June 16, 2017

Hello, blog! I seem to write to you at odd times of night.

What I’m Reading
Most recently, I just finished THE GLASS SPARE. It was my first Bookcon read and it did NOT disappoint. It did the exact opposite of disappoint. I completely adored it from page one. The writing was beautiful, the characters were so fully drawn and interesting, the romance/banter was 100000/10, the world had just enough slight details to make it feel rich and realized. I loved it so, so much. I especially loved the uneven power dynamics between Wil (MC) and Loom (cursed prince a la the blurb) and how that whole thing played out. It was SO good. Exactly what I’ve been looking for: complex, with Wil strong and firm and unwavering. You all must read this book when it’s out in October!

the glass spare.jpg

heart eyes motherfucker

Also, damn, what a cliffhanger!! WHAT SET UP FOR BOOK 2 I AM READY.

In other news, I’m rereading the HARRY POTTER books. It’s magical. The end.

What I’m Doing
I’m actually in class for the summer. For the month of June I’m taking Italian 3 so I can do exit level in the fall and GRADUATE! 😀 I’ll also be taking my final two English classes, and then that’s it. I will be a college graduate. It’s so weird! But for right now I’m in class for three days a week, doing nine hours of conjuntivo and condizitonale and why are there so many freaking verb tenses?

I’ve also been to the theater, recently. I saw Bandstand, with one of my ultimate faves Laura Osnes. It was a really great show–highly underrated in my opinion. Basically, it’s about a bunch of vets after WWII and a military widow forming a band to deal with their trauma. They have hopes of winning a national song competition that’s supposedly all about representing the troops–but is it really?

It’s a great show, full of honesty and emotion. There was an older gentleman sitting in the row in front of me, and I saw him sobbing throughout the second act. I think it does everything right.

I also saw CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, which is basically the most fun I’ve had at the theater in forever. Also underrated, especially since critics basically bashed it. I have no idea what show they watched.

I also went to the movie theater and watched WONDER WOMAN.

What an amazing movie. I cried so much. Like, just seeing badass women kicking ass together and training hard and pushing each other made me so happy my eyes leaked. And how beautiful a character Diana was, how pure and dedicated and true. She was true to herself no matter what and that was so gratifying and important to see.

And, of course, “I wish we had more time” *slips her the watch* *CUE MORE TEARS*

Oh, so good. I’m hoping I can see it again this weekend with Jess. (side note: Jess is in culinary school now! She’s living the dream!! #BestieIsProud)

As mentioned above, I was also at Bookcon earlier this month. That was an adventure. Here’s a shameless picture of my haul.

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I was up at 5:30 both days and on the train at like 6 so I could be at Javits super early and have a good spot in the queue line. It’s all about getting onto the floor in the morning. What a ride.

Here are some cool people I saw! ❤ ❤

I also spotted Chelsea Clinton signing, and that was REALLY COOL.

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I saw Krysten Ritter too and she’s actually so tall in person??? She just seems really cool.

How many times can I use cool? LET’S SEE.

A movie filmed in my neighborhood recently. Coincidentally, it was called:

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No, actually, they filmed around my corner. So I need to know what exactly this is and when I can watch it because COOL BEANS. Sadly, no hot actors fell madly in love with more, nor did a producer spot me strutting down the street and demand I be an extra in the film.

My friends and I also did an escape room thingy. Guess what–we escaped!! It was HARD, man. I totally felt like the weakest link, but I did discover a secret object and found the secret compartment and was a good secretary taking notes, so I feel like I contributed a little, but those two were completely on top of it and if I hadn’t been with them, I’d still be stuck in that room. Also, look at my cute Victorian prop hat 🙂

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What I’m Thinking About
Getting my Pitch Wars wish list done!!! I’m so excited for all the Pitch Wars stuff to start happening. Speaking of Pitch Wars, I did a query crit earlier, which you can find here. I also might have another one coming up so stay tuned 😉 I also definitely want to do crit giveaways leading up to the sub window, but those will all be done on Twitter.

AND ALSO THE KILLERS HAVE NEW MUSIC. THE KILLERS FINALLY HAVE NEW MUSIC I AM SO EXCITED.

