Friday, December 30, 2016


I'm back today with a review about Alison Goodman's book THE DARK DAYS CLUB, which was published in January 2016.

The cover of the hardcover that I have is absolutely gorgeous, but it doesn't really capture the action feel of the book.

Here's the little Goodreads blurb:

New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap? 

...and my review!

I really enjoyed THE DARK DAYS CLUB. It takes a while for the action to start, but the plot is so thick and interesting that I didn't mind at all. Goodman does a great job weaving in historical facts. I don't know very much about the time period, so I like how much historical background she provided.

Based on EON and EONA, I expected THE DARK DAYS CLUB to have a little bit more romance than it did. Lady Helen has two love interests, and I did feel like her choice of one man over the other could have been a little better explained. Goodman did foreshadow that one wasn't the right choice for Helen, but I think I looked upon the spurned love interest with a tad more favor than Goodman wanted me to.

An excellent read! I'm really looking forward to the next one. Which leads me right into something else...

The sequel to THE DARK DAYS CLUB, THE DARK DAYS PACT, comes out at the end of January 2017. I'm so excited! Here's the cover:

It bugs me because it doesn't match the cover of the first book AT ALL, but that's not going to stop me from buying it. I mean, I've been waiting for book two FOREVER (or it feels that way).

That's it for today! See you soon!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays!

I'm wishing you all a fun and safe weekend surrounded by family and friends! I really appreciate all of your support in 2016, and I can't wait for another great year of blogging and bookishness. Blogging wouldn't be the same without you!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Update & Recent Reads!

Hello! I hope December is treating you well! Between making up all the work I put off during NaNoWriMo and the big push right before the holidays, the beginning of this month was crazy. I'm going to try to blog a couple more times this month, but it looks like December is going to be pretty slim on the blog posts.

Today I read two fabulous books, and I thought that I would briefly review them. Both books were quite sad and not your typical holiday fare, but I highly recommend both of them.

The first book I read today is A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness.

A MONSTER CALLS is an incredibly powerful book told from the third person limited perspective of a boy who is visited by a monster. Pretty much anything I say about the plot with spoil it, but believe me when I say that this book is excellent. It's short, clocking in at around 200 pages, and features beautiful illustrations. Even though it is solidly in the MG camp, adults and teenagers will get a lot out of it. It would be a crime for me to give it fewer than five stars, but they are five crying-because-it's-so-sad stars. 

The second book I read today is THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, a book by Marieke Nijkamp.

I've read some angry reviews about this book and quite a few gushing reviews about THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, and at the end of the day, all I can do is add my two cents. I agree that this book is intense. And harrowing. It chronicles fifty-four minutes of a school shooting from multiple perspectives, which allows the reader to see the shooting from quite a few angles. I have to say that I feel like some perspectives are missing. I would have loved a peek into the shooter's head or seen the story unfold from Fareed's point of view. 

While some reviews say that the shooter comes across as pure evil, I didn't feel that way. Whether that was because of A MONSTER CALLS (which drives home the point that people are neither good nor evil) or how I interpreted the story, I don't know. 

THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS is a book for teenagers and young adult readers, and I would recommend it for teenagers in high school because of some advance/mature themes.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I'm off to read a fluffy romance. And eat cookies. I need a happy book after these two!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Almost There

There's ONE DAY left of NaNoWriMo. This is not a drill. We have ONE DAY left.

If you've already reached 50K words, treat yourself! You did something incredible this month. And to those of you who didn't make it and aren't going to, treat yourself. Because you have more than you did at the start of the month. And that's something to celebrate.

For those of you who are close but no quite there...I wish you speedy fingers and plenty of inspiration.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


I've been slacking a little bit on words. I'm not horribly behind (okay, fine, I am), but I'm looking at how many words I have to write to win and I can't help but feel a little...helpless.

And I just have to remind myself that I've been here before. I've looked at my current word count and my goal and wondered how am I possibly going to get from here to there? The important thing is to just keep moving forward. Every word you write today is a word you didn't have yesterday. Set a time limit or a small, manageable goal and write that. And then do that again. And again. And again. You'll be surprised how fast the words stack up.

