WRAP-UP // JULY 2017






Some of you may remember my Peter Pan bookshelf, which was really a cubby below my bed where I pasted pages out of—you guessed it—Peter and Wendy. There, I kept my collection of various editions of Peter Pan. But after a little furry monster *side-eyes Maisie* chewed those pages, I decided my books needed a new home. Besides, it was difficult to see them in their full glory when they were below my bed.

So after decoupaging one shelf and moving Peter Pan to his new home, I fell in love with the look of it. I then decided to decoupage the rest of the shelves, which ended up turning into this beauty. I used a variety of old books, including Grimm’s FairytalesThe Wizard of OzThe Little White Horse, among many others. I couldn’t be happier with the result, and I look forward to decoupaging my stand-alone bookshelf.

(I have yet to take a picture of the whole bookshelf, so apologies about that.)




As I previously discussed in my latest writing update, I’ve become obsessed with my work in project, to the point where on the days I do write, I’m putting about 1k words towards my WIP. As of now, it sits at 77k, and I estimate the final word count will be near 100k, if not more. Keep in mind, there are scenes that I already know will need to be cut or shortened, but still, this will be a lofty, fantastical book.



After keeping my brown hair for about a year (okay yes, various shades of brunette), I decided it was time for a change. Ever since I was a tween, I have loved dyeing my hair and giving it a whole new look.

I had my hair dyed at the salon for the first time, and though they weren’t able to bleach most of my hair because they wanted to avoid damaging it too much, I’m so thrilled with the outcome. I think it has this edgy, I-bleached-my-hair-but the-roots-grew-in-and-I-don’t-even-care kind of look. If that is a look. (It is now.)




Thank the universe, for I have finally gone back to my old ways of reading close to ten books a month. I don’t know what it was, but I was simply devouring novels this month. Perhaps it was because I enjoyed most of the books I’ve read, or I’ve been managing my time better. Either way, I’m progressing towards my reading goal of 70 books and I only hope to continue this reading streak.





The Fallen Kingdom is the third and final book in The Falconer trilogy. This series takes place in Scotland during the 1840’s. We follow eighteen-year-old Aileana who is an aristocratic lady by day and a hunter of the fae by night. She’s also a falconer, a female warrior with the ability to hunt and kill the fae.

I can’t say much in this review without spoiling the entire series, but I will tell you that the development of this series left me an awe. May did an incredible job of building up this plot into something I wasn’t even anticipating, along with giving each character a significant arc. The character development in this series was phenomenal, and this final was easily the best of the trilogy, in my opinion.

“Revenge makes us all monsters in themed. Remember that.”

I urge you to give this series a read if you haven’t already. The first book isn’t the absolute best (I still loved it, though), but the second and third books are incredible. Full of fantastical elements, thrilling action, strong female characters who support each other, and sassy dialogue, you will be sure to love this book.


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The Miseducation of Cameron Post was a perfect for read for Pride Month, being that this novel is all about a teenage girl called Cameron who is gay. But living in a small, religious town in Virginia in the 80’s, this obviously doesn’t bode well for her.

I really enjoyed reading Cameron’s story, beginning from early childhood to her teenage years. Danforth has this way of making her book and characters feel real by including this tiny details most people wouldn’t think twice about. But it’s those teeny things that make characters feel more alive.

Maybe I still haven’t become me. I don’t know how you tell for sure when you finally have.

As much as I loved the writing style and gaining more insight and perspective on such an important topic, I unfortunately found myself dragging on throughout this book. This novel was almost 500 pages, which is A LOT for a contemporary.

Still, it was great novel and I look forward to seeing The Miseducation of Cameron Post as a film starring one of my favorites, Chloe Grace Moretz.


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A reading goal of mine this year is to read more graphic novels, so when I came across Gotham Academy, I knew I had to have it.

This sort of reminded me of a smaller version of Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and I loved that. The illustrations were gorgeous and colorful, telling a clear story within a few panels.

I loved the characters, the plot, and the setting. This was easily one of my favorite graphic novel I’ve read yet, and I look forward to continuing the series.


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If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you are sure to enjoy The Crowns of Croswald. In this fantastical world, our protagonist Ivy is taken away to the Halls of Ivy. In this mystical school, her powers are awakened and she finds that she has deeper roots with the magical world than she realized.

This was such a fun, light read. I really liked Ivy and her friends, especially Fin. He was such a darling, and the romantic tension between he and Ivy was adorable.

For my full review of this magical middle grade, click here.