What I’m Eating
I present you with:

What I’m Netflixing
I started Girlboss the other day. I only watched episode 1 and some of episode 2, but I like it!! There’s something about Britt Robertson that’s magnetic in this role. I’ve known her work for a long time, since she made the movie Dan in Real Life (so good, do watch if you haven’t!), and good for her making it happen.

I also just constantly watch random Gilmore Girls episodes. Because it makes me happy and it’s light but also balances the feels right and I just want another female driven show like Gilmore Girls. SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE ONE.

Also not what I’m Netflixing, but plain ol’ watching: I got caught up on Jane the Virgin. I love this show. I guess it’s the closest I can get Gilmore Girls. For once it didn’t end on a brutal cliffhanger! I’m excited to see what happens in season 4. Also, Jane and Rafael?? I thought I had given up on that ship happening. Can they stop playing with my feels? Also, to see them work in current social issues and the resistance is so important and legitimizing. I’m so happy we have this show and for all its success.

let me love you 3

(also omg Captain Swan got married and JMo is leaving OUAT and my heart is just full of feelings cause CS were my otp since 2×05 and that was FIVE YEARS AGO. I literally graduated hs and went to college with them and that is so goddamn special to me. This has been such an important time in my life and their story was there to make me happy and make me a better writer and make me feel things and distract me when I needed a distraction and boost me up with set spoilers of kisses and the fandom on tumblr have basically been so joyous and wonderful and I will miss you CS <3)

I also fell in love with the NBC show Timeless, which I watched On Demand. Lucy and Wyatt are my new slow burn ship and I need this to happen. It was quite dramatic when it got canceled and renewed two days later. But I’m so happy it’s sticking around, and seriously LYATT IS LIFE.

Lucy is a cute history nerd and Wyatt is an army vet with serious trauma, but on top of that he’s also a widow and he loves his dead wife so much, but then this amazing lil nerd comes into his life and she’s so bright and strong and he can feel himself wanting to move forward with his life, but he also can’t let go of this past and IT’S SO AMAZING. Also, the show doesn’t sugarcoat our history. It engages with discussions about racism and sexism and is surprisingly diverse. Timeless is just such a good show. It’s feel good, but also has moments that make you think. And the shipping. The shipping is A+.

What I’m Writing
Goddamn, this is a long blog post.

Long story short, I finished drafting and my first revision pass of a new YA contemporary called #ConcertBook (I blogged about it extensively last time). It’s with readers right now, and while I wait for their notes I GOT A YA FANTASY PLOT BUNNY I AM FULLY EXPLORING. I love it. It’s #monsterbook and I will not tell you anything about it except that it has the coolest pitch I can’t take it.

*yawns* Okay, I am sleepy now. It’s like 2am. I need to get into the blogging mood at better times of the day. Well, good night, and keep fighting the good fight, people! It’s more important now than ever.

With love,

Mic ❤

a year in books: 2016

The year is ending!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!

I read 199 books in 2016. I’m TRYING to get to 200 before time runs out, but I just dnf’d a book yesterday, so I’m trying to find something worthy being book #200. This is the most books I’ve ever read in a year, and I doubt I’ll be able to match it or better it in 2017, but we’ll see.

Without further ado, I made some categories for your enjoyment 🙂

It’s Shipping Time *heart eyes* *pushes faces together and whispers ‘just kiss’*

Badass Sequels 

Epic Series Starters

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME

Books That  Slapped Me In the Face aka Books I Didn’t Expect to Love

It’s Just CUTE 

Books More People Should Read *throws book at you*

How Did I Not Read This Sooner????? What is wrong with me?

Alllll byyyyy Myyyyyselfffff (Standalone Love)

Brutal Book Hangovers 

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NOTHING BEATS THIS HANGOVER

2017 books loved in 2016

Absolute Favorites

Some Bookish Reflections:

*Rereads: I reread SHADOW & BONE and SEIGE & STORM to cope with my CROOKED KINGDOM hangover. I started RUIN & RISING, but didn’t get a chance to finish it.

I also reread PETER PAN since I wrote a research paper on it for my Narrating Childhood class.

*Poetry: I started reading poetry this year! After taking Feminism and American Poetry, I went to B&N and just looked through the poetry section for some books. I picked up collections by Andrea Gibson and some others. I hope to keep discovering poets in the new year 🙂

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*New Authors Discovered: This year I read books by Emery Lord, Kasie West, Marie Lu, and Sarah J Maas for the first time. I’m late to the party, but I’m here now!

