because you want to make your crush jealous. You do realize how messed up that is, right? He has feelings. He is not an emotionless robot created to please you. 

Be an adult. Be considerate. 

Of all the things I hate that are related in some way to friendzoning, this has got to be the absolute worst. Many YA love triangles feature this. It's really common for some reason and I can't stand it. 

You've already told your guy best friend that it will never work. You don't like him that way, but you? You find yourself watching him and thinking about his eyes or whatever else. You have a boyfriend.

If you, generic YA female main character, cannot make up your mind on who you like or if you like them then DON'T DATE. 

Step back, take a deep breath, discover yourself and find who you are before you get in a relationship. A fulfilling relationship. Because if this is a love triangle, then you're probably having half-relationships with two guys who both like you. 

Problem is, you like both of them too.

Don't try to make it work okay. This is going to end up in a situation that sucks very much. Your best friend will be mad at you and heartbroken and you will have lost a really good friend. He may still stick with you, but is your friendship really as strong as it was before? Your boyfriend? Probably not gonna like you too much either. You don't like guys leading girls on? Yeah, okay, practice your own sermons, chica. 

If it's the other situation and you're confused about whether you like your guy best friend or not, it does not mean you should do nothing about it and keep sending him mixed signals. Give yourself some space. He doesn't deserve the roller coaster ride that is you trying to figure out your emotions. 

Even though this was originally going to be a very calm, logical list of things I hate that girls do-- aspects of friendzoning...I admit it kind of swerved off into "Land of Rants". Oops. It's the thought that counts. 

Next week's topic is: Sarcasm in Relationships and Couples

blog award

I Have Been Given an Award~The Liebster!

12:07 PM

Briana @Reader, Writer, Critic nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award because she's amazing. It's been a while since I've gotten any awards so thanks so much, Briana, you made my day that much more awesome. (Can I virtually hug you? 'Cause I feel like I want to virtually hug you.)

Note: Feel free to use the rules design/picture I used above because I know it's waaaay easier than typing all of the rules up.

I may have used some of these facts before but I can't remember right now and I'm too lazy to go back and check and just call it a refresher. ;) I know for a fact (hehe, get it?) that some of these are totally brand spankin' new. 

1. I will be entering into my first (intimidating) year of college this fall.

2. When I was a baby (I'm, infant baby) I cried a lot, and my poor young dad got so fed up with it that he put chile sauce on my fingertips in order to make me stop. Well...I actually ate the chili sauce quite happily. Aw, I was such a cute baby.

3. Adulthood is proving to be even more scary than I thought it would be. :) Which is saying a lot.

4. I love trying to mimic different people's voices, whether it's some lines from a movie or a song that I love. Not saying that I'm particularly awesome at it, but it's SO fun.

5. I hated the Romeo and Juliet movie. But I STILL SOBBED at the ending. Which made me hate it even more. You don't be a bad movie and then make me cry. Grr.

6. I had a stage in my reading where I almost everything I read was Amish romance....

7. I happen to think that a double-decker couch isn't that bad of an idea (*cough* movie reference *cough*).

8. I'm really awkward around people I don't know. So, it's like yeah, I do want to be nice and maybe a little friendly but I'll wave at you and my face will be totally serious.

9. I have a weak spot for movies about high school football team underdog triumphs or any kind of underdog sports team kicking butt. I just like them.

10. I recently got a couple wigs and plan to definitely do some type of book cosplay on this blog (when I have more spendable...stuff. Like money.).

11. I LOVE YOU GUYS. Okay, I might have been running out of things to say....but seriously, book blogging is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And it's not even because of the free books! It's because of you all. I've made some great friends (Yes, Briana, you are included in this ;)) and each one of you makes my day when you comment on my posts. *throws kisses*

(These are really unique questions, Briana!)

1. What post are you most proud of? (Link us to it please!)
Oh, gosh, I don't know. Probably (Expecting) Failure Is Not an was just a big "lightbulb" moment for me and I'm kinda proud of how it ended up. Like how I worded it and stuff. 

2. If you had to pick two fictional characters to be your parents and raise you from baby to adult who would you pick and why? (They don't have to be from the same books.)

I love Blue's mom from The Raven Boys! So yeah Maura would be my mom because she's really laid back and sarcastic but also just really cares about her kid and I have a feeling she could be a real mother bear if someone threatened her baby. ;)

You know it's actually really hard to find dads in YA fiction. They're the ones who are always missing. Buuut given the choice, I'd probably want Sophie's dad James (from Hex Hall) or Mallory's dad who doesn't have a name (from Going Vintage). James is really protective and kind of not too emotional, but he's dryly sarcastic and he really cares a lot about his daughter. Mallory's dad is really chill and easy-going. He's the kind of dad who's effortlessly cool without looking ridiculous. He's an antiques dealer and realtor which is a really neat combo. Besides, think about all the awesome old items I would get to look through and take pictures of.