There isn’t much to say about this one. It’s a short retelling of Peter Pan, but the whole reason I bought it was because A) it was on sale B) it’s Peter Pan and I collect Peter Pan C) the illustrations are gorgeous and some of them even pop out D) it’s Peter Pan. It was a lovely thing to flip through.


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I can say with confidence that Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand is easily one of my favorite books of the year, if not of all-time. Despite this being a middle-grade, which I typically don’t reach for, I wanted to give this a try because I had read work from Legrand before and loved her writing style.

From the first page, I was in love Some Kind of Happiness, and I don’t say that about many books. Following eleven-year-old Finley, who is being sent away until her parents work things out, we are taken into the depths of the Everwood—the Hart house. In this house, everyone is perfect (if there was such a thing), but Finley is not. She has blue days and Dark Ones on her back.

This novel discusses such important topics like anxiety and depression, and I cannot recommend this book enough. To read my full review on this mystical masterpiece, click here.


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I’ve heard nothing but good things about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and when it was announced it was going to be adapted into film, my TBR jar realized it was time to finally give it a read.

I wonder what it’s like to have that much power over a boy. I don’t think I’d want it; it’s a lot of responsibility to hold a person’s heart in your hands.

In my opinion. I think this book certainly lived up to the hype. I love the way Han weaves in these tiny details and stories. It made it feel as though I was reading the diary of a real person. And if you know me well, you know I’m all about realistic characters.

I want to say yes, but I don’t want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody’s first choice.

At times, I did find Lara Jean to be a tad childish and her love interests a wee over the top, but something many of us (including myself) fail to understand is that we humans are unpredictable little specimens. We may act in ways others may not understand or agree with, and that’s okay.

To All the Boys I Loved Before was darling, filled with love and family and food. I look forward to continuing this series and seeing the film adaption.


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In July, another series of mine has come to a close. Wendy Darling is a retelling of the classic Peter and Wendy. But in this retelling, Wendy isn’t the innocent, weak girl and Peter is not the hero. (Not that he ever really was because let’s be real, he’s pretty awful even in the original story.)

This is a wonderfully dark retelling, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through this version of Neverland. Again, I can’t say much without spoiling the series, but I love the way Oakes concluded these tales. It left my eyes misty and my heart at war with the outcome, which I love.

If you’re in the mood for a twisted retelling of Peter and Wendy, you should definitely reach for the Wendy Darling series.


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Well, that was a long wrap-up, but it feels good to be getting back to my old reading habits where I would finish between seven to ten novels a month, sometimes more. I’m hoping to keep that streak going by reading even more this month.

And do tell, how many books did you read in July? Any other accomplishments? How many books are you planning to read in August? I’d love to hear your statistics and thoughts!





Bookish Q&A

The time for another Q&A has come, and this is a long one, so I hope you’re all ready. But before I continue on with the Bookish Q&A, be sure to check out my writing Q&A where I discuss my writing past and future plans and how I try to write happy endings for my characters but then

And now onto the Bookish Q&A! As always, feel free to join along and answer these questions. I simply found this Q&A through some Googling. And yes, it is a few years old, so you most likely have already done it and I am very behind on trends as usual. But then again, I’ve only been blogging since March(?). I still have many things to catch up on and plenty of time to do so! (Says me, who is also trying to write ten million books, read five million novels, and not waste all of my money on more books and writing supplies. #thestruggleisreal)


1. Favorite childhood book?

A: I didn’t start reading for fun until about two years ago, but I tried reading books outside of school when I was little. But I did read a few Goosebumps books (I think?). I don’t know. I wasn’t a reader or writer way back then. How did I live, you ask? I wasn’t living.

2. What are you reading right now?

A: I am currently reading Blood Red Road by Moira Young, and so far, it is extremely entertaining.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

A: I actually don’t have any requests down and I haven’t for a while in order to give myself time to narrow down my TBR. However, if you keep up with me on social media, then you most likely know I’ve been buying many physical and digital books to add to my already massive TBR next year. I’ve decided to accept my reading addiction and that I’ll never not be drowning in books. So starting next year, I will begin using the digital library and Netgalley again.

4. Bad book habit?

A: Filling my digital and physical shelves with more stories than I know what to do with. But again, I’m learning to accept my reading addiction and not stress about it. Which is difficult because I’m generally a nervous person. I always feel like I have to do everything at once, but I’m getting better. My 2017-self is going to do great (I think).

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

A: Nothing. We’ve been over this, questionnaire.

6. Do have an e-reader?

A: Yes! I’ve had a Kindle Paperwhite for about two years now and I adore it. Although, I tend to prefer a physical book over a digital copy.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?