*Series I Binged: Captive Prince trilogy, Throne of Glass (minus Empire of Storms–I’m trying to save it), and The Young Elites trilogy.

*Multiple Editions: For the first time, I understand the need to have multiple editions of the same book. I have 4 copies of HEARTLESS. One is the hardcover, two is the Owlcrate special edition, then I ended up with two arcs (with the box from New York Comic Con and a normal arc I got from #booksfortrade). I have a mini Heartless army.

*Favorite Book Events: Man, I saw a lot of people this year. Some standouts were Leigh Bardugo at Strand for the CROOKED KINGDOM launch. I’ve watched the event again via the recording the bookstore put on Youtube just to relive the glory.

 

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*fangirling*

I also saw Marissa Meyer at B&N for HEARTLESS. Basically, if you’re ever lucky enough to see Bardugo and Meyer anywhere, GO. You will not regret it.

In April I got to see Emery Lord at Books of Wonder. I got all her books signed, and it was such a wonderful night.

During the summer I finally got to see Stephanie Perkins, also at Books of Wonder. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, YEARS, so to finally meet her was just amazing.

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Alwyn!! ❤ 

I flew to Canada in March or April to see my friend Alwyn
Hamilton on tour! That was quite a trip. Sabaa Tahir was also on that tour, and I was like 40% there to be a supportive buddy, and 60% to meet Sabaa 😉

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Emery Lord is cool

I met Courtney Summers! Ah, she was at McNally Jackson in October, I want to say, and it was awesome. Her books wound me in every way and she’s like a feminist icon to me. And she’s so lowkey compared to some other authors who go on massive tours, so I really didn’t think this would ever happen.

Crap, I was going to say I met Noelle Stevenson, but I just realized that was probably in

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Master class Schwab

2015.

I was at the THIS SAVAGE SONG launch at Books of Wonder! Victoria Schwab is another person you should definitely go see if you get the chance, because she will astound you with her wonderful brain. And she makes pretty words.

One event I DIDN’T get to go to was the MY LADY JANE one at Books of Wonder in June since I saw Florence and the Machine that night. I was so, so sad to miss it, but had a fantastic time at the concert. So I ordered myself a personalized copy from the store, and when I picked it up all the swag from the event was included. Hopefully the authors will be back in NY for their next Janie book in 2018.


That’s all from me for now! Have a happy new year, and let’s make 2017 a year of good books, and be the heroes we all need. ❤

Cheers,

Mic

july 18, 2016 (basically a blog dedicated to ACoMaF)

Hello!

What I’m Reading
So I just read A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury and it’s fine. It’s all fine. I’ll be fine. Totally fine.

I’m just gonna lay here on the floor until 2017.

i'm fine friends

Basically what I knew going into this book:
hp suffer but happy

 

 

 

And now I’m done and I don’t know what to do and what even was this perfect perfect book of wonder and pain and awesomeness? 1. It was feminist af. 2. It was dark and hard and complicated. 3. It was heartbreaking and gut stopping and filled with love and life and friendship. 4. It was filled with swoon I can’t even process.

I’m gonna try to sum up my overwhelming feels with some gifs.


Okay so this GIF is basically Tamlin the entire book fight me on this:
i'm in a rage 2

And this was Rhys and his crew who are actual #SquadGoals:
that's my mate ouat

That’s also coincidentally the image in my head when Lucien went “You’re my mate.”

Speaking of Lucien, this was my relationship to him the entire book:
expected more from you

This book in general:
feminist-rant

Me anytime Rhys and Feyre were together:
just kiss

Me anytime Cassian and Nesta were together:
that's my ship

Feyre when dealing with dumb dumbs:
punch you in the face ouat

Feyre to Tamlin (the biggest dumb dumb):
feminism

Everyone to Tamlin:
what are you doing sassy gay 2

Tamlin to Tamlin:
parks staying angry relaxes me

RHYS AND FEYRE OTP FOR LIFE WHAT EVEN IS AIR IN OTHER NEWS FIRE IS HOT AND STARS AND PAINT AND HALP there you are. i’ve been looking for you what’s that oh it’s just me dying forever I want you to know that I am broken and healing, but every piece of my heart belongs to you seriously i’m fine why do you ask Because you were breaking. And I couldn’t find another way to save you nope no I’m not byeeee:

IN CONCLUSION:
read the book

It’s so awesome, you will die.