3. If you had to take the place of a character in a book, whose place would you take and why?

This is hard because most of the books I read have characters in situations that require some fearlessness. *cough* I'm not fearless at all.

I'm gonna say Harper from Rebel Belle (by Rachel Hawkins). Because, not gonna lie, it would be pretty darn awesome to suddenly have super fighting powers. But those fancy dresses (and the HEELS) sound like they might be a headache. Or the fancy thing that the girls do as sort of a I'm-a-woman-now event.

4. Everyone always asks about your favorite part of blogging, but let's be real, there have to be things that you don't like. What is your least favorite part or the part that is the most challenging?

My least favorite thing would have to be having to write a review by a certain time. I don't know why but my personality just rebels against that sort of thing and I read the book and write the review even slower. 

5. What has been your favorite read this month? (Or pick a few if picking one is too hard.)

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen which I've reviewed. It just blew my mind with the world-building of the troll city and the characters. The plot twisted and turned too. *sigh* Perfection.

6. If you were to make a book cover that represented your life and personality what would it look like?

I think it would be a mix of abstract and artistic. Like those book covers that combine drawings or cartoon type art with realistic art. And it would have different things important to me like books and blogging related stuff. 

7. Of course you love books and blogging and all that good stuff but if you didn't spend time doing either one of those things, what would you spend all your free time doing?

I read this question and wow it's really hard imagining my life without these two things but especially reading. I think I would draw and paint, do photography, and maybe sew more. Still artsy stuff but not ones that require electricity. ;) 

8. What's your favorite and least favorite genre and why?

My favorite genre is YA paranormal/urban fantasy because it combines fantasy or magical elements while at the same time occurring in a world I understand (the modern one), PLUS there's an amazing selection to choose from. 

Least favorite genre... well, just assume that I'm choosing from YA because that's basically what I read. So my least favorite genre is probably contemporary (or anything) that focuses too much on romance, and horror stuff. Paranormal is the closest I will get to scaring myself, thank you very much.

9. What makes you want to read a book (more than other books)?

A unique premise that I haven't heard before or a kick-butt female main character. Or both. Both is good. Also, ones that have magic involved grabs my interest too. :)

10. How do you feel about book covers? Do you judge books based on them? Is it ok to? Ect.

I do judge books by their covers but if I find a good book that has a bad cover I'll still read it. Of course, I wish it had a beautiful cover that matched the beautiful story but I can't have everything. :D I don't think there's a way for people to not judge books by covers. I mean, it's the first thing we see. And I think it's okay to do that.

11. If you were to pick an author to write a book based on you and your life, who would you want to write it?

Probably Lindsey Leavitt (author of Going Vintage, Princess for Hire series, etc.) because she writes with the best humor ever. And when I read some of her books I can imagine that it's me or one of my blogger friends talking. Although, I would want the writing to be able to sound deep and thoughtful as well. 

Aaaand those are my long-winded answers to those questions ;) I had such a fun time coming up with the answers so THANKS AGAIN BRIANA. 

Hehe, of course I'm joking. You're all special pretzels. :D (Of course, how lucky can you actually be if you have to come up with eleven nominees of your own? *evil grin* That's what I thought.) Well, I had to go off into the great wide blogosphere to search for blogs with the right amount of followers. It was long and hard, my friends. ;) Even though some (or all) of these blogs might not be ones that I've discovered until now, I always make sure to read a few of their posts that are more personal and determine whether I instantly love their personality that shines through. So just know that I didn't go off handing these nominations to whichever blogs fit the criteria. 

Also, just a warning to you nominees, I may have liked your blog so much that I might be planning on return visits. 

4. Alannah @Kissing Winter
5. Amelia @Robinson Writes
6. Hagar @The Serial Book Lover
7~10 Egh, I give up. Any of you who have 200 or less followers are completely welcome to nominate yourself :) Just leave your link in the comments and I'll check it out.

(edited) GOSH DARN IT I FORGOT THE QUESTIONS. I'm just going to blame this on the general busy and stress and college-preparing that have taken over my life at this moment. :) Apparently, this causes memory loss for me. 

