Friday, August 11, 2017

Favorite Books of 2017 (So Far)


This year has been moving so fast and it hit me really hard that this year is already more than halfway over. For the past couple of years, I've shared my favorite books of the first half of the year and it's interesting for me to see if those books make it to my end of the year list. Here are my top five books I read this year so far (in no particular order)!

1. A Court of War and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
2. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
3. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
4. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
5. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamine Alire Sáenz

It was really hard to narrow down to these five books, because I've read some really fantastic books this year. I'm slowly catching up to my reading goal on Goodreads and I'm really optimistic that I'm going to be able to complete 140 books this year. - Jessica

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Books I Read In July


I'm really proud of myself, because despite being really busy (I got a new job!) in the month of July I read 12 books. I again listened to a ton of audiobooks, and that element covered 7 of the books I read. So here are the books I read in the month of July and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - This book follows four teenagers, living in Alaska during the 1970's. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I loved the perspective of the setting and I feel like I learned a lot about Alaska Purchase. I also really liked all of the characters and I really liked how there stories were interconnected.

Spindle by E.K. Johnston - This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling, and the stand alone sequel to A Thousand Nights. This is the second disappointing sequel in a stand alone fairy tale retelling series, the first being The Wish Granter. I found the overall goal and plot of this book confusing and I couldn't stand the romance element. I disliked this book so much that I wasn't able to finish this book, I had a hundred pages left before I gave up and skimmed the ending.  

The Alchemist of Loom and The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova - These are the first two books in the Loom Trilogy, which is a fantasy series with steampunk inspirations. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, I ultimately love Ari and Cvareh's chapters more than the other characters, but I love where the story is headed. I can't wait for the last book to be published later this year.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson - This book follows Elisa, a God-blessed princess, who is married off to a neighboring kingdom in an effort to protect her. I really liked this whole series, and I found the strength of this series to be the character development. I think Elisa grew so much as a character and I really liked reading about her journey.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - This book follows Taylor and her family as they head to their families' summer home to experience one last summer, after her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This is a reread for me of one of my favorite YA contemporaries. I loved reading this book just as much, the second time around.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber - This book follows sisters, Scarlett and Tella, as they journey to the world of Caraval to participate in a game, with the winner being granted a wish. I found this book really intriguing, the plot has so many twists and turns and I really enjoyed anticipating what the author would do next.

Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer - This is the final book in The Land of Stories series. This is a series that I have been following since the first book came out six years ago, and it was bittersweet to read this book, because I didn't want the story to end, but the last 3 books have built up to this ending. I really enjoyed how this series ended and I love how this book left off for the possibility of a spin off series.

When It's Real by Erin Watt - This book follows Oakley Ford, a troubled pop star who has to fake date the ordinary teenage, Vaughn, to rehabilitate his public image. Erin Watt's books tend to be filled with cliches and they can be predictable, but they are so addicting. I had some problems with the plot of this book, but it was a really light, quick, and fun read.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - This is a historical fiction book that follows Monty, his best friend and crush, and his sister as their tour across Europe leads them into a dangerous political plot. I was so excited to read this book once I heard that it was a historical fiction book with LGBTQ elements. I really enjoyed the narration, but the main character was a little to much for me.

And those are all the books I finished, I'm still slowly making my way through my Harry Potter reread. I'm only on the second book, but I plan on spending the next couple of weeks before I head back to school focusing on them. - Jessica

Monday, July 31, 2017

July Snapshots


1. I have had my eyes on the Juniper Books' Harry Potter Book Jackets and I finally splurged at got them for myself for my birthday. They're so pretty and I'm looking to get a new set of HP hardcovers so that I can have both these and the original US editions on my shelves, and cause I love having multiple editions of each Harry Potter book. /// 2. I took a break from the my Wizarding World Loot Crate subscription, but I restarted it for July and I'm so happy I did because the box included these amazing book ends of the statues outside the Great Hall.


3 & 4. I did a lot of adding to my Harry Potter collection this month. I'm obsessed with my new purse that is a mini version of Newt's suitcase from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I also added these Funkos to my collection, which were all Comic Con exclusives. 


