October Wrap-Up 2016

In My Life

October was…interesting, I guess. It feels like it took forever to go by, but I can’t really remember what I did. Mostly, I worked on college apps and was overwhelmed by homework.

There is some good news, though! My school paper (of which I am the EIC) published its second issue, which turned out AMAZING. In ceramics, we are starting to make bowls, which is fun and difficult at the same time. And AP Art History is a ton of work but SUPER interesting. We’re on our ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome unit right now. Loving it 🙂

On This Blog

I had 12 posts this month, exactly meeting my personal goal of three posts a week. This is the first time since school started that I’ve been so consistent in blogging, so I’m pretty proud of myself. *high fives self*

Top Ten Tuesdays

Book Tags

In Reading and Reviewing

I read five books this month. Considering how much schoolwork I had (and that one of those books was 700+ pages long), I’m pretty happy with myself.

Books Read

  • Empire of Storms (TOG #5) by Sarah J. Maas — 5/5 stars (review)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares — 4/5 stars (review)
  • The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares — 3.5/5 stars
  • Drowning is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley — 4/5 stars (review to come)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley — 3.5/5 stars (review)

Other Reviews

  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys — 4/5 stars (review)
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff — 4/5 stars (review)
  • Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle #2) by Libba Bray — 4/5 stars (review)

In Writing

October was a great month for writing! I added 7,600 words to my novel, way more than anything I had added since school started. I wrote on six different days, and some of those days were…wait for it…school nights. OH MY GOD. I hope that I can continue this momentum going into November. It will be my version of NaNoWriMo.

On another note, I got a lot of college essay writing done. I have finally finalized my Common App essay (YES!!), as well as three colleges worth of supplements.


So that’s it for October! How was your Halloween? What books did you read last month and which ones are you planning to read next?

The Halloween Book Tag

Thank you so much to Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books for tagging me! If you guys don’t know her blog, you should check it out! She is an incredibly lovely blogger 🙂

Carving Pumpkins: What book would you carve up and light on fire?

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Okay, so I’d never actually burn a book…but I really didn’t like It’s a Wonderful Death. I had really high hopes, and it ended up being cliche and boring. Bummer.

Trick or Treat? Which character is a treat and which character is a trick?

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Trick: Gen

Not because he’s a villain of anything, but because he is the dictionary definition of a trickster.

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Treat: Sean Kendrick

Because Sean Kendrick is freaking dreamy.

Candy Corn: What book is always sweet?

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

This book is one of the sweetest, cutest stories ever. I laughed, I cried, I smiled. It was awesome.

Ghost: What character would you like to visit you as a ghost?
[no spoilers]

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Noah from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Because…well…I love him. (Among other reasons)

Dressing Up in Costume: What character would you want to be for a day?

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Shazi from The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh

Because HER CLOTHES. And her personality. And Khalid. Okay, so everything.

Wizards and Witches: What’s your favorite Harry Potter moment?

I absolutely loved the moment after Harry takes his Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL when the examiner asks Harry to show his Patronous. It was a really badass moment.

Blood and Gore: What was a book that was so creepy that you had to take a break from it?

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The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I have a very conflicted relationship with this book, but the one thing I can say for sure is that it was RIDICULOUSLY CREEPY. So. Freaking. Creepy. If you want to know more, you can read my very conflicted review.

My tags


Happy Halloween! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have any book recommendations?

The Goodreads Book Tag

I was tagged by Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books! Now, I don’t actually use Goodreads, for reasons that I’ll explain in a discussion post when I finally get around to writing it. I have an account, but I basically only use it to keep track of random TBR books. Still, I love book tags, so I’m doing this one, I just have to tweak my answers a bit.

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

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Like Kirstie, I just finished Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas and I AM NOT OKAY. If you’ve read that book, then you understand the broken mess that my heart is right now.

What are you currently reading?

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Needing something happy after EOS, I’m reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I read the book a while ago and I am having fun rediscovering the world (and it’s nice to read something that isn’t physically painful).

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

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Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes was the last book I marked as TBR on Goodreads. I think I read a really positive review of it.

What book do you plan to read next?

I’m a total mood reader, so it’s hard to know. I’ll probably continue the Traveling Pants series.

Do you use the star rating system?

Again, I don’t review books on Goodreads, but on my blog I use a star rating system that is basically the same as Goodreads (though I use half stars). So yes, kind of. 

Are you doing a 2016 Reading Challenge?

I didn’t start a challenge officially with Goodreads, but I have unofficially set a goal of 60 books for myself. That’s less than I’ve done in previous years, but considering 2016 contained AP season for my junior year AND college application season, I knew that this year would not be a great reading year for me.

Do you have a wishlist?

