Friday, September 30, 2016

September Snapshots


1. Went to Home Slice on SoCo and of course I had to get a picture with Hazel in front of the Hey Cupcake mural. I love this shot so much!


2 & 3. I turned on my turn table for the first time in months! I've been buying quite a lot of vinyl lately and I'm slowly getting the chance to listen to them.


4. Empire of Storms came out this month and of course I read it immediately. Remember when all my SJM books fit perfectly in this shelf? Any ways these books are going to have to find a new home on my shelves when ACOTAR3 comes out next year. And I also got to meet SJM this month, which I blogged about here


5. I reorganized part of my bookshelf (there's still a huge stack of books that I just bought that need a new home). But I had to show off my copies of the Air Awakens series, because I finally finished the series this month. 


6. Tea, Six of Crows, and my Rhysand bookmark from Happy Hello Co on Etsy


7. Yesterday I got these cuties in the mail from Happy Hello Co. I have a major bookmark problem but I saw all these bookmarks shortly after finishing EoS and I needed to get them. I added more bookmarks from the ToG and ACOTAR books, and a set from The Remnant Chronicles. 

And not pictured in these photos is the sheer amount of studying and homework I've had to do the last couple of weeks. Now that I've written this post, back to studying I go... - Jessica 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Signings: Meeting Three Authors in Two Days


I love fall book releases, because between this month and next month there's so many good books coming out and that also means so many authors are visiting my local book store for signings. Two weeks ago I got to meet three of my favorite authors, I first went got to meet Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs, and then the next day I met Sarah J. Maas. It was so great to meet some authors who's books I absolutely love, and I wanted to share a couple of pictures from the events.


Ignore the awful picture quality, but I had such a good time meeting and listening to Mafi and Riggs speak. They're both so passionate about their books and each other books. Their relationship is seriously goals. They were so nice during the signing and we had an awesome conversation about book covers and hardbacks.


And here's some pictures from the Sarah J. Maas signing! And my picture quality is great because I actually remembered to bring my camera to this event. It was so great listening to her talk about the ToG and ACOTAR series, and she told some great stories about her time writing. As you can see from the pictures above, I managed to be the 17th person to buy a ticket to the signing (I seriously bought my ticket within 20 minutes of them going on sale). I jumped at the opportunity to meet my second favorite author (after J.K. Rowling of course). During the signing I got to tell her how much I love her characters, and afterwards I wrote a message in her original copy of Throne of Glass. 


So that's a quick recap of the two signings I have this month. In October, I'll be attending the Texas Teen Book Fest and a three other signings, which I'll be sharing here on the blog. - Jessica 

Monday, September 12, 2016

NOLA


My family and I took a road trip to New Orleans during the long weekend. It was a really short trip but we managed to do quite a bit. This was my second time going to New Orleans, I first went five years ago and we only got to spend a couple of hours in the city. This time around I was really excited to eat as much cajun food as possible and I was also really excited to catch some new Pokemon (my obsession with this game is still going strong). I didn't get to take as many pictures as I would have liked too, but I did manage to capture my favorite spots that we went to. It was supposed to rain all weekend and I was too scared to risk getting my camera wet (when in reality, it didn't even rain that much). But anyways, here are some of the pictures I got:


2. The sunset from our first night. I took this right after dinner, and somehow during the whole trip I forgot to take pictures of any of the food I ate...


3-6. We took a streetcar to Audubon Park on Sunday and it was my favorite place that we went to all weekend. The park is so beautiful and it did help a little that there was a squirtle spawn there. 


7. On our last night, we went to Frenchman Street. This was my second favorite place we went to and I prefer it over Bourbon Street. 

So that was a summary of my quick trip to New Orleans. I'm still daydreaming about all the good food I ate while I was there, another one of my favorite parts of our trip. It was really nice to take a quick vacation and not worry about school or work while I was there. - Jessica

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Books I Read in August


Last month, I did quite a bit of reading I read nine novels, a graphic novel, and a novella. So here's the books that I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson - This is the final book in the Remnant Chronicles, which follows Lia, a princess who runs away from an arranged marriage and is chased by her betrothed and an assassin. I had high expectations for the conclusion of this trilogy, the second book was one of my favorite books of last year, and this book did not disappoint. I really love the characters and their story, and I am extremely satisfied with how this story wrapped up.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - This is a graphic novel following a shapeshifting girl who teams up with a villain. This was a really fun read, I had seen a lot of hype surround this book and I don't think it lived up to my expectations. I really loved the art style and the story was really well developed but I was hoping for a little more from the ending. I had previously listed this graphic novel in the list of book that I wanted to read this year, and I'm really happy that I was finally able to sit down and read this book.

The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes - This book follows Willa, a small town girl who is sent to a prep school and is introduced to new friends and a new lifestyle. This book was not what I thought it would be, and I ended up being really disappointed by the story. I really was not a fan of the narration, the side characters, and the amount of drug use in this book. I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't take away anything from the story so I ended up giving this a 2/5 stars on Goodreads.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - This book centers around Simon, a closeted teen who is caught anonymously emailing another boy, by his one of his fellow classmates, who subsequently blackmails him. I enjoyed this book, it was a really short read and I liked the characters and the story. Fair warning though this book will give you serious cravings for oreos.

Air Awakens and Fire Falling by Elise Kova - These are the first two books in the Air Awakens series, which is set in a world with elemental magic, and Vhalla, a library apprentice, discovers that she is the first air sorceress in 150 years. I absolutely loved these first two books, I really enjoyed the characters and their story. There definitely are some cliche aspects in these books but I found the story completely addictive (I read both of these books in a day). This month, I also read the Tales From the Front, a novella, that takes place between the second and third book. I enjoyed the novella and it really added to the story, but it is an unedited piece of work and I found it a little confusing at times.

The School for Good and Evil Trilogy by Soman Chainani - This trilogy is set in a fairy tale world, where best friends, Sofie and Agatha are taken from their homes and one of them is put into the School for Good and the other the School for Evil, but they believe that they've each been put in the wrong school. I liked this trilogy, I found it to be a lot of fun and had a really interesting take on good vs. evil. I really loved Agatha's characterization and her story, but I absolutely disliked Sofie and throughout this whole trilogy I was waiting for her to experience some sort of character development and I don't think she really changed in the end. Overall this is a great trilogy and an excellent middle grade read.

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen - This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but in this story the female character is cursed to turn into a beast whenever she falls in love. I had a similar situation with this book and The Fall of Butterflies, with this book I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more from the story. I also didn't know that this book was middle grade when I picked it up, and I think the story would have been more successful if the protagonist had been a little older. Overall this was a good book, the premise is a really interesting take on a fairy tale retelling.

And those are all the books I read in August. September is going to be a good reading month for me with all the new releases that are coming out. I'm currently reading Empire of Storms (cue the internal screaming), afterwards I'm going to finish off the Air Awakens series, then read Six of Crows and then hopefully get to Crooked Kingdom when it comes out. That is my loose TBR pile for September, there are a couple other books I hope to get to but those are the main ones. - Jessica