5. I added to my bookmark problem and got these from Happy Hello Co on Etsy


6. I saw one of my favorite solo acts, The Rocket Summer, on the 10 year anniversary tour for Do You Feel. The last time I saw TRS was in 2010, and it was so great to hear him preform all of my favorite tunes. - Jessica

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ten Years Ago


It's crazy to think about how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out 10 years ago today, and how I spent the whole day reading the ending to my favorite series of all time. It's really crazy for me to think about how I'm just as obsessed with the series as I was when I was 12 years old and standing in line waiting for my copy at midnight.

This 21st, I'm going to be spending the day making my way through rereading the series. I'm currently working my way through the second book. Happy book birthday HP7! - Jessica

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Summer Tunes (Pt. 2)


Last summer I made a playlist for all of my favorite summery songs. So many of my favorite artists have released new music lately, and I also discovered new songs that I thought it would be fun to make a second playlist of songs. So here are the songs that I have been listening to lately. - Jessica

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Books I Read in June


During the month of June, I read 9 novels and 2 novellas. I had a decent reading month, especially considering all the academic texts I read (that I unfortunately can't apply to my reading challenge). So here are the books I read and some of my thoughts on them.

The Prince's Rogue by Elise Kova - This is the second book in the Golden Guard trilogy, the prequel series to Air Awakens. The Air Awakens series is one of my all time favorites and I love the background that the Golden Guard provides, but these books are so short. I really love revisiting these characters, but I wish there was more from each book.

The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes - This is the second book in the Spirit and Thieves trilogy, the prequel series to Falling Kingdoms. I liked the first book and I found this book on the same level as the first. I don't have as much of an emotional attachment to this series, as I do for the Falling Kingdoms books, but they're still really good. I really love the direction of this series, and I'm so disappointed that I have to wait over a year to see how it ends.  

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - This book centers around Cath, a huge fangirl and fanfiction writer, as she navigates her freshman year of college. This was a reread for me, as I first read this book almost three years ago and it became an instant favorite of mine. While rereading this book, I gained so much more perspective of Cath's story and how she dealt with her mental illness.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - This book centers around Simon Snow, the chosen one, who is destined to save his magical universe, even though he is terrible at normal magic. This book is heavily inspired by Harry Potter and draws from elements of Rowell's Fangirl. This was another reread for me, and it is also another one of my favorites. I absolutely loved rereading this book, and seeing all the tie ins to Fangirl. Simon and Baz are still one of my favorite ships and I still love everything about this book that I did before.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West - This book centers around Lily after she finds a reply to her scribblings on her desk in class. Kasie West writes some of the cutest, lighthearted YA contemporaries and this one did not disapoint. I did find this book a bit predictable, but I still enjoyed it.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia - This book centers around Eliza, the anonymous creator to a well-loved webcomic series, and how she deals with her identity being revealed. I received this book in the May Owlcrate, and I'm so glad that I did because I don't think I would have picked this up otherwise. I absolutely loved this book and I think it's on my list of favorites for this year. I loved Eliza's story and how she created something that she loved and felt the need to protect. I also loved the added illustrations that the author did for the comic, I would love to be able to read Monster Sea in real life now.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - This book takes place in a world, where every savage water horses appear on an island and people race them for reward, so Puck enters the race to save her family and meets Sean, the only person who can tame the horses. I have been interested in picking this book up for a while now, and compared to The Raven Cycle, I was a little disappointed by this book. I liked the plot of this book, but I wasn't a fan of the characters or the instalove element.

Crimson Dagger and Obsidian Blade by Morgan Rhodes - These are two novellas that take place in the Falling Kingdoms universe, that centers around Magnus, and then the latter also ties into the Spirit and Thieves trilogy with the addition of Maddox. Magnus is one of my favorite characters, so I was really excited to read more about him and learn more about his character. I really enjoyed these and now I want so much more from this series.

