Returning to the Wizarding World: My Thoughts on the CURSED CHILD and FANTASTIC BEASTS!

2016 was a pretty great year for Harry Potter fans, am I right?! From the amazing Pottermore updates that were a wealth of new information about the world to the release of the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to the amazing film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November, this was the year we got to return to the Wizarding World! [This post on Pottermore actually sums up the year pretty well.]

I didn’t read a lot of what was published on Pottermore, but I did take the two quizzes that truly mattered to me: the Ilvermorny Sorting and the Patronus quiz.  Adding to my status as a Ravenclaw, I can say that in my home country, I would attend school at Ilvermorny as a Thunderbird! I was really surprised by my result, but deep down it’s true I love a good adventure! As for my Patronus, I was definitely let down. I got a weasel. Yes, a weasel.

But enough about me and my status in the Wizarding World, let’s talk about all of the wonderful official content we got to devour this year!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

29069989Unfortunately, because I don’t live in the UK, I wasn’t able to attend a performance of the play (maybe when it comes to Broadway in 2018!). So instead, a few friends and I went to our local Barnes & Noble for the midnight release party. This was the first ever Harry Potter-related release party I’ve ever gone to for a book, as I was a little late to join the fandom. It was a lot of fun! The store was all decorated, and there were events for each of the Hogwarts houses. It was solely child-oriented, though, which I found a bit frustrating.

Anyway, I had preordered so I got in line, we had the countdown, and before I knew it, I had the book in my hands and I was on my way home. As soon as I got home I got ready for bed, plopped down, and read for hours. Continue reading “Returning to the Wizarding World: My Thoughts on the CURSED CHILD and FANTASTIC BEASTS!”

Who’d be on my Dream Author Panel?

Woah, it’s been a while. But that’s not what this post is about. Stay tuned for an update soon…

I’m always looking forward to events when I get to hear authors speak and ask questions about their books, so I thought it’d be fun to come up with a list of authors who I’d put on my dream panel!

While these authors may not be the best on a panel together (fantasy and contemporary aren’t normally paired), I chose these authors based on who I’d love to hear speak the most!

1077326J.K. Rowling

I can’t have my dream author panel without the queen herself. She’s shared so much magic with me through her books, and I have so many questions STILL that I’d love to ask her. Plus, with the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts releases, my list of questions is growing exponentially!

Talking points I’d love to hear: Transitioning from writing novels (both children’s and adult) to screenplays and scripts, returning to the Wizarding World after quite a bit of time (were these storylines already happening in her head while writing Harry Potter and are just coming to fruition now?)

1238111Marie Rutkoski

If you’ve been following me at all, you’ll know that I LOVE this woman’s books. The Winner’s Curse trilogy was such a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve actually gotten the opportunity to meet her and hear her speak, but that was before I really dove into the trilogy and became a superfan. I have so many more questions now! Plus, listening to her share her travel stories and research is super interesting.

Talking points I’d love to hear: More about her research and travels around Europe, what it was like writing a story that developed such a large and fervent fanbase, what’s next?!

151371Jenny Han

Ah, Jenny Han‘s contemporary books. They make me swoon. I would adore hearing how she got the inspiration for such swoony books and boys. Some must be based on real-life events, right?

Talking points I’d love to hear: Would she ever write something other than contemporary, a spin-off of either of the YA contemporary trilogies, any more stand-alones in the works?

Jennifer E. Smith 

Another lady whose contemporaries I ADORE. I’d basically want to see her for the same reasons as Jenny Han, because everybody needs some cute romance in their lives! Also, she’s coming out with a new book in May 2017, Windfall, that I have in my hands and cannot wait to read!

Talking points I’d love to hear: Where did those long titles come from, how does she come up with such adorable and dare I say unrealistic scenarios for romance?

Those are the first four authors that popped into my head, and whose books I’ve constantly loved for years. If I were putting together a panel, you bet these ladies would all be on it!

If you’re looking to find author panels or book conferences to attend, or even want to plan one of your own, Eventbrite is a great resource. You can check out their conference registration software to get started!