Good luck with the rest of NaNoWriMo! I know you can do it. I know we can do it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Some Wednesday Writing Advice from Shannon Messenger

Hello! I hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday. How is NaNoWriMo treating you? It's hard to believe that there's a week left of November! As you race to make up the days you slacked on writing (me) or relax because you've already hit 50K (so not me), here's some wonderful writing advice from Shannon Messenger. It's a great quote to take beyond NaNoWriMo, especially when you feel like you are a little burned out.

"Writers need to read read read and write write write. It takes practice, just like anything else. So the more you expose yourself to words on the page, and push yourself to write your own words, the better you'll get with time. It's not a process you can necessarily rush--and it takes a lot of hard work and patience. But if you keep going, keep improving, and don't let anything discourage you into giving up, you will be a published author someday."

One of the ways that helps me get out of a plateau IS reading, so this quote makes a lot of sense to me! If you are feeling a little burned out, consider taking a break to read a book. Have you tried that? Does it help you when the words aren't flowing?

Good luck with the last week of writing! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Writing Prompt #4

Hello! I hope your NaNoWriMo writing is going well! A LOT of blogs are posting about NaNo-related things, so if you need an extra boost, there's lots out there!

The past three prompts were more thought prompts--things to get you thinking. This one is a little different.

Listen to a song you like that you haven't heard in a while. Take a moment to absorb it, and then write. See where the music takes you. Breaking out of your story playlist is a great way to open your mind to new possibilities. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Writing Advice from Pinterest

If you are a perfectionist like me, getting a first draft written is HARD. Especially when you are on a limited amount of time.

I was scrolling through Pinterest and I saw a pin that said, "There's no limit on how rough a rough draft can be." And that's so true.

So if you are stuck somewhere in your novel, make a note to yourself to skip that part and come back later. Allow yourself to forget about the small grammar details and look at the big picture. Because that's the important part. There's always editing to help clean everything up.

Have a good day!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Writing Prompt #3

I hope everyone is having a great day! Here's another writing prompt that (hopefully!) will help you think about your character's interests and personality--and how both of these things can be shown to the reader through the way the character talks and thinks.

(While this prompt applies more to stories told from first person or limited third person, I think it is something that all writers should consider.)

What figurative language does your character use? What idioms? What does this say about your character and how s/he thinks or views the world? 

Here are a few things to consider to get you started:

If your main character's heritage is an important part of how s/he sees the world, how does it present itself in the character's dialogue, POV, and your writing?

What is your character interested in? How does that present itself throughout your novel? (I'm a huge bookworm, and I often find myself quoting books or using references to them in figurative language--and this is just in my head!)

If you are writing a fantasy or science fiction story, consider how how out idioms might have changed to fit your world or if certain sayings don't make sense. (An example might be the saying "bite the bullet," which wouldn't make sense in a fantasy setting where guns haven't been invented.)

I hope this prompt inspires you to take a closer look at what your character might be telling you about his/herself in your writing and how your character will come across to a reader.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Writing Prompt #2

Hello! How is NaNoWriMo treating you?

Today I have a writing prompt about your villain. I absolutely love developing antagonists, and this is a trick that helps me get inside my villain's head.

Pick a scene and write it from your villain's perspective. How did s/he get to this scene? What do s/he hope to achieve? How is s/he feeling?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Writing Prompt #1

Hello! I hope you are having a great first day of NaNoWriMo!

To kick off this month of fabulous creativity, here's a writing prompt:

What is your character most afraid of at the beginning of your story? At the end of your story? How does what your character fear change over the course of your novel?

I hope this prompt helps you to think about your characters and how they change over the course of your novel.

Friday, October 28, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016!

In case the big banner at the top of this post didn't give it away, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this November! I'm super pumped!

Usually I disappear during the NaNoWriMo season, but this November, I'm doing something different. I'll be blogging multiple times a week, so stay tuned for posts with writing prompts, inspirational writing quotes, and the like! However, I will be focusing a lot of energy on my novel-writing and won't be responding to email or comments as quickly as I usually do.

I'm looking forward to going on this writing adventure! Here's to a great November!

Monday, October 24, 2016


Hello! I hope you are having an excellent day! I'm doing a short review on a book I read last week called PLACES NO ONE KNOWS.