Vassa In the Night by Sarah Porter - This is a modern day retelling of Vasilisa the Beautiful. One of the classes I'm taking this summer is a course on Russian folk tales, and I've had this book on my shelf for ages, but I've been to hesitant to read it before because I didn't know the source material. I really like how this book adapted the fairy tale, but some of the plot elements are really confusing. I actually ended up using this book as a argument for how Russian folk tradition has translated into YA literature, and I'm hoping I get a good grade on it.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - This was another reread to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of the book. I always jump at the chance to reread this book, because it's where my love for Harry Potter started, and I just love reading the story of my favorite characters. This time around I read the new Gryffindor special edition, and I absolutely loved the added content (I spend a long time drooling over the map).

So those are the books that I read in June. I'm hoping to read a lot in July and I'm really excited about the release of the last book in the Land of Stories series, and just catching up on my reading goal. - Jessica

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Snapshots


June was a pretty slow and uneventful month for me. It was mostly occupied with starting my summer session and the bright side of taking two literature classes, means that I'm always reading. Unfortunately that means that they consisted of a lot of scholarly texts, but I got to read some cool stuff about Russian folk lore and texts on Ancient Greece. Luckily it wasn't all serious reads, I decided to reread some of my favorite books this month, including Fangirl (pictured above) and Carry On. Since the summer session is almost over, I'll have plenty of time to resume reading for fun and blogging. 


I can't stop taking photos of my new 20th anniversary edition of the Philosopher's Stone. I recently decided to reread Harry Potter in its entirety, so I reread the first book this month and I'm really excited to move on to the Chamber of Secrets. - Jessica

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Magical Crate: Year Two


Last week I received the new Lit Joy Magical Edition crate, which is a one time special edition crate and each edition focuses on the events of a particular Harry Potter book. This is the second crate of the series and focuses on the Chamber of Secrets (I previously shared the first crate). I was extremely excited to unbox this crate, as the first edition was my absolute favorite crate I've ever received. I loved this edition as well, and I wanted to share some of my favorite items from the box. 


This little art print of Dobby is so cute, and and has all of the details of the box inside it. My all time favorite item in this box, is this exclusive mug with the quote "When in doubt go to the library." 


This crate has so many awesome bookmarks that I'm excited to add to my collection (creatures bookmark from Nerdy Girl Designs, rubber duck bookmark from Nerdy Post, and the basilisk fang is a Litjoy exclusive). The fan mail from Gilderoy Lockhart is a fun and cleaver touch. I also love this book sleeve from Sweet Sequels, which is currently housing my new copy of the Philosopher's Stone. 

I absolutely love these crates and how carefully put together each box is. I can't wait until they release the next one. - Jessica

Monday, June 26, 2017

20 Years of Magic


I recently got my copy of the Gryffindor edition of the first Harry Potter book for the 20 year anniversary edition (each house edition is available on Book Depository). As soon as I got the book, I knew I had to reread it. So I'm spending the 20th anniversary rereading the first book, for only the millionth time (the real number is probably closer to 25). It's been almost 6 years since I reread the Harry Potter series in its entirety, since I have a habit of rereading the books individually. But since the events of the epilogue take place in September, I really want to make my way through the rest of the books before then.


It's crazy to think that the first Harry Potter book was published 20 years ago, and even though I wasn't introduced to the series until later, that moment had a huge effect on my life. So here's to a happy 20 year Harry Potter anniversary and to an eternity more! - Jessica

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Books I Read In May


I had a decent reading month for May, I managed to read nine books. Which is a decent amount but I am going to have to step it up in June, if I want to catch up on my reading goal.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas - This is the third book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series, which wraps up the main arc of the character, Feyre. This was my most anticipated release of 2017 and I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved this story and felt that it was a stratifying ending to the original story. I can't wait to see how Maas continues on with this series, because there are so many directions that I'd like to see.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han - This is the last book in the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy. This was another anticipating read for me, and I really liked it. I didn't love the plot of this book as much as the previous two, but the character development really made up for that aspect. I love how this book wraps up Lara Jean and Peter's story and gives the story more of a definitive ending.