The Questions
1. What is one place or one activity/thing-you-do that makes you feel really fulfilled?
2. What is something you're not scared of that a lot of people are scared of? (You boss person, you.)
3. Top three things you do when you don't want to think or be stressed. 
4. Headphones or earphones?
5. Have you ever been to a concert?
6. Do you remember book titles or author names better? 
7. Can you listen to a song with words (like people singing) while you write?
8. What's your go-to weird face when you take selfies? (Picture not required. You're welcome ;))
9. Silver or gold?
10. What's your favorite side-kick or secondary character? (Book and movie.)
11. What kinds of things are hung/taped/nailed on your bedroom walls?

I'm also putting together a blog project that involves several bloggers who are headed to college this fall working together to write a series of posts on college and our experiences. I'm having a hard time finding a name for it though, so I've made a poll. I'd LOVE IT SO MUCH if you could vote on it or make a suggestion of your own. :)

Let's choose a project name! Which one is your favorite? free polls 

A Darker Shade of Magic

Waiting on Wednesday {4}

1:44 PM

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @Breaking the Spine where we talk about books that have yet to be released that we REALLY WANT RELEASED. 

Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 400
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Genre(s): I'm not completely sure if it's YA or Adult at this point. Fantasy, Sci-Fi (like time traveling).

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped. 

Not only did the cover immediately grab my attention but the blurb. Yeah. Parallel universes, magician, many Londons named by color. I think I need to read this book. It sounds so amazing!

What are you waiting on? Leave your link in a comment and I'll make sure to check it out. Also, what think you on time travel. Would you want to have that power?

book review

Review: Stolen Songbird

6:58 PM

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Pages: 469
Source: Library
Format: ebook
Series: The Malediction Trilogy #1 (I don't know what that means but it sounds really cool.)

Note: I have an obligation to put the blurb here but I would recommend reading the book without reading this. You won't regret going into it blind! :) Here's what you need to know: troll prince + human girl + witch curse + kidnapping + a city under a mountain. Oh, yeah. It's as good as it sounds. ;) You can read my review though because I didn't put even the slightest spoilerly thing in it. 

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

This is one of those 2014 books that has appeared in a gazillion Waiting on Wednesday posts, but even though it's appeared throughout the book blogger community many times I hadn't really read the reviews and therefore went into the book almost completely blind. I read the blurb and thought, "Dude. Trolls and caves and kidnappings? I need to read this." And I have and this is what I think.

It wasn't what I expected.

It was better.

I always talk about how characters are the best part of a book and I felt like this book was about kidnapping and all other sorts of actiony stuff but it mostly was an exploration of human nature...character. I'm not trying to sound all philosophical. It's just that I'm amazed by how the book sucked me in, into the characters' lives. Into their heads. And it was amazing. Danielle L. Jensen is amazing.

The reason I'm so EXCITED about this thing (that doesn't seem that exciting) is because I would be going along caring about all these people and then BAM! something happens. My heart stops.

And this was because I cared so much about the characters.

Cecile is the main character. She's a red-head and she has the voice of an angel. She's also the one who gets kidnapped. Obviously. But she was great. You know how a lot of impetuous and act-without-thinking people are...They're kind of selfish...kind of unlikeable. No matter what Cecile did I always knew that she did it because she thought it was best for those she cared about or what was right. Other times it was just because she had a temper. Which is completely realistic.

She's gorgeous but she's completely awkward around a guy she likes. She isn't fearless but she stands up for herself. And for others.

She doesn't let prejudice influence her judgement of people.

Tristan, prince of the trolls, master of hiding his true intentions or emotions. Tristan had so carefully calculated his every move for so long, that I think he almost forgot who he really was. He was so rational, pragmatic, and the complete opposite of Cecile. He's written so well. I thought he was one person, then I discovered he was another.

Marc was Tristan's cousin. I was drawn to him from the very first time he stepped onto the page. He was so...kind and understanding. So different from most of the trolls. Even though he's only a character, I trusted him as soon as I met him. I had the feeling that even though he was on the "opposite" side that he could always be counted on. He went through so much and still stood strong.

Anais was Tristan's friend and faux lover. She came across as determined, fierce, and ruthless at first. Not a character I would think I'd like. However, as the story went on, I saw that...she may have been hardened and haughty, but she cared about things...people...she was good. She may not have had the same goals and same friends as the others but she still had fierce loyalty and love and strength that made her noble in the end.

Victoria and Vincent were eight-foot twins. At first glance, the author might have put them there just for comedic relief. But I think they reinforced the strains of loyalty and friendship and strength that were all throughout the book.

The one thing that connected all of these characters was pain. They all knew the pain of loss or love. They understood each other in that way and through that, they pulled together and made huge things happen.

And then, of course, as long as we're discussing the characters we have to talk about the trolls. I was so interested to discover what the trolls actually were in this book. And, in my opinion, Jensen created a whole new kind of troll. They were SO fascinating.