What I’m Doing
Languishing in my book hangover. I’m not a functional human being. Also, I’m coveting this:

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https://society6.com/product/the-night-court-nhk_bag#s6-4668814p29a26v197

Okay, no, I have done some things.

I saw Ghostbusters yesterday, and it was SO good. Really fun, really well written, and just a marvelously ‘feel-good’ film. Much recommend. I’d recommend it with the same vigor I’m recommending those Maas books above. Coincidentally, I watched the movie while in the middle of reading…

It was totally worth it. I was high on amazing storytelling already, so the film had a lot to compete with, but it was really good. It had 4 amazing female characters at its core, Chris Hemsworth being ridiculous and dancing, and captured the feel of New York.

I also did 2 Pitch Wars critique giveaways! One was 5 query critiques, but I ended up doing 7. Then I also did 5 query and first 5 pages critiques. I posted a few writing tips on Twitter after the fact, so those are there for any writers that may be following me. I’m doing one last PW giveaway with my friend Michelle Tran that’s running until Wednesday, so get involved while you can (info all on Twitter).

I really wanted to do these giveaways because Pitch Wars helped me so much last year. It’s a big part of why I’m agented now. + the community around Pitch Wars is so phenomenal and supportive. I was also feeling a little weird about a whole new class of mentees being chosen this year and the whole process starting over without me. Maybe part of me felt like I was being left behind while new writers filled our shoes. But doing these giveaways helped me get over that and connect with prospective mentees. I found my new place in the community. Good luck to everyone entering Pitch Wars–it really is a magical experience. 🙂

What I’m Thinking About
Look I’m just a pile of feels right now and I can’t process anything other than how perfect A Court of Mist and Fury was. It did so many things.

It didn’t romanticize abusive, controlling, overprotective behavior.

It showed that relationships are built on more than just sex. It showed that your first love isn’t always your true love. And that people can change and who you were once were, or what you once needed, isn’t what you’ll always need.

It didn’t vilify ambition. Too often we swoon over a man in a position of authority he doesn’t want, feels trapped in. But here we had Rhys who loved his power, had a vision for his land and people, and was working hard to create a better world.

Rhys was never just one thing. He was sad and broken and angry. He was loving and kind and fierce. He was gentle. He was brave and scared. He saved others, but was also in need of saving (mentally and physically). He brooded and lived and fought. He was shrewd and calculating, and apologetic and naive. On the same note, literally everyone was full of different sides, and grew and developed and stomped on my heart.

We had sisters. I can’t get over Feyre, Nesta, and Elain, and I never will.

It explored trauma with all its hard, dark places. I loved how Tamlin and Feyre dealt with their trauma differently. The same experiences are never the same for different people. Feyre’s nightmares and guilt, her flashbacks and slow and quiet withering away were artfully done. Tamlin was agitated, aggressive, closed off, and controlling.

The way Feyre gradually comes back to painting, to her creative outlet, was beautiful.

Rhys’ feminism was everything. He saw Feyre has his equal, treated her as his equal, put her first, wanted her to embrace her power and control her own fate. He treated the women around him with nothing but respect and saw their worth, giving them high ranks befitting them.

Feyre’s arc was never about Rhys. She didn’t grow because of him, or become stronger because of him. Their epic beautiful love story isn’t responsible for the epic beautiful lady Feyre became.

I can’t even with this book.

heart eyes motherfucker

What I’m Writing
Apparently love letters to this perfect book.

And I’m working on this fantasy idea, but slowly, letting the pieces come together in their own way. Brittany and I had a writing date at Breads last week where I brainstormed some stuff for it.

What I’m Watching
I showed my mom the 2006 mini series of Jane Eyre last week. I love that version so much. They capture the characters and essence of the book so well. But other than that I don’t think I’ve really been watching stuff… my mind has been preoccupied with books.