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak - This book follows Ed, who is given a series of cards with tasks that he has to complete by an unknown person. I absolutely love Zusak's novel The Book Thief and I have been meaning to read this book for ages. I enjoyed this book, the plot is very unique and it's very hard not to compare this to The Book Theif, because it's a completely different story, but I didn't form as much of an emotional connection to this story.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - This book is Lazlo, who has been fascinated by the lost city of Weep, and when he finally visits the city, he encounters a half-human girl that travels in his dreams. This book is an excellent start to a duology, the writing is beautiful and the story is so unique and colorful. This book took ages for me to read (I started it in April), but I really enjoyed taking my time with this story, as the world is dense (but in a good way).

Geekerella by Ashley Poston - This is a modern, contemporary retelling of Cinderella, where a fangirl unknowingly starts texting the new star of her favorite series. I was surprised by how much I absolutely loved this book, the story is so adorable and a really unique take on the fairy tale. I feel that this book captured the essence of fandoms and I'm already dying to reread it.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli - This book follows, Molly, who has had 26 unrequited crushes. I was really excited to pick this book up, because the author's debut Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was great. I started off really liking this book, and I found it to be really relatable, but as the story progressed, I started to be bothered by Molly's narration and I'm not sure why. Overall this was a really cute book and the ending was sweet, but I was a little disappointed while reading it.

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro - This is the second book in the Charlotte Holmes Trilogy. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was eager to pick up this one. I didn't like this book as much as the first one but it was overall a good book, even though the ending was very confusing. I am looking forward to the last book's release in March, to see how everything wraps up.

The Novice by Taran Matharu - This is the first book in a trilogy that follows Fletcher after he learns that he can summon demons. I think this was a fairly solid start to a series, I did find that this book has a ton of common tropes in YA fantasy, but I think this book had some interesting things to say about equality. I have the rest of the trilogy to read through, and I'm expecting this series to get better.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare - This is the second book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, the third series in Clare's Shadowhunter universe. I absolutely loved the first book in this trilogy, and this book did not disappoint. The writing and the story in this series is so strong and detailed and I love seeing how everything unfolds. I absolutely love how this book focuses on each and every character from the first book, and it was an emotional roller coaster to read their story. I am deeply pained by the fact that the last book isn't coming out for another two years, because this book ends on a major cliffhanger.

And those are all the books I read in May. I've got a lot of reading that I'd like to do in June, so if I disappear from the blogging sphere a little that will be why. - Jessica

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Snapshots



1-3. Summer calls for lots of desert eating, so macaroons, ice cream, and tiny nutella pies.


4. Exciting book mail, new releases from Sarah J. Maas and Jenny Han, and then the second book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy. I also added some new bookmarks to the collection. /// 5. Part of my bookmark collection, I have so many and it's becoming a problem. - Jessica

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Piano Playing Away


Playing music is one of my favorite hobbies, but I regrettably don't have a lot of time to practice. Because of life in general, I don't get to play as much as I'd like, but I love when I'm listening to music and I come across a song that I know that I have to learn. Those are the moments that make me excited to play, and it's times like those that I really wish that I could find the motivation to practice every day.


My keyboard has always been in the living room, and I finally moved it into my room last week and I have been able to play so much. Last week, I got Paramore's new album After Laughter and I have slowly been learning songs from it. I'm really grateful for summer vacation and having the time to practice. A similar thing happened over spring break, a little after Ed Sheeran's new album came out and I learned a couple of the songs on guitar. So here's some random rambling about how much I have missed playing music. - Jessica