I don't want to spill too much because this book is better to go into blind but something that was super intriguing was the troll magic. All trolls have magic, all trolls have silver eyes, and all trolls have their troll lights.

That and their history was so interesting. I seriously needed to figure out more. I didn't want to stop learning more about the city of Trollus.

Not only was there an amazing world, but the politics of Trollus were a confusing and dark maze of power struggles, control, and constant battles between the privileged and the poor. The whole thing was terrifying. It was like reading about a bomb steadily ticking down to the explosion.

There were so many aspects of this book that were awesome.

But to be fair, there were also things that weren't the best. I didn't particularly like the way that the really important prophecy that was the reason that Cecile was kidnapped in the first place kind of faded into the background. It wasn't mentioned often after the first big description.

Secondly, I felt like maybe if Cecile hadn't yelled/shouted as often as she did, she would have come across as more mature. Most of the time I felt like she was pretty mature, despite the impetuous decisions she made sometimes. But then she would start shouting about things that were...not exactly shouting matters. Or if they were, then she probably shouldn't have been shouting in the first place. Especially not in Trollus. *dun dun dun*

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers who love trolls, fiery red-heads, magic, and cities under mountains of stone.

Like, literally.

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I didn't receive any compensation for this review. It was written for entertainment of the readers of this blog and myself.


Sunday Swoons

11:30 PM

My first, may I add, Sunday Swoons as co-hoster of...well...Sunday Swoons. It feels awesome. :D It has been great working with Briana! She's fun and SO nice, so you should totally go check out her blog. Like right now. Shoo.

I think you'll like this post as I happen to know for a fact that many of you are fans of chocolate.

I was right, wasn't I?

Sunday Swoons

This week's theme: If Couples Were Food... (Pick any kind of food to compare fictional couples to.)

The rules are simple.

1. You're welcome (and encouraged) to use the Sunday Swoons button, but remember to cite me as the source.

2. You can post in whatever style you like--list, discussion, etc. as long as you follow the topic we give OR you can do a post on the opposite of the given topic.

3. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you're reading right now, they can be past reads as well. (It's nice if you put a link to the Goodreads page of the book or some other site that gives the cover, synopsis, and other information.)

4. Remember to link back to us in your post! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts. If everything works out smoothly, you'll only have to enter on one blog.

And now I announce my topic within the topic. Ahem. Couples as interpreted to be chocolate. I told you this would be interesting. :)

1. The Dark Chocolate
They've got their back stories, okay? Bitterness, hard times, and a little brokenness seem to be the characteristics of these couples. But, just like dark chocolate, it works. They fight, they aren't perfect little souls, but they're together and great at it. When you first see them, you kind of wonder if they're the best for each other, but as time goes on (just like the more you eat dark chocolate the better it tastes, according to mwah) you realize that they are perfect together. A shining example of this would be Mara and Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

2. The White Chocolate.
Ahhh, white chocolate. These couples are sweet. Too sweet. They're always having those phone conversations that end in "No, I love you more." Plus, PDA is always a problem. In a way, you support them buuut you don't really want to spend a lot of time around them. I can't really think of a specific fictional couple that's like this right now. (If you can think of one, make sure to tell me in the comments!)

3. The Milk Chocolate.
Mmm yum (I think you can tell what my favorite kind of chocolate is ;)). This couple is literally the sweetest ever, but not in the overwhelming way like the white chocolate couple over there *cough cough*. You can tell that they're meant for each other and awesome together because they are so darn cute and sensitive to each other. Think Joy and Ink from Indelible.

4. Chocolate Covered Strawberries
You have never seen two people more opposite. Ever. The story of how they met is that the delinquent girl stuffed the nerd boy's homework down the toilet. Or something to that effect. They're ALWAYS arguing. But when it comes down to it, they love each other. They really do, no matter how much like World War 3 it looks. I'm thinking Harper and David from Rebel Belle or Skye and Cian from Holding Out for Skye.

Image courtesy of Mom on Time Out
5. Chocolates with Mint Filling.
Enter popular couple. They look fantabulous. The girl's the captain of the cheer squad and the guy's the quarterback of the football team or the hottest guy or blah blah blah. Point being--they're perfect and everybody worships them. In reality though, they're relationship isn't so hot. It's just for show and once you get past the first layer? Not working. Something like Archer and Elodie from Hex Hall.

This was fun! (It was also not-so-great for my health because now I'm craving chocolate. -_-) Of course, this post is based on what I think of different kinds of chocolate and you might not agree. Sooo, tell me what couples you would translate into the various chocolates.

Next week's topic: Things Girls Do to Their Significant Others (That We Hate)

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