A: I always go back and forth with this. I got into the habit of reading two to three books at a time, which helped me finish my reading goal by leaps and bounds. But around the beginning of fall this year, I went back to reading one book at a time. Life started to get chaotic and it was stressing me out to have so many stories on my plate at once. But I’m planning to go back to reading multiple books at once starting 2017 since I’ll be done with school forever and I’ll have so many books to read. YES FOREVER AND NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU ARE.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

A: Luckily, my reading habits have been the same. I do have to take more time out of my life to write blog posts and create the header image, but I love doing it. If anything, my reading may have increased. I read sixty-nine books last year and have already read seventy-four this year.

9. Least favorite book you’ve read this year?

A: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I wanted to love that book. I really did. But I didn’t. It’s probably my least favorite book I’ve ever read. There was something about it that just made me kind of angry? I don’t know. I felt very mislead and confused, except for the first 10% of the book. That part was okay.

10. Favorite books you’ve read this year?

A: Well, this is tough. But not really because I don’t toss out five stars often. In fact, I’ve only given six books five stars this year, and one of them is a re-read. Since there isn’t much, I’ll list all of my five star reads from this year.

  • Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira (beautiful character development and important messages, plus MANY gorgeous quotes).
  • Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (mysterious and slightly creepy, all tied together with Suma’s exquisite writing style).
  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (layered story and characters, plus rep of schizophrenia, which seemed accurate, but I have no way of knowing for certain).
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (another extremely talented writer with a lyrical voice who created such a unique and weird story with raw characters–LOVED this one).
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (I don’t need to even explain because this series is kind of the best thing that ever happened to the world).
  •  Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (this was my re-read, and I loved it even more the second time around and I really wish Etienne was real and my boyfriend).

11. How often do you read outside your comfort zone?

A: All the time. As a writer who has story ideas in just about every genre, I want to familiarize myself with as many genres as possible. And the more genres I read, the more I feel my mind and eyes expand. But I refuse to read or write erotica. #sorrynotsorry

12 . What is your reading comfort zone?

A: Fantasy and science-fiction. And contemporary is certainly starting to grow on me. I like a little fluff and love here and there.

13. Can you read on a bus?

A: I’ve never ridden on a bus, but considering I feel nauseas if I look down too long in a car, I would say no.

14. Favorite place to read?

A: My bed. But I also love my futon.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

A: Nothing because I do NOT lend my books. Unless it’s my sister. I trust her. (And all of my reader friends I only know online, otherwise I may be willing to lend more.)

16. Do you dog-ear your books?


The answer is NO. I’m not that evil.

17. Do you write notes on the margins of your books?

A: No, but I did recently begin highlighting quotes in my books. I was hesitant to write in my books, but they belong to me and I enjoy highlighting. So no on notes, but I tab and highlight.

18. Do you break/crack the spines?

A: I try not to, but sometimes it happens, especially if you’re a bookstagrammer like me who needs to books to stay open while snapping a photo.

19. What is your favorite language to read?

A: English because it’s all that I know. (For now.)

20. What makes you love a book?

A: Real, relatable characters who show significant development by the end of the story and fascinating plots that keep me guessing. But mainly for me, I need an excellent cast of characters to fall in love with a novel. I do also love my misfits and villains and unheard voices–basically, unreliable narrators–having their stories told.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

A: If I think the novel teaches an important lesson or has inspired me in some way, then I recommend it to others. Even if there’s a book I don’t love but I think others would enjoy it, I still recommend it. I say everyone should read a book for themselves because writing is purely subjective.

22. Favorite genre?

A: Fantasy and science-fiction will always be some of my favorites, but again, I’ll read just about anything.

23. Genre you rarely read but wish you did?

A: Classics and non-fiction. There are some beauties out there, but I simply haven’t gotten around to them. One of many goals for 2017 is to read even more genres.

24. Favorite biography?

A: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling because that’s the only memoir I’ve read. See? I need more non-fiction in my life.

25. Have you read a self-help book? Was it helpful?

A: No, but I’m certainly open to it.

26. Favorite cook book?

A: None, because I haven’t read any. I get my recipes from Pinterest and that’s about it. I like cooking and baking, but I don’t love it. It’s more of a chore for me.

27. The most inspirational book you’ve read this year?

A: Oh, this is tough. I feel as though every book inspires me in some way, whether or not I enjoy it. But Made You Up by Francesca Zappia did inspire me to take the elements of mental health more seriously in my own novel. I was hesitant to approach a topic I wasn’t originally familiar with, but I wanted to bring awareness to things such as PTSD and bipolar disorder, and give it a both real and positive approach.