Oh, Jess did come over last week and we finally watching The Scorch Trials. I wasn’t really into it, but then THAT ENDING. Jess and I both had overwhelming feels. So, um, I guess I shall be watching The Death Cure (whenever that happens) (get well soon Dylan <3) (#SaveMinho2k16).

I want A Court of Pain and Feels movies.

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤

july 10, 2016

Hello!

What I’m Reading

  • FROSTBLOOD by Elly Blake

Okay, okay, everyone needs to read when it comes out in January cause omg it’s too good!

I stayed up till 2am to finish cause I could not stop! The writing is so pretty, and the world-building and story are so rich! There are so many layers to it, and the further you go the deeper you are. Ruby is a really great character, stubborn and strong and wracked with guilt. Then there’s swoony Arcus and his creative pet names for Ruby (you’ll love ’em I can’t get enough).

Just a note, I think this is a great read for Zutara shippers and ATLA lovers. Also for Grisha fans, especially the complex Alina/Darkling relationship (but that’s a small part of the book).

Basically, I can’t wait till everyone can read this because it’s really good. REALLY. GOOD.

read the book

  • THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon

So I was sitting at the dining table during lunch on July 4 when I reached the final pages of this book and lowkey started bawling right there. My mom looked at me and was shocked. “Are you crying?” I had no shame, guys.

I can’t speak more highly of this #OwnVoices book. There are so many sides and layers to this enchanting story. Beautiful prose, a beautiful message, beautiful characters. If you’re looking for a contemporary about family, America, identity, love, and serendipity, this is THE One to pick up in November.

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  • THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. THIS BOOK.

This is a special book. Monsters born from violent human acts, a girl who wants to be a monster, and a monster who wants to be a boy. I was enchanted.

Ms. Schwab knows how to build a world and craft characters that suck you in, carrying you through his journey with slow burn character arcs. She explores what it means to be an outsider. Anxiety. Family.

How far apart are humans and monsters really?

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I was so thrilled when I found out Victoria would be stopping at my indie for her tour. Seeing her was one of the best author events I’ve ever been to. She spoke so eloquently and made me appreciate themes and ideas in the story I hadn’t even picked up on.

I’d love to hear her talk about all her books. I just know I’d gain a greater appreciation for them.

And then of course there was also this…

I saw this in person! It’s epic! #goals

If you haven’t read a Victoria Schwab book, get to it!! Your life will change. And if you are a Schwab fan but haven’t yet read, This Savage Song, you must! It’s soooo good.

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  • THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie

This is a book I’d been looking forward to before it even came out this February. Sea monsters! Pirates! Queer YA! I’ve been waiting so long for the library to purchase their own copies. I was actually starting to give up, when one day it finally appeared in the catalogue.

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I tore through this today, and actually contrived ways to stay on public transit and Vivi’s Tea longer that way I could keep reading 🙂

The world-building! It was so fascinating and well done. This, as grey and messed up as it is, is a world I want to visit. Pirate ships! Floating cities! Sea monster training centers! Gahhhhh, I want it all.

The slow burn relationship between Cas and Swift was amazingly done. I loved that the uneven power dynamics were addressed. One of my favorite tropes is haters to lovers, so I was basically born to ship them. Their developing feelings never overwhelmed the prose, nor did Cas make ridiculous decisions instead of looking out for herself or her own survival.

I love that this book was populated by loads of female characters. Badass pirate queen, Cas’ mom the scientist, Swift and Chuck pirates, etc. Just awesome.

My only quibble is I saw all the twists coming from a mile away. + I also wanted a little more time devoted to Swift’s arc, her growing discontentment with the captain and feeling of being trapped in a life she chose under extreme duress.

Curious about where this story is going, and looking forward to book two.

View all my reviews

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  • CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber

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What I’m Doing
So since we last spoke, I went to an alpaca farm!

Side note: I really love this Tiled Mosaic Thing 😉

Okay so, one: those two alpacas are not having sex. Those are two females who are comforting each other, like they would if they were pregnant. Or, the people at the farm lied and those aplacas are totally in lesbian love.

Two: You can see the babies have a lot of wool on their face. Once that hair is shaved, it never grows back! ALAS. They are also more valuable with that super soft wool, so the farmers don’t shave it until the alpaca has already sold at a higher value.