No. I usually just randomly buy books when I’m in the mood for it. It would probably be a good idea for me to keep a wishlist. As it is, I basically have a random list in my head and a (very inaccurate) TBR list on Goodreads.

What book do you plan to buy next?

I am mostly focused on buying/preordering sequels right now. I want Blood for Blood and Gemina most, and I’ll probably buy them soon.

Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few.

Oh, I have so many favorite quotes. Don’t get me started…but now that you have, here are a few:

  • “I do not want to pass the time. I want to grab hold of it and leave my mark upon the world.” — The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
  • “She wasn’t interested in telling other people’s futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.” — The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • “If I am the pawn of the gods, it is because they know me so well, not because they make my mind up for me.” — The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Apparently all of my go-to favorite quotes right now have to do with destiny/choice.

Who are your favorite authors?

Again, I have a lot of favorite authors. The three I just quoted—Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, and Megan Whalen Turner—will always hold a special place in my heart.

Have you joined any groups?

Nope. I would have to remember Goodreads exists more than once a month for that to work, probably.

My tags:

RiverMoose @ RiverMoose Reads

Amy @ Every Book You Need to Read and More

Annike and Zoë @ Twin Tales

Eve @ Twist in the Tale

And you, if you want to do it!

The Snack Food Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged to do this tag, but I saw Freadom @Freadom Library do it a while back and I have been meaning to do it ever since. This tag combines two of my favorite things: snacking and books.

Chocolate-covered Pretzels

A book couple you never thought would work\get together

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On the surface, the couple in Uprooted seems impossible. But the story 110% convinced me and now they are one of my favorite ships ever.

Pringles

An addictive book you can’t get enough of

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Fire by Kristen Cashore is completely addictive. I have read it at least three times and I will undoubtedly read it again. The romance is the definition of adorable and the plot is twisted and intricate and heart-wrenching.

Trail mix

A book with a variety of characters

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My go-to answer is Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, but I felt like I should talk about a book that I don’t mention all the freaking time, so I’m going with Elantris. The book has three main characters and a ton of supporting characters who all add to the incredible story that is Brandon Sanderson’s debut.

Fruit Bowls

An unpredictable character

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AELIN. I am reading Empire of Storms right now and all that I know is that I cannot know everything that Aelin has up her sleeve (and I love her for it). Side note: EOS is destroying me right now, someone send help.

Nut bar

Your go-to book

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I have a ton of go-t0 books, mainly because I am a reread fanatic. But when I really need a book to calm me down and cheer me up, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is my ultimate happy place.

Popcorn

A character you can’t help but like

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Emilia in Salt to the Sea. I was basically in love with her character from page one. She has led an incredibly awful life but she is smart, kind, and resilient anyway. I wanted to give her a hug and a high five all at the same time.


Since I wasn’t tagged, I’m not going to tag anyone. If this seems like something you’d like to do, consider yourself tagged!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

What is your favorite snack to eat while reading?

The NY Times Book Tag

Thank you to Kirstie Ellen @ Upside-Down Books for tagging me in the NY Times Book Tag! She’s an amazing blogger and if you don’t follow her, you should!

What is on your night stand right now?

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I absolutely loved Illuminae and I’m excited to see what he created on his own!

What was the last truly great book you read?

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I’m not over A Court of Mist and Fury, which I read over summer. I have read other amazing books since then, but ACOMAF takes the cake.

If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

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I would want to meet Libba Bray, and I would want to know how she managed to write so many completely different stories with so many completely different voices. And I would want to know what she did to write stories that bleed GIRL POWER.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?

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I have an entire shelf of nonfiction books on ancient Egypt from back when I was obsessed with that history. I can’t bear to part with them, even though I haven’t opened them in years.

How do you organize your personal library?

I organize my main bookshelves by order of enjoyment. Best books ever are on the top left, then slowly get less and less great as they move right and down. That’s two of my bookshelves. Then I have genre specific shelves—one dystopian/paranormal, one contemporary romance—arranged in the same order. Then I have a random shelf that houses my TBR shelf and my big collections of books (all of the Stephanie Plum books, tons of Agatha Christie novels, the Harry Potter books, and the Series of Unfortunate events).

What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?

SO MANY. Here are a few random ones: Firsts, Rose Under Fire, and Bruised. 

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t?

Everything, Everything and We Were Liars are the two that come to mind. Both of them sucked me in with gorgeous covers and hype…and let me down.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I pretty much read either fantasy or contemporary romance books. I love stories about assassins/thieves/badasses, and I’m a sucker for hate-to-love romances.

I tend to stay clear of books that focus heavily on mental illness, books with unreliable narrators, and paranormal books that make you say “I don’t know what’s going on.” Still, I’ll pick up a few of these each year.

If you could require the President to read one book, what would it be?