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Books I Read in April


April was a decent reading month for me, considering the amount of school work I had to juggle. I read 9 books and 5 of which, I listened to on audio. Audiobooks are basically saving my reading challenge, because as a way to destress, I'll listen to them while I'm driving or while I'm playing Animal Crossing. I've been using my local library to download audiobooks to my phone and if my library doesn't have the audiobook, I'll use my Audible membership. I used to be the person who didn't care for audiobooks, but I've completely changed my tune on them. So here are the books I read during the month of April:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - This book centers around Starr, after she witnesses her childhood best friend get killed by a cop. I was blown away by the intensity of this book, it tackles some really heavy issues. I listened to the audiobook and I absolutely loved how the narration added to the emotions of the story. I highly recommend this book and I can't wait to read more from Angie Thomas.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - This is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. This was a reread, in anticipation for the third book in the series. ACOTAR is one of my all time favorite series and this book is the reason why. The first book is good, but this book is incredible and I absolutely love the characters and their story.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley - This book follows Solomon, a boy who has agoraphobia and hasn't left his house in 3 years. I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book, because I loved 2/3 of the main characters and could not stand the main female character, Lisa. I liked how this book approached the subject of mental illness, and how the book emphasized the importance of friendship.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi - This is the sequel to The Star-Touched Queen, and follows Gauri who is introduced in the first book. I loved the first book and was looking forward to picking up this book, but I felt that it didn't quite live up to the first book. I found the plot entertaining, but I could not get over the instalove aspect. I ended up rating this a 4/5 stars on Goodreads despite this, because I really loved the ending.

The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales by Chris Colfer - This is a collection of short stories, and has some loose ties to The Land of Stories series. Going into this book, I expected it to be the actual book that Alex and Connor read in TLOS, but I was wrong. It is much more like a carbon copy of the actual fairy tales, and only some of the character traits crossed over from TLOS. This was a quick, entertaining read and the illustrations were really beautiful, but this was another book that I was a little disapoint in.

The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely - This book follows Hendrix and Corrina, as Hendrix fulfills his promise to his grandfather to take him to his hometown and visit the place where he fell in love with Hendrix's grandmother. I enjoyed this book, it was a really quick read and there was excellent character development. This book did have some common YA character and plot tropes, but I still enjoyed it.

Champion: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Leigh Dragoon, and Kaari - This is the graphic novel adaption of Champion, the last book in the Legend trilogy. The Legend trilogy is one of my favorites, and I have really enjoyed the graphic novel adaptions. Like the first two adaptions, a lot of the plot points were left out and there are issues with pacing, but I really like the art style. 

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Callavaro - This is the first book in a trilogy, that follows Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great-grandchildren of Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes, as they investigate a murder at their school. This book is essentially a retelling, and I really enjoyed those elements. I think the mystery element of this book was really well done, and mirrored the original sources in a respectful way. I'm interesting in seeing the direction this book takes, and seeing the relationship between Jamie and Charlotte develop.

A Book of Spirit and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes - This is the first book in a trilogy, that is a spin off to the Falling Kingdoms series.  This book takes place in both modern day Toronto and Mytica. I absolutely love the Falling Kingdoms series, and I was really looking forward to reading this book. I enjoyed the cast of characters, but I struggled with seeing how the two worlds combine and I'm looking forward to reading the second book to see how Rhodes develops the story more.

And those are all the books I finished, I started making my way through Strange the Dream, but I've now put it aside for a bit to focus on A Court of Wings and Ruin and Always and Forever, Lara Jean (my two most anticipated releases for this year). Summer break is so close and I'm looking forward to how much time I'll have to read. - Jessica

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Snapshots


1. I finished my reread of the first two books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, gearing up for the release in two days! One of my favorite things to do when rereading my favorite books is to mark my favorite parts and quotes. I've only done this for Sarah J. Maas books and for my Harry Potter books, so tabs in my books signify how important they are to me. 


2. My favorite item in this month's OwlCrate. An exclusive candle from Novelly Yours, that is Simon and Baz inspired. Carry On is another favorite of mine and I was so excited when I received this. /// 3. I found an arc of the first book in The Land of Stories series at a secondhand bookstore, and I couldn't resist and had to get it. I knew it would be a cool addition to my TLOS collection. 


4. A grilled cheese sandwich made mac and cheese! It was so good. /// 5. Fawkes and his puppy cone. A friend and I went to get snow cones and Fawkes got his own treat too. 