Who would be on your dream author panel?xo


*I was approached by Eventbrite for this post, but I was in no way sponsored by them.

Novellas: An Added Bonus or Unneeded Addition?


I have really mixed feelings when it comes to novellas. A part of me is like, “YES! More words from this awesome author, and this awesome series!” but another part of me is like, “Ugh, now I have to read this before I can just get the next book. And it costs $2.99.” I don’t read a lot of short stories, so novellas can be tedious for me to pick up. But my biggest pet peeve is when they are needed in order to understand the next full book *cough* Cassandra Clare’s many series *cough*. I touched on that a little bit in that ranty post a while ago. On the other hand, if I’m completely invested in a series and I adore the author will all my heart, I consider reading the novellas. For example, I’ve purchase Sarah J. Maas’ The Assassin’s Blade, a bind-up of prequel novellas to the Throne of Glass series, for those that aren’t farmiliar.

Since I have both positive and negative feelings, I’m going to argue for both sides here. This should be fun!

Novellas ROCK! Totally an Added Bonus!

As I mentioned above, there are some series that I’m so invested in, I will purchase and read the novellas. If the author does it right*, reading the novellas will be a wonderful experience that will ultimately enhance my reading and love of said author and series. *When I say right, I mean in my opinion. And that opinion is writing short stories that fit well with the main storyline, and aren’t a total waste to read. They aren’t necessary to continue reading the following books. My personal favorites are novellas that provide insight to time periods that aren’t covered in the main books (ex. prequel, epilogue, and “x” number of years in the future–where are they now novellas). I also quite like alternate perspective novellas, where we see the same thing that happened in the original book, but from a different character’s perspective.

All of those kinds of novellas feel like extras, which is what I want a novella to be. If they weren’t meant to be extras, why not publish them together in a full book?

Eh, I Don’t Like Novellas. They’re Kind of a Waste.

Before I started blogging, was just getting into reading YA like it was my job, and was more focused on reading certain series completely through before starting another, novellas were great. They extended the amount of time I got to love my current series obsession! How could I not love them? But when I started blogging, I became not only a more frequent reader, but a reader who has trouble binge-reading series. Now I read lots of first books in series, and with review copies, and release dates, I don’t always finish series. The time between when I read a first book and a sequel is often a year. I don’t remember the storylines as well as I’d like to. And here’s the kicker: I get impatient. I don’t want to wait to read the final book in the series until after I read a novella. I just want the story. And even for series that don’t require a novella to be read prior to another book, I often feel the premise for the novella is unneeded. Unless you’re a mega fan, of course. If there were Harry Potter novellas, you bet I’d be on those yesterday. But there are so many series that I read and have read, I don’t care about them all as much as I do, let’s say again, the Throne of Glass series. I don’t want extra storyline all the time. Sometimes the just the main plotline is enough.

So, how do you feel about novellas? Do you enjoy them, or think they’re not worth it. What series do you read ALL the novellas for? Let me know!


Conflict over Blog Tours?

blog tours

If you at all follow the book blogging community, I’m sure you are probably aware of the #BloggerConfessions post that caused a big uproar in the last few days. I’m not here to comment on that, because we all know that enough people did. But if you’re really looking to hear my thoughts, or my own confessions, I tweeted about it a bit, so look to Twitter. But I am here to talk about one confession that I read. I can’t even remember who said it, where I saw it, or anything other than what it said, so I’m not trying to call anyone out here, but it basically said this: “I don’t read blog tour reviews anymore because they’re always positive.”

Now, I’d been pondering writing a post about blog tours for a while. There seems to be this widespread idea that blog tour posts are merely promotional posts, aren’t to be trusted, and are “cheats” at blogging, because often times posts are pre-written. For this reason, I’ve seen many people say that they don’t even click on blog tour posts anymore.

I can only speak for myself when I say this, but: All of my blog tour reviews are 100% honest. If I feel that I can’t give a book a high enough rating for a tour, I’ll contact the hosts and get out. I only participate in blog tours for books that I genuinely liked, same thing goes for when I promote a book in any kind of post. As for tackling the idea that some blog tour posts are “cheats,” I only sign up for review slots on the tours that I DO choose to be a part of. Sure, sometimes I’ll have something else along with it, too, but I try to always post original content for a tour.