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Honestly? I don’t know. I want the President to read intelligence briefings and intense nonfiction and scholarly essays. If I have to pick one, I would go with Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, mainly because you get a lot of different (and important) stories in one. And girl power to the max.

What do you plan to read next?

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I don’t know specifics, but I need to reread Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows soon so that I can dive into Empire of Storms!

My tags

Giovanna @ Book Coma

Sam @ RiverMoose Reads

Monique @ That Wild Soul

The Olympic Book Tag

I was tagged by Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books to do the Olympic Book Tag. Thanks!

I am loving the Olympics right now! Gymnastics, diving, fencing, and beach volleyball are my favorite sports to watch, but I have been watching basically everything I can, because we got cable back for two weeks and I want to take advantage of it.

The Opening Ceremony — What book did you think had an incredible opening?

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The first lines of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern are gorgeous, and they set the tone for one of the most magical stories ever:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

The Games — What is your favourite fictional competition?

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I love the competition in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I didn’t think that I would get sucked into a competition surrounding vintage video games and movies, but I totally did.

The Original — The modern games are based on the original Greek competition – what is your favourite book based on a classic?

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Across a Star-Swept Sea and For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund are retellings of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Persuasion respectively. I haven’t read either original story, but I love these retellings.

The Eternal Flame  — What is one ship that you won’t let die, even after the books made it clear it was never going to happen?

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Gemma Doyle and Simon Middleton in the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. I love the guy Gemma ended up with, and in all actuality Simon was wrong for her, but I still love the idea of them as a couple.

Gymnastics — What’s a book that had so many twists and turns it left your head spinning? (in a good way)

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If you haven’t read Uprooted by Naomi Novik yet, you should go out and do that. Part fantasy novel, part horror story, this book kept me guessing and freaking out from cover to cover.

The Controversial Judge  — What’s a book that you have a totally different opinion about than most other people?

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon—I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. The ending frustrated me and the book left me dissatisfied.

Beach Volleyball  — What is your favorite fictional duo?

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I wanted to go to my standard answer which is Emie and Teo from Black Dove White Raven, but then I decided to go with something more creative. I love Fire and Small (her horse).

Weightlifting — What is the most massive book on your shelf?

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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is ridiculously huge, but I haven’t read it yet. The Sweet Far Thing, A Court of Mist and Fury, and Monsters of Men are smaller, but still massive books that I’ve actually read.

Track & Field — What is a book that you just tore through with world record speed?

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Well, honestly I read a lot of books in one sitting, especially over summer, so it’s hard for me to pick out one that I read quickly. The most recent book that I blew through, however, was Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, which was amazing and tear-jerking and you should read it immediately.

Synchronised Swimming — What is a book series that you kept reading, even though you didn’t have any idea why?

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The Twixt series by Dawn Metcalf is interesting enough that I’ve read the first two books in the series (I’ve read the first book twice), but honestly, I am not invested in the series at all. And yet, I still want to read the next book.

The Tortured Fan — What fictional family, group, nation, or organisation do you irrationally rout for no matter how many times they break your heart?

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I root for the friendship in Code Name Verity more than anything. It is heartbreaking and wonderful and I don’t want to say more lest I spoil this incredible book.

Closing Ceremony — What book had an ending that just blew your mind?

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I am still not over the ending of A Court of Mist and Fury. If you are, please comment and share your wisdom, because thinking about it kind of destroys me.

Relay Race — Who do you tag?

And you!


Have you read any of the books I talked about? Are you watching the Olympics?

The Alphabet Book Tag

Hey everyone! I was tagged by Morgan @ Happily Ever Bookish to do the Alphabet Book Tag. She’s super sweet and you should all check her out!

The rules of this tag are pretty simple. You just have to match a read or TBR book to every letter in the alphabet. I’ll try to stick to books I’ve read and enjoyed and mark those that are on my TBR.

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A — The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness

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B — Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

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C — Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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D — The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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E — Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

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F — Fire by Kristen Cashore

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G — Graceling by Kristen Cashore

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H — Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

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I — Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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J — Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (TBR)

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K — The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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L — Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead

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M — Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

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N — The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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O — Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

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P — Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

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Q — Queen of Shadows (TOG #4) by Sarah J Maas

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R — Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle #2) by Libba Bray

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S — The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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T — The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

book 2
book 2

U — Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter

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V — Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (TBR)

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W — The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

X — Seriously, are there any books that start with X?

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Y — Young Love Murder by April Brookshire

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Z — Zeroes by Chuck Wendig (TBR)


I tag:

A Novel Glimpse

Giovanna @ Book Coma

Jess @ Princessica of Books

And you if you want to try it!


That was harder than it seemed! There was only one letter I couldn’t do, though, so I’m pretty proud of myself.

If you’re curious about any of the books that I listed, please comment and we can talk!