6. USA vs. Russia. I saw the USWNT at the beginning of the month. A lot of my favorite players weren't on the pitch, but I still love watching this team play.


7. Sometimes your favorite musician takes 7 years to release new music, so once you get your physical copy in the mail, you freak out a lot. I absolutely love this EP and can't wait to hear more music from the Criss brothers. - Jessica

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fawkes


Why do puppies have to get big so fast? Fawkes has grown so much since I got him, he's now 7 months old and I can't deal with how fast he's growing. I wanted to take some pictures of him in bluebonnets because these photos of McCoy and Hazel are some of my favorites of them. But with how busy school has been, by the time I got around to taking him out, there wasn't a whole lot of good bluebonnet patches. Plus with how hot it has been getting, every time I tried to place him in front of some bluebonnets he would run to the shade. So here are the photos I managed to get of him...


His derp face gets me so much in the last one. I really need to start taking more photos of him and the other corgs and get back into sharing photos on the corgi blog. I've also been debating lately on setting up an Instagram account for posting photos of Fawkes only, but we will have to see if I can keep one up. - Jessica

Monday, April 17, 2017

Favorite Posts (Part I)


Everyone once and a while I like to browse through old posts, it's a great way to reminisce and sometimes cringe at some of my old photography. I've been in a bit of a blogging stump lately and I wanted to start a new series where I revist some of my favorite posts.

Cyanotypes - I really miss taking darkroom and developing my own photos and prints. One of my favorite classes that I shared on my blog was when we made cyanotypes. One day I'll make cyanotype prints again!

Thank You Harry - My Harry Potter wall is one of my favorite parts of my room and I loved writing about my experience with Harry Potter and a little bit about how it's impacted my life.

Instax Diaries #4 - Instant film is pretty much the only film I shoot now a days, because of how convenient it is. I love each time when I have taken enough instant shots to be able to share them. This post in particular features some of my all time favorite shots I ever taken on Instax film.


Bookshelves (Part 1 and Part 2) - Along with my Harry Potter wall, my bookshelves are another favorite part of my room. And I love looking through my blog and seeing the evolution of my shelves, to how I use to organize everything and especially the volume at which my collection has grown in a relatively short span of time (most of my collection is from the last two years). I'm also really proud that these are two of the most viewed posts on my blog.

December Unboxings - I have developed an obsession with subscription boxes lately and last December I received three (Owlcrate, the Wizarding World Loot Crate, and Litjoy Crate). I had so much opening these boxes and sharing some of the items in them. I also had so much fun taking these photos and editing them. I hope to do some more unboxing posts in the future.

- Jessica

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Books I Read in March


I had a good reading month, I managed to read 12 books total and 6 of those books were of the seven I planned to read during spring break (I didn't get to Caraval). Even though I read a ton in March, I'm still behind on my reading goal... So here are the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab - This is the last book in the Shades of Magic Trilogy. I loved this book, this whole trilogy is one of my favorites. I love the character and story developments. The world that Schwab has created in this series is beautiful and so complex. I'm very sad that this trilogy has ended but Schwab has hinted that she might return to this world again.

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer - This book follows four friends, who have bonded over a TV show, that go on a road trip with one of the actors from that show. I'm a huge Chris Colfer fan, I really loved his last YA book, Struck by Lightning, and his middle grade series, but I was really skeptical about the plot of this book. I had enough good things about this book, so I decided to give this a try. I actually ended up liking this book, it was very character driven and I really enjoyed that aspect.

Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall - This book is about best friend/neighbors, Gideon and Kyle, as they realize they like each other as more than friends. This was a cute and very quick read. I did have some problems with the main female character, especially her characterization, but overall I liked this book.

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson - This book follows Ozzie after his boyfriend disappears because the universe is shrinking. Last year, I read We Are The Ants by Hutchinson and it is one of my all time favorite books, so going into reading this I had really high expectations and they were met. I absolutely loved this book, this book is so beautiful and the story is so incredibly moving and profound.