PLACES NO ONE KNOWS is about two teenagers who fall in love. Everyone thinks that Waverly Camdenmar is the perfect friend of the popular girl. No one knows that Waverly can't sleep and spends her nights running until the blisters on her feet bleed. The boy, Marshall Holt, is a slacker with a horrible home life. He spends his nights going to parties and doing drugs.

With the help of a magical candle (which sounds really weird but works in the story), Waverly is transported into Marshall's life while she sleeps. The two get to know each other and fall in love, but will the barriers in their daytime lives keep them apart?

I thought that Waverly and Marshall were interesting characters but I felt that I didn't get a chance to get to know them as much as I would have liked to. I've never read a character like Waverly before, and I really enjoyed how original she felt.

In addition, the characters fell in love so quickly that it felt a little contrived. I wish I had gotten a chance to get to know them and their relationship better.

The story is written as literature rather than a fluffy romance read, so if you pick up this book, be prepared for lots of symbolism and figurative language. The prose is really interesting, so if you want to read some great writing in a YA novel, this is the book for you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

September OwlCrate!

Hello! I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. The past two weeks have been odd, but I'm hoping to get back to blogging every week!

Today I'm going to be reviewing the September OwlCrate box. For those of you who haven't heard of it, OwlCrate is a YA subscription box. They ship out a box containing a new hardcover book and some bookish goodies based on each month's theme. The September box's theme was Darkness.

(Oh, and if you want to check out OwlCrate's website and learn more about it, click here!)

(Note: I didn't want to post my review right away because I didn't want to spoil the box for other people, but since OwlCrate has already shipped the October box, I figure that I've given people enough time to receive their boxes. If you haven't opened your box yet, beware! There are spoilers below.)

Here's a picture of the OwlCrate box that came in the mail:

The box itself is really cute and a nice touch. OwlCrate does a really good job assembling every box, and it's like getting a gift every month! Definitely lots of fun. 

Here's a picture of (some of) the stuff that came in the OwlCrate box:

Here's an itemized list of the stuff that came in the box (with my perspective on each one):

Spoiler Warning Card: Every OwlCrate box comes with a card that lists the different items in the box and tells you about each one. My card came with a small imperfection on the front of it, but I love the design. It's so pretty, and I thought it captured the mood of the box so well (although I thought the snowy landscape was a little premature, considering the box shipped in September). 

Throne of Glass Candle: OwlCrate announced that this box would contain a Throne of Glass item, and that's one of the reasons I ordered it. I was a little disappointed when I realized that the Throne of Glass item was a candle that smells like cake. I'm not a fan of the scent AT ALL, and I wish that they had sent a candle that smelled more bookish (like an ancient library, perhaps). 

THREE DARK CROWNS: I started this book but put it down before I finished it. I will say that the books itself is very pretty (especially with the jacket removed), but the story hasn't grabbed me. To be fair, I'm in a little bit of a romance rut right now, so I'm not really in the mood to read anything that isn't fluffy. I'll pick it up again eventually. 

Fortune-Telling Bath Bomb: A fun idea, but because I don't take baths, I'm never going to use it. I wish that OwlCrate had included a real bookish item instead of something so general.  

Pencil Pouch: The design on the pouch is related to MISS PEREGRINE'S SCHOOL FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, a book I enjoyed but didn't love. The pouch itself is very good quality, but I feel a little odd using it because I don't love the book.

Six of Crows Bookmark: My favorite item in the box by far. The design is absolutely lovely, and since I'm a fan of the series, I don't feel weird using it. Love. Love. Love. 

In addition to these items, OwlCrate also included a pin that's similar in design to the Spoiler Warning card, a small booklet from Serial Box, a card announcing the theme of the next month (aka Once Upon A Dream) and some bookish goodies for two books I hadn't heard of. 

Overall, I think this box wasn't the right one for me. This is the third OwlCrate I've received (I forgot to take pictures of the first two), and it's my least favorite out of the three I've gotten. The other two I've received were wonderful, but this box missed the mark, which was quite disappointing. 

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy Monday!

Hello and happy Monday! I had a draining weekend, so I'm a little frazzled. Rather than try to write a blog post when my heart's not in it, I'm going to just sign off with a huge thank you to everyone out there who is reading this. It means so much to me to see the number of page views climb when I log into my Blogger account. Seriously. You reading this makes my day.

