Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Books I Read in September


I read a lot in the month of September, I read a total of 15 books and 1 comic. I think that I managed to read so much because there were a lot of new release and in general I was excited to read again. I also caught up to my reading goal on Goodreads! So reading doesn't feel as much of a chore now. Although one of the books (The Blind Owl) was for school, so I won't talk about it below because I had to write about it already and I'm still not sure on my opinion of it. So here are the books I read and my thoughts and feelings on them:

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - This is a historical fiction novel, set during WWII and leads up to the events of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. I really liked this book, and it was really interesting to read something about WWII, that I had never heard of before. This book is told in four perspectives, and it was really hard for me to read, since one of them was a German soldier. I did however really like all the other characters, and I would recommend this, if you're interested in historical fiction.

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold - This book follows a group of outcasts before and after they are involved in a murder. I liked this book, but it did feel generic to me. It had a lot of quirky vibes, that are found a lot in YA contemporary novels. It took a while for the plot points to start connecting, but once it did, this book was much more engaging.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera - This book follows two strangers, who both find out that they are going to die in less than 24 hours, and they meet up on an app to spend their last day together. I absolutely loved this book, the concept is amazing and the characters pull you in. Adam Silvera is a master story teller, I feel that every single one of his books is so unique. Even though I knew the outcome of this book (not a spoiler cause it's actually in the title), I did not make it any easier.

Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana - This book centers around Princess Amrita, who is going to be married off to a neighboring kingdom, and goes on an adventure with an oracle, in an effort to change her fate. I really enjoyed this book, although I did feel that the plot was a little rushed towards the end. The writing was beautiful and I really liked the main character.

Skin&Earth (Vol. 3) by Lights - This is the third issue in Light's dystopian comic series, that ties into her new album. I absolutely loved the direction this story has gone. As with the two previous issues, the art was gorgeous. I'm so engrossed in this series and I can't wait for the next three issues to come out.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo - This book is an origin story for Diana. I really enjoyed this book. It's by Leigh Bardugo, who is amazing, and it's filled with diversity. I'm fairly new to the realm of Wonder Woman, my previous knowledge primarily comes from the movie, but I think this was a well told introduction to her story. I did have some issues with the romance in this book, (small spoilers ahead) because basically Diana's love interest is a demigod, and for me this completely undermined Diana's character.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas - This is the latest installment of the Throne of Glass series, and this book centers around Chaol and takes place parallel to Empire of Storms. I went into this book with low expectations, the Throne of Glass series is one of my all time favorites and I was disappointed that the last book was pushed back when this went from a novella to a 700 page book. I completely changed my tune while reading this, I absolutely loved this book. I loved the new characters, and I also liked Chaol for the first time ever while reading this. I was completely blown away by how this book tied together so many elements from The Assassin's Blade, so even though Aelin is not physically present in this book, it is still her story. It's still really hard knowing that the last book isn't coming out for another year, but I can't wait to reread the series closer to the release date. 

The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh - This book is a One Thousand and One Nights retelling. I really enjoyed this book, I thought the writing is beautiful and it has a great cast of characters. I really enjoyed how the fairy tale elements were adapted into the authors own story.

Warcross by Marie Lu - This book is set in a Si-Fi world, where the virtual reality game, Warcross, has taken over people's lives. Every year there is a tournament, involving the best players, and the main character, Emika Chin, finds herself apart of the games after hacking the servers. Marie Lu is one of my favorite writers and I did go into this book with high expectations, and I absolutely loved this book. The world building is incredible and I love how diverse the characters are. And the cherry on top of all the amazing elements of this book, is that one of the main characters has a corgi! I just absolutely love anything that Marie Lu writes and I can't wait for the second book to come out.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner - This is a coming of age novel, following three best friends, who live in a small town and are trying to tackle their senior year. I had the same reaction to this book, that I had with Kids of Appetite. It's a good book, but I felt that it has a lot of generic elements of a YA contemporary novel. But I think I have a minority opinion on this book, because everyone else that I've seen has loved it.

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake - This is the second book in the Three Dark Crowns series. I was really excited to read this book, because I thought it was the conclusion to the series, but it was announced recently that it has been expanded to be four books long. I was disappointed by the first book and I thought that this book would be able to redeem itself. The problem that I had with the first book was that the plot suffered because it was too romance centric and 4/5 of the main female characters are boy crazy. This book was a little bit better than the first, but ultimately the plot felt stretched thin and there is still too much romance, which is rare for me because I usually love romance elements in books. I honestly don't see myself continuing on with this series, which is such a shame because the concept is amazing, I just am not a fan of the execution.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson - This book centers around Isobel, an artist, who paints portraits of fae. The autumn prince, Rook, takes her away to stand trial, after she paints him with a mortal flaw, revealing his weakness. This was actually the book among the new releases of this month that I was most excited for. I had heard that this book was loved by ACoTaR fans, and I went into this with extremely high expectations. I absolutely loved this book, the writing is beautiful and I love the world building. The romance was a tad predictable, but overall I loved this book.