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour - This book follows Marin, who after her grandfather dies, she moves across the country and tries to forget her old life and friends. This was another quick read, that I enjoyed this month. It is very character driven, but there's mystery elements that I think added to the story.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling - This was a reread for me, since both the new edition with added content and the audiobook with Eddie Redmayne were released. I really loved the new content and I especially loved Redmayne's narration. Redmayne brought so much of Newt's character to this book, so that it was more than just reading a textbook. Although I was disappointed that the new hardcovers removed Harry, Ron and Hermione's commentary from the original edition.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamine Alire Sáenz - This book follows an Sal and his friends as they navigate their lives, from getting ready to go to college and experiencing death. This is another book that I had a lot of high expectations for, because Sáenz wrote one of my all time favorite books, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and my expectations were met with this one. I loved this book, I loved the writing and how the plot relied heavily on the characters and their development.  

By Your Side by Kasie West - This book follows Autumn, who finds herself locked in a library during a long weekend with her school's resident bad boy. This was another quick and cute read. I really enjoy Kasie West's writing, and I overall really liked this book.

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine - This is a Rumplestiltskin retelling and the second book in a series of standalone retellings. I absolutely loved the first book, The Shadow Queen, and I was really disappointed by this book. I found the plot of this book to be too drawn out, I didn't really care for the main characters or the instalove.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - This is the first book in Cassandra Clare's new series set in the Shadowhunter universe that is set 5 years after The Mortal Instruments. I absolutely loved this book, I love the characters and the mystery elements involving the story. One of my main issues with The Mortal Instruments series was that I didn't particularly care for the main characters, and I did not have the same issue with this book, I absolutely love both Emma and Julian, especially how they developed and both their relationship developed. I can't wait to read the sequel, Lord of Shadowswhen it comes out next month.

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamine Alire Sáenz - This book follows Zach, an 18 year old, who is in rehab, instead of high school and he doesn't remember why. As with all the books I've read by Sáenz so far, I loved the writing. I really liked the main character and how so much of this book is faced on the relationships he builds with other people.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - This is the first book in a Beauty and the Beast retelling, where Feyre is a hunter who is taken from her family for killing a faerie. This was another reread as I'm getting read for the third book in the first trilogy to come out next month. This was an interesting experience for me, because I absolutely loved this book the first time I read it. This time I didn't love it as much because my perspective of the world and some of it's characters has changed so much after reading the second book. I still absolutely loved this series, it's one of my favorites, and I can't wait to continue on with my reread.

And those were all the books I read in March. My school schedule has gotten worse in the past couple of weeks, so I'm probably not going to be able to blog or read as much as I would like, but I'm going to try and cram in as much as possible. - Jessica

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Snapshots


1. I've blogged a bit before about how obsessed I am with Happy Hello Art, I added these bookmarks to my collection this month. I don't really know what to do with myself at this point because I have more than 50 bookmarks from that shop. This time I got (from left to right) Peter and Lara Jean from To All the Boys I've Loved Before (in preparation for the last book that comes out soon), another Celaena from Throne of Glass, quidditch Harry, and the trio from Legend of Korra.  /// 2. Celaena hanging out with me while I read the best part of Lady Midnight. At this point I have like 6 different Celaena bookmarks, but I relate to this bookmark as a college student who doesn't sleep and lives off coffee.


3 & 4. Fawkes' first big outing, I took him for a walk around the state capitol, Zilker, and then Auditorium shores. - Jessica

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lazy Spring Break Days (Vol. 2)


Last year I made a post entitled, Lazy Spring Break Days, and it is one of my favorite posts for its spontaneous feel. This year I was really excited to make a second edition, and just lie in bed all day not doing much. So here's how I spent my day:


As I said in my last post, I am going to try and read as much as I can during this break. I'm currently making my way through The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamine Alire Sáenz, but I did take a little break from reading that book when my new edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came in. I did a quick listen through on the audiobook, and I love these new editions. 
I love to color when I listen to audiobooks, and I specifically bought the Lunar Chronicles coloring book to use during spring break. When I wasn't listening to Fantastic Beasts, I listened to Ed Sheeran's new album on repeat. - Jessica