Have a wonderful, book-filled day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Oh look--It's Wednesday!

Hello! I'm so sorry I didn't post on Monday! I was gone all weekend, and now I have to catch up on some of the stuff I didn't have time to do over the weekend.

That's not to say I didn't read this weekend! I was able to finish THE WINNER'S KISS and P.S. I LIKE YOU. I'd like to say that I'm going to do reviews on them, but with my busy life and how many books I read, I feel like I can't make any promises. So I guess that's a "we'll see."

Anyway, have a great day!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Why You Should Preorder THE DIABOLIC (if you haven't already)

S.J. Kincaid, who is one of my favorite authors, is releasing a new book in November. It's a standalone novel, and it is absolutely breathtaking. Seriously. I don't think it is possible for me to tell you how great that book is.

Here's the stunning cover:

S.J. Kincaid is currently doing a pre-order giveaway, which means that you can get some amazing goodies if you preorder THE DIABOLIC. I've just gotten mine, and I can't tell you how excited I am for my shiny hardcover to come in November. 

If you're interested in learning more about the book, check it out here. You can also send in your proof of preorder here and get some pretty cool swag.

Trust me when I say this isn't a book you'll want to miss out on.

Friday, September 16, 2016


I can't contain my excitement! I've been waiting FOREVER for this book. I started rereading the first book in the series, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, to get reacquainted with the characters. As soon as I finish the first book, I'll dive right into the second.

I don't have an Instagram account (I'm really lacking in the social media department), but I wanted to share a picture I took of my huge hardcover and AN EMBER IN THE ASHES tote bag. 

Penguin Teen did a preorder giveaway for A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, and here's my collection of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES swag (which is really just a bookmark and my copies of the books) with the tote bag I received. I firmly believe that one can never have too many bookish tote bags (you have to lug your library books around in SOMETHING), and this one will be the fourth in my growing collection. 

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Checking In!

Hello and happy Monday! The past week was pretty busy, so I didn't have time to pull together a review for you. I did, however, manage to finish the Lunar Chronicles, LIFELINE, and SIX OF CROWS. They were all quite good, although I think SIX OF CROWS was my favorite. And the ending...when I mentioned that I thought there would be a cliffhanger, I didn't know there would be a cliffhanger like that one!

Yesterday I started a book I thought was YA but actually turns out to be very much adult. I feel like I can't just add it to my "did not finish list," but it's reminding me why I stick to YA and MG. I like them SO much better.

Have a great week!

Monday, September 5, 2016

What am I reading right now?

While my posting has been dismal over the past few weeks, I have been reading quite a bit, and I'm hoping to write reviews for them in the upcoming weeks. However, I decided to post the books that I'm currently reading and the ones that are next on my list. Here they are:

The Lunar Chronicles 
by Marissa Meyer

I'm really behind the curve on this series, but I'm really enjoying them! I'm currently reading the third book in the series, CRESS.

by Nicole Hopkins

I don't usually read self-published books, but a friend recommended it to me and I decided to give it a shot. I'm about a third of the way through it right now (yes, I read multiple books at once), and I'm finding it a fun read.

By Leigh Bardugo

I loved Leigh Bardugo's first series, and I've heard only good things about SIX OF CROWS. Plus the sequel comes out this month, so if it ends on a cliffhanger, I don't have to wait a year like those of you who have read it.


I love Kasie West, so of course I have to read her latest release! So many people have told me that it's amazing.


That's it for today! Have a good day!

Monday, August 29, 2016


I'm sorry I missed last week! I decided to do a short review of THE WRATH AND THE DAWN today. I'm setting it up a little differently, so let me know what you think of the more casual review style in the comments!

Here's the cover with its interesting overlay design:

Wondering about the picture beneath? Here it is (although the proportions are slightly altered and there's writing on it):

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN's main character is Shahrzad, a girl who volunteers to marry Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, in order to avenge her best friend. Khalid marries a different girl each day...and her dead body is found the following dawn. But Shahrzad soon finds herself falling for the young Caliph, and as she learns more about him, she learns that he may be different than she thought.

That's my blurb for the book. Here's the one I pulled from Goodreads:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

...And here's what I thought of it!