Ghostly Echos by William Ritter - This is the third installment in the Jackaby series. I was initially hard for me to get into this story, because it had been so long since I read the second book, but I ended up really liking this installment. I really like the main character of this series, and I think she's a fantastic narrator. This book also had a LGBTQ+ character, and I really enjoyed that element. I read most of the last book in the month of September, but I wasn't able to finish it until yesterday, so I'll talk about in my next wrap up.

The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan - This is the second book in the Magnus Chase series, which is Riordan's take on Norse mythology. It's really hard for me to read this book and not compare it to Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus. So while I like this series, I just don't love it, like the author's other series. I did not find this installment as engaging as the first, I still feel like Magnus' humor is a little forced and I don't care for how the gods are represented (they act like 12 year olds to me, which makes sense but I think its a bit to much). But I really like the cast of characters and just how there's so much diversity in this series. The last chapter of this book, was honestly my favorite, because it set up for a Percy Jackson crossover.

And those are all the books I read. Seven of these, I listened to on audio, so audiobooks were the true hero in saving my reading challenge. There are several new releases coming out this month, that I'm looking forward to reading, and I hope that these books can keep up my momentum. - Jessica

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Snapshots


1 & 2. Fun, random shoot while I was reading Warcross. Fun fact: one of the main characters in the book has a corgi!


3. I finally got a Polaroid! I've been wanting one for a while, I've always been faithful to the Instax line (cause it's way cheaper to shoot), but I got this camera for a really good deal. Now I just need to buy some film. /// 4. Added these to my Happy Hello collection. The bookmark of Hermione is such an accurate representation of me reading.


5. So many books have come out lately, that my shelves don't even look like this anymore, cause I have had to move around a lot of books to make more room. /// 6. Chaol + Tower of Dawn.


7. My friend and I went to see Metro Station. It was such a fun, throwback show. /// 8. Another one of my friends is in this play, "The Wolves." If you're in the Austin area, it is open until the 21st and I highly recommend it. /// 9 & 10. I saw Paramore live for the 5th time! They were incredible, as always.  - Jessica 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fawkes


I'm definitely one of those dog owners who gets excited about their pet's birthday. Especially since Fawkes is a year old this week (we don't know the exact day that he was born but Hermione Granger's birthday is just as good time to celebrate it). He's grown so much since I got him for Christmas, but he's pretty small compared to my family's other corgis. I'm also definitely the person who get's their pet cakes that say Happy Birthday (but I'm waiting until this weekend when my sister is here with Hazel to give it to him). So to celebrate my dogs birthday, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite shots I've taken of him.


Isn't he so cute? He's not a huge fan of getting his picture taken, but I reward him greatly. - Jessica

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Books I Read In August


August was a busy reading month. I finished 12 novels, 1 graphic novel, and 2 comics. Here are the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them:

Beast by Bree Spangler - This is a YA contemporary that is loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I've been looking forward to picking up this book for a while, because I heard it had good trans representation. I really liked that aspect of the book, but I had a hard time getting over the main character's misogyny. Through out this whole book, I kept wishing that it was told through Jamie's, the main love interest, perspective.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab - This is the second and last book in Schwab's Monster's of Verity duology. I really enjoyed this installment. This book was entertaining and I left it both shocked and satisfied at how it ended.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith - This book follows Alice after she buys a winning lottery ticket for her best friend. I really enjoyed this book, I really liked Alice's character and how she dealt with her environment. This book definitely made me more interested in reading more books by Jennifer E. Smith.

Legend of Korra: The Turf Wars (Part 1) by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh - This is the first edition in a graphic novel series, that takes place right where the show left off. I absolutely loved this. LOK is one of my all time favorite shows and the story and characters translated so well in graphic novel form. I loved how we got to see how Korra and Asami's relationship progressed and also how their relationship is perceived in the universe.

Skin and Earth (Vol. 1-2) by Lights - This is a dystopian comic book series that directly ties into Light's new album. I have been a huge fan of Light's music since her first album. I was immediately intrigued with the concept for the album and the comic, and I think it's genius how well these two mediums interconnect. I listened to the released songs from her album on repeat while reading these two volumes, and I love how they tie into each other. I'm really interested in this story and I think that Light's has created a really cool universe.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - This story centers around Dimple, after her parents allow for her to go to a summer program, mainly because they have set her up with her "Ideal Indian Husband," Rishi. I loved this book, the characters were so intriguing and I loved how Dimple and Rishi interacted. If you've read this book then you would know how much I needed an iced coffee and an iced chai while reading it.

Summer Days and Summer Nights edt. by Stephanie Perkins - This is an anthology of 12 short stories, written by 12 various YA authors. I don't usually read anthologies because the stories are either hit or miss for me. There were 4 stories that I really liked, but the other's did not stand out as much to me, and overall I ended up rating this a 3/5. If you want to check out my Goodreads review, I have the individual ratings for each story.