After reading Made You Up, I started reading more articles and watching bits of documentaries and studies and interviews to understand these illnesses better. I’m so happy I followed through and plan to explore even more psychological elements in the future.

28. Favorite reading snack?

A: Anything chocolate.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

A: The Hunger Games series. Both the films and the books. People, including many of my friends, adored it. But I wasn’t too fond of the movies. I then read the first book, but I still didn’t enjoy it.

30. How often do you agree with critics on books?

A: I typically don’t agree with critics on most things. Sometimes I adore indie books that weren’t loved and dislike a popular novel or vice-versa. But I typically go towards the indie route with most things. Oh god, does this make me a hipster?

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

A: I think it’s important to be honest in any case, but it’s all about delivery. I try to be as kind as possible when leaving a negative review and note the positive moments.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which would it be?

A: French, because I took it for three years and I’m still able to read and understand some of it. I’m hoping to pick it back up after school and become fluent. A girl can dream.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve read?

A: Without a doubt, A Game of Thrones. Not only is it a beast of a series, but there’s such a massive cast of characters. However, after reading the first two books, I’ve been able to keep it all together. I might forget a name here and there, but who doesn’t?

34. Most intimidating book you’re nervous to begin?

A: That’s a toss-up between the Outlander series and the Harry Potter series. I’ve read the first four Harry Potter books, and the rest from here are MASSIVE. But if I can read A Game of Thrones, I think I can handle it.

35. Favorite poet?

A: I LOVE poetry, but I have yet to read any full poetry books. Although, I have many pieces of poetry saved on my Pinterest board, my favorites written by Atticus, Erin Hanson, and Rupi Kaur. I also recently purchased Milk and Honey and I’m pretty sure it’s going to destroy me.

36. How many books do you generally have checked out of the library?

A: Anywhere between one to three. I try not to go overboard.

37. How often do you return books to the library unread?

A: Very rarely. I usually hoard them. (But shush, that’s a secret.)

38. Favorite fictional character?

One second, let me get the list.

Yeah, I’m not even going to attempt this.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

A: I’m not sure I have a favorite villain in literature. Perhaps the Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke. He was utterly heinous in this graphic novel, but I also got a deep look into his back story, which I loved.

40. Books your most likely to bring on vacation?

A: Whatever I’m reading at the time.

41. The longest you’ve gone without reading?

A: Maybe a day or two, which is extremely rare. As I said, I’m addicted.

42. What distracts you easily while reading?

A: Noises from my family and the vibrations of my phone. Oh, and if I’m reading near a window or outside, the beauty of nature.

43. Name a book you couldn’t finish.

A: Too many to name, unfortunately. I’m trying to DNF less, but it’s hard when there are so many other books to read.

44. Favorite film adaption of a novel?

A: Divergent. But only the FIRST film. The rest are … I won’t get into it.

45. The most disappointing film adaption?


46. Most money you’ve spent in a bookstore at one time?

A: I don’t spend too much in bookstores. Book Outlet is what snags all of my money. I spent over $80 this last Black Friday on Book Outlet and bought 22 books.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

A: Never. I sometimes read page 69 (the Epic Reads rule) to see if I enjoy the writing style.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through it?

A: I suppose if it was too boring or I simply didn’t care for the characters. Also, if there’s anything offensive.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

A: I’M SORRY IS THIS A REAL QUESTION? The answer is yes. OBVIOUSLY. My series are organized by genre and my stand-alone/unfinished series organized by color.

50. Do you prefer to keep your books when you’re done or give them away?

A: If I give them four stars and above, then I typically keep them. Anything three stars or below I usually sell to my nearest bookstore and then buy new books. It’s a cycle.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

A: Anything by Stephanie Meyer or E.L. James. Sorry, I don’t think abuse and stalking is “cute” or “goals”.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

A: The Little Paris Bookshop, and I’m still not entirely sure why, but it did.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

A: I actually wasn’t expecting to like Love Letters to the Dead, but I ended up loving it. So that was a nice surprise.

54. A book you expected to like but didn’t?


55. Favorite guilt-free, guilty-pleasure read?

A: Anna and the French Kiss and every other book in the series. It’s fluffy and romantic and quick to read, but it’s characters are also very real in my eyes. That’s what makes characters like Etienne so attractive to me, because he isn’t perfect. (But he’s pretty close.)


*deep breath*

(God, I’m such a child, haha.)




Who are some of your favorite fictional characters? I’d love to know, since I have way too many to even begin listing. What have been some of your favorite reads this year? I could always use more recommendations. And as always, leave any other thoughts or comments down below!




THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma [Review]



On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.

On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.

Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…

What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?

In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

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Suma is not an amateur author, and it shows heavily in her work. Suma has a way of weaving words together into these beautiful strands of silk that you cannot help but want to pluck and carry with you for eternity.

Each of us had our own monster, distinct to us. We were all different, one girl to the next, like snowflakes.

Suma’s words will make you ponder life and us as humans. She will make you wonder and roam into lands you thought you would never explore. But Suma prods you into those territories with the strength of her words. And that is a something as both a writer and a reader that I highly admire–the power to take words and make you really think.

People can’t move on until the finger is pointed, and the gavel’s come down. This is called closure, and it’s also called justice, and they are not always the same thing.

Luckily, I have a physical copy of The Walls Around Us, and it is filled with tabs. And honestly, I think if I read it again, I would fill it up with even more tabs. Because despite this book being a mystery and knowing the outcome, I would gladly go down this crazy, twisted path again without hesitation.

Everything I know about bombs tells me they are built to explode. But something must set them off first. There must be a trigger before the noise goes off, before the big burst of bright, choking smoke. Otherwise a girl could stay quiet for years.

Readers, writers, everyone, you MUST read this novel. Even if you end up not being fond of the story-line, Suma’s writing will leave you in awe. And for me, it was not just Suma’s writing style that made me adore this novel. It was the way she created such a vivid world and characters, and yet left us readers in wonder.

We’ll forever be pointing fingers. Playing detective, to see who might be caught red-handed, over-heard in telling a bald-faced lie.

I’ll just leave you with that.



The synopsis grabbed my attention immediately for several reasons.

  • it’s clearly a mystery novel and I NEED more mystery in my life
  • ballerinas (and dancers in general) fascinate me
  • so do misfits (if you’ve read my stories, you know this)
  • also the cover is beautiful

Suma weaved an even more incredible plot-line than I was expecting. She took these classic elements that make a mystery novel so intriguing, but she twisted it into something slightly supernatural.

There were times where I wasn’t sure if something was real or fake. And though I guessed who the culprit was fairly quickly, Suma still left me gaping at the outcome of each character arc. Honestly, I’m still not one hundred percent certain if the ending was true or not.

Suma truly has a way to bend reality to the point where you’re not sure if it’s real. I do think I know how the book ended and how it was possible, but if definitely messed with my mind. This is one of the books that you most likely will not fully understand, sort of like Inception, and I think that’s a magical thing.



Get ready for me to rave about these characters because THEY WERE WILD LITTLE MISFITS AND MONSTERS AND WE KNOW I LOVE CHARACTERS LIKE THIS.

I’ve always found the misfits to the most interesting characters to both read and write about. Most heroes, to me, are boring. I don’t want to read about the perfect girl with perfect hair and superpowers or the perfect boy with perfect eyes and a perfect personality. People like that don’t exist. Perfection doesn’t exist.

This is why I like to read (and write) about the messy little characters with complicated backstories and who make mistakes. I especially love when a character seems perfect, but in reality, they are mess inside. Because in my opinion, that’s real. That’s relatable. And that’s one of many reasons why I LOVED this book.

Violet was selfish. She was jealous of Orianna. Orianna who had a life far from perfection, but chose to try to be happy. And we have Amber who has committed some terrible acts but for selfless reasons. (She also loves to read, so she was probably my favorite.)

I didn’t agree with most of these characters opinions and why they did what they did, but I could understand why they thought it was right. I could understand how they became caught up in a moment and allowed that one specific emotion to consume them. They are human, and they made horrible decisions, but I could understand that (to a point).

I suppose I appreciate that Suma made these characters flawed without going overboard. She gave them redeemable qualities and/or understandable reasoning behind their decisions.

However, I do wish Orianna had her own point-of-view. I learned many things about her through Violet and Amber’s point-of-views, but I would have liked to read Orianna’s thoughts straight from her.



I loved this book. I loved the mystery and the characters and how it was quite creepy and gruesome. (I’m basically a monster.) It was everything I wanted and so much more. It inspired me not only as a writer, but as a person. To appreciate what I have and to understand others and not be so quick to judge. That everyone has their own story and their own struggles, and I think that’s such an important lesson to teach. That’s a message I want to spread in my own stories, so I appreciate when other writer’s take that approach.

This review is quite late, but The Walls Around Us has stuck with me to the point where it feels as though I read this yesterday. This is a novel that will certainly not leave my mind and will always have me wondering. And I cannot wait to read more by Nova Ren Suma.



Have you read The Walls Around Us? If so, what did you think? Leave any of your thoughts or comments down below. But no spoilers, please!