I don’t really know what to believe when it comes to reading blog tour reviews. But if you find a blogger than you know and trust, don’t second-guess their thoughts on a book, unless they give you a good reason to. And of course blog tour reviews will generally be positive. Ask yourself: If you wrote a book and had the publisher or book tour group put together a promotional tour, would you want the reviews to be negative ones? Probably not. The comment sounded like it was a person looking to read negative reviews of a book. Maybe just read the review, and give the blogger a chance to tell you why they liked it enough to be on the blog tour.

One last thing on the subject: In my almost 2 years at this blog, and 2 years at various others (I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this, but I’ve blogged at 3 other places before I finally landed here. Don’t go looking for those horrors, they’ve long since been taken down.), I know that blog readers are skeptical of just regular blog tours, let alone book blitzes and blasts. I steer clear of any pre-written promo posts. They often have no value to blog readers other than possibly introducing them to a new title, which a meme like Waiting on Wednesday does much better with, in my humble opinion. And also: frequency. It’s okay to participate in blog tours every now and again — I do! I find them an awesome way to get to interact with authors to ask interview questions and share the love for a book you enjoyed. But don’t pack your blog up with too many blog tours! You know what they say about too much of a good thing…

What is your take on blog tours? Love ’em or hate ’em? Do you trust blog tour reviews?


#Back2BasicsBlogging Chat & My 2016 Resolutions

2016 (1)


It’s officially January 1st, 2016. I hope you all had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve, and are ready to start the new year off right! I know I am! 2016 will be a year of lots of new things for me: I’ll be heading off to college in the fall, living away from home for the first time, and all of the new that comes with that.

As always, the new year is the time we decide to make some changes to ourselves, and our lives. For my life resolution, in case you were wondering, is to help my mom more. She’s got a lot on her plate, and I felt like in 2015 I wasn’t doing the best to help her out. She compensated for me for the things I neglected to do all the time, and now, I want to give her the chance to have a break. Especially since this is the last chunk of time that I’ll be living with her. Okay, I can’t think that far ahead yet. I’m scaring myself.

But of course, I also have some blogging and reading resolutions that I want to hold myself to this year. On Christmas Eve, Jenna @ Bookiemoji started a Twitter chat with the hashtag #Back2BasicsBlogging. I encourage you, if you’re a blogger, to click that link if you were unaware of it before now. The chat was amazing, and it was helpful for me to recognize the things about my blog and reading that I want to change this year:

  • not worry about having a posting schedule
  • incorporate posts about my life, and in turn…
  • …let my personality shine through more
  • showcase some of my artwork
  • have more thoughtful discussions
  • recognize that I may have an audience that’s not just bloggers (more on that later)
  • don’t focus on the ARCs, and lastly…
  • …make this blog more uniquely ME!

And as for my reading:

  • read those backlist books I paid good money for!
  • request fewer books
  • don’t sign up for reading challenges or read-a-thons — they never, ever, work for me
  • except for the Goodreads Reading Challenge [I plan to read 60 books this year]

There’s quite a bit for me to do this year, but I think they’re easy changes. As my life got more chaotic this year, I saw myself starting to do them already. These changes seem like they’ll make blogging feel like less of a chore, more of a hobby, like it should be! I’m all for less stress. Plus, as I mentioned, I’ll be heading to college, and who know how much time I’ll have for reading. So, I think the addition of other things (like life and posts, and more bookish discussions) will allow me to keep blogging through it all! We’ll see how the whole blogging at college thing works out later, though…

I mentioned that I want to acknowledge that I may have a readership that includes people other than just bloggers. I never really thought about that before the #Back2BasicsBlogging chat. But now that I have, I decided that this would be a great chance to ask you readers to take my blog survey. It shouldn’t take you too long, and I’m hoping this will help me get a better idea of who reads my blog, and what you love to read about from me.

If you took the time to fill that out, THANKS A TON! YOU’RE THE BEST! That’s all for me today! I hope you all have a great New Year’s Day, and a great year ahead!