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - This is the first book in a fantasy trilogy, surrounding Kelsea, as she returns to her kingdom after 18 years of hiding, and has to fix it's many problems and escape death. I thought this was a good start to the series, I did have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there is a heavy dystopian aspect to the world. I really liked Kelsea as a main character, and I'm interested in how the magic system works.

Harry Potter Books 2-7 by J.K. Rowling - I really thought that I was a little in over my head, when I decided to reread the series and gave myself a 2 month deadline to do so. I ended up only reading a little bit of the second book in July, so I really had to make sure that I stayed on top of rereading the series, and the audiobooks helped so much. It was really cool to experience the story in a different medium. I absolutely loved rereading this series, and I'm so tempted to just start it back up again, since the Kindle in Motion edition of the first book just came out.

So those are all the books I read in August. There are a ton of new books coming out this month that I've been looking forward too, and I also want to continue on with the Queen of the Tearling. School has just started back up, but I'm hoping that I'll still have a good amount of time to read for fun and not just dense scholarly papers. - Jessica

Friday, September 1, 2017

19 Years Later

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. 
The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”

Today, the Potter family is getting ready to go to King's Cross station Albus' first day of school at Hogwarts. The nineteen years later. The events of the epilogue.

I purposely waited until midnight to reread the last chapter of book 7, so that I could finish the story on the exact date that it happened. I desperately wish that I was at King's Cross today, standing at Platform 9 3/4, where the story ends on the pages. - Jessica

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Snapshots


1. August was a busy reading month for me. I had to catch up and read 6 Harry Potter books to meet my personal deadline of finishing the books before September 1st (the exact day the epilogue in HP7 takes place). I'm so close to finishing the last book and I have loved revisiting this series. I need to make sure that six years don't elapse before my next reread. /// 2. Sunset hitting my shelves. I really want to reorganize my shelves soon.


3. Quick photo opt of Fawkes. He turns a year next month, he's growing up way to fast.


4. I added the After Laughter vinyl and cassette to my collection, because this record is so good. I'm also seeing Paramore again at the end of next month and so these will be on repeat until then. /// 5. Ed Sheeran concert. It was my third time seeing Ed live and every single time I feel the urge to buy a loop pedal. - Jessica

Monday, August 21, 2017

Thoughts While Rereading Harry Potter


I've mentioned lately how I've slowly been making my way through rereading the Harry Potter series. I wanted to reread the series this summer for a number of reasons; it's the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first book, I haven't read the series in its entirety since 2011, and the events of the epilogue take place next month. Rereading the series is an absolute joy because I still love it as much as the first time, plus there are so many details that I had forgotten about the books. I'm not entirely done with rereading the series but I've had so many thoughts about the reread that I wanted to share...
  • I've been splitting my time between reading physical copies of the books and listening to the audiobooks. I'm listening to the American editions and Jim Dale does a great job, but some of his voices for the characters and pronunciations is not how I hear them in my head. 
  • There are so many elements that I wish would have been in the movies: McGonagall's sass towards Umbridge, Luna Lovegood's quidditch commentary in book 6, the Marauder's backstory...
  • I don't understand why Snape was allowed to treat his students so terribly and bully them, he's really no better than Umbridge. 
  • GOF was my favorite as a kid and it still is (but it competes with POA some of the time)
  • I never noticed how prominent the foreshadowing for horcruxes is in all of the books, I noticed it especially in GOF.
  • Just the level of details that JKR put into each book is astonishing. 
  • Even the foreshadowing for the prophesy in PS/SS that comes up again in OOTP. 
  • And the character development is amazing (Draco, Neville...).
  • McGonagall has become my favorite character of this reread. I always admired her as a character but she is a total hero. Just everything about her in OOTP is amazing. (Hermione is still my fave of all time though).
  • The Marauder's storyline is still my favorite side plot in the novels, and if JKR ever decides to write their story, I would be the happiest person alive. 
  • Harry James Potter. He's put through so much in the novels and he doesn't deserve any of them. 
  • The part in COS where Tom states how Harry and him look similar freaked me out. It's crazy how they are both so similar and so different. 
  • Dumbledore's sense of humor is his best quality, and it is severely lacking in the movies. 
  • I'm always torn about liking Dumledore's character. I think the had Harry's best intentions in mind but I don't know if he went about them the right way, especially how he treated Harry's life like it was a game. 
  • Any time Fantastic Beasts is mentioned I get really excited. I love reading about the creatures now that I've seen them on screen. 
  • I wish we could have gotten more of Harry and Sirius' interactions. Their interactions have been some of my favorite moment in the reread as they had such a close connection.
  • When I was reading the series as a kid, I never noticed how much injustice there is in the Wizarding World. Especially when it comes to creatures and half creatures. I've had this picture of the Wizarding World and Hogwarts as a utopia, but seeing it in this light has made the world feel even more real to me. 
Hopefully some of my rambling made sense. I just really love reading my favorite series and I wanted to share some of my thoughts. - Jessica 

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