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is very different from a lot of other fantasy books out there. While most fantasy novels are set in a world obviously inspired by Europe during the Middle Ages, this book has a distinctly different setting. The world feels like it was inspired by the Middle East, and I loved how that gave this book a different texture.

Shahrzad is rash and not afraid to speak her mind, two common traits for main characters. While a lot of authors will give their MC these two traits for the first five chapter of their book (as long as it takes for these traits to get them in trouble) and then discard them, Renee Ahdieh (I'm sorry; I don't have an accent key on this computer) was sure to follow through. Yes, Shahrzad is rash. But she never stops being rash. And that makes all the difference.

I really liked this book, and it was a quick read. Thanks for visiting my blog and have a great day!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nothing New Today!

Thank you for checking in, but I don't have a new post for you today. Have a great week and happy reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo: July 2016

It's always hard for me to dive back into blogging after an extended break. As you may have seen, I posted a list of last names last week. However, I thought that this week I would do something a little more personal and talk a little bit about what I did in July.

Ever since I did NaNoWriMo for the first time in November 2015, I've become a big believer in it. I love the way it pushes you to write and achieve goals you never thought you'd be able to reach. And while I absolutely loved November's NaNoWriMo, I've found that I actually like Camp NaNoWriMo (which takes place in April and July) better.

Camp NaNoWriMo differs from the regular NaNoWriMo in a few ways. First of all, Camp NaNoWriMo allows you to set your own goal. While I went into April's Camp with a goal of only 10K words, I decided to really challenge myself and set a goal of 50K words for July. (Spoiler alert: I reached my July goal!)

Another difference between Camp and the November NaNoWriMo is this: you get sorted into a "cabin" with up to eleven other writers. You can set parameters (such as word count or age) so everyone in the cabin has something in common. I absolutely loved the way cabins worked! I found my cabin mates to be amazingly supportive and helpful.

NaNoWriMo has taught me that I work well under pressure. On the last day of Camp, I ended up writing 16K words in order to hit my 50K goal. For those of you who have never had to write 16K words in a single's hard. But that's the sort of motivational magic that NaNoWriMo brings you.

So will I be doing NaNoWriMo again in November? Of course! But I wouldn't be telling you the whole truth if I didn't say that I'm more excited for April's camp than I am for the "official" NaNoWriMo.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

Friday, August 5, 2016

205 Last Names For Your Fictional Character

I have A LOT of trouble naming my characters, and I find that deciding on a last name is almost twice as hard as picking a first name. I've compiled a list of last names to use whenever I can't seem to come up with a decent surname on my own. 

Here's my list of 205 last names, arranged alphabetically. I hope that it can help you name your character (or create a cool pen name!).


Friday, July 29, 2016

Well, look at the date...'s been OVER A MONTH since I last posted. I'm sorry I disappeared without a trace. I promised you that I would warn you when that was going to happen, and I certainly did not warn you this time.

Things are really busy in the Land of Birdie right now, but I'll try to post something next week. With any luck, I'll get back into the roll of blogging weekly.

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Another Quote to Share

I was finishing Act I of Shakespeare's Macbeth, and I found a few very interesting lines:

And live as a coward in thine own esteem
Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would,"
Like the poor cat i' th' adage?

Macbeth, William Shakespeare
Act I, Scene 7

I certainly don't support the act of murdering another person, but I felt that the quote's message really resonates with me.

Against Maria's advice at the beginning of the The Sound of Music's song "Do Re Mi," I'm going to start at the end of the quote. Lady Macbeth references a proverb about a cat who wishes to eat fish but does not want to get his feet wet (for those of you who don't know, an "adage" is another word for "proverb").  I know that I can get tangled in what I want to happen rather than focusing on what needs to be done to accomplish the results I desire.

It's too easy to be caught up in the fear failing (especially if you are a perfectionist like me) and let your fear rule your actions. It's too easy to let that "I dare not" take the place of your "I would."

I've been focusing on trying to write more. I've come up with a different, more effective way of jotting down my ideas, and I've found that it has really helped. I'm planning on trying it out for a little while longer, and if I'm still loving it, I'll share it with you.

But that's not my point. I want to challenge you to find the spot in your life where you are too afraid act, even though you desperately want something. Go get your feet wet and go after that fish. You may fail, but you may end up with a delicious dinner.

So how are you going to turn your "I dare not" into "I would"?