Three: Alpacas don’t have teeth! At least on their upper jaw. So feeding them isn’t painful at all. They’re actually rather excited about food. They’re like my cat.

Four: LOOK HOW CUTE.

As mentioned above, I also went to see Victoria Schwab at Books of Wonder. You can sneak a peek at me in the third row on the right 😉

I’ve also done a bit of cooking! My new thing now is to just throw veggies into pasta and see what happens. So far it’s been successful. I just picked up a Food Network Magazine today, so I’m excited to get creating.

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And speaking of food, I was back at my favorite NY hangout–Smorgasburg! Scored a lot of yummy delights.

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What I’m Thinking About
Like a lot of people, I’m sad and angry about what’s happening in our country right now.

It’s currently 1:30AM, though, and I’m really tired, so I’m going to keep this section short and sweet.

What I’m Writing
I’m very productive when I write outside the house, and after hearing Victoria talk about writing for 2 hours straight in the evening at a coffee shop back in the day, I really want to make the most of this summer and be productive. So hopefully this idea I’m tossing around will turn into something and I’ll be reporting back here soon 🙂

What I’m Watching
I just finished my season 1 of Once Upon a Time re-watch. I can’t get enough of how good it is. Not sure if I’ll do season two, although I probably should because that’s the beginning of my OTP (CAPTAIN SWAN), and the beginning of the season does have some really good Emma/Snow moments. We’ll see, we’ll see.

I’ve been following the Olympic Trials. Can’t wait for the conclusion of gymnastics tomorrow (today, oops)!

And tomorrow (today, oops) is also the Wimbledon Men’s Final and the UEFA Champions Final. My favorite Murray made it to the final, while my other fave Germany didn’t. I’ll be rooting for Murray and France tomorrow (today, oops). And congrats to Serena Williams for being the best, Venus Williams for winning Doubles alongside her sis, and for Hope Solo smashing it and being the first goalie to achieve 100 shut-outs.

gatsby cheers

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤

june 21, 2016

Hey!

What I’m Reading
So last time I went super mega fangirl about My Lady Jane and alluded to a book I was reading, but decided to save it for my next blog. Well, I am ready to tell you about that book, but first we need to talk about My Lady Jane again.

So last Tuesday, the authors were at Books of Wonder for an event. But you might remember I was seeing Florence and the Machine that night. I was really, really sad I had to miss it because I read an interview Cynthia, Jodi, and Brodi had done in the Epic Reads book they gave away at BookCon. It was so funny, and I instantly knew I wanted to see these three in person. Alas, that could not be. But, I did order myself a signed personalized copy from the store (cause Books of Wonder is awesome like that–and they ship worldwide).

I finally got around to taking some pictures of my beautiful gorgeous book!

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And now!! To the other wonderful book I read recently and absolutely adored.

Side note: this was the first book I read and tweeted about that attracted people I didn’t even know to tell me how good it was. The tweet actually got way more attention than I thought it would. Right away I had a feeling I was in for something good.

Ummmmm…. so yeah, let’s talk about how AMAZING The Dark Days Club was???? I was not prepared to be blown away by this! Right away, the writing jumped out at me, and I loved how many rich female relationships Lady Helen had.

I’m just gonna embed the Goodreads review, even though now I know they look boring :(, but I honestly don’t think I can write coherently about this book again cause I loved it and need book two right now!

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This cover is unfairly beautiful. Look at the lace! Look at the fans and skeletons and all the intricacies of it!
The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ummmmmm this was perfect bye.

Reasons This Book Is The Best
-So many lady friendships/relationships! The story opens with Helen’s concern for her missing maid and the ruin of one of her close friends. Women are integral to the plot and Helen takes her relationships seriously. Her bond with her (parabati) maid Darby is so sweet, as is her desire to be there for her friend who is now disgraced. I loved the role Millicent plays throughout, as well, as the friend and lifeline to the normal world Helen is gradually leaving behind as she learns more about her abilities. Then there’s her complicated relationship with her aunt, and the loss of her mother, who actually plays quite a role in the book. There are also the other women in society, who are not Catty Evil Mean Girls… but just girls, acquaintances, etc. MUCH LOVE. *heart eyes*

-THE NEW SHIP OF MY HEART. ugh. No one prepared me for its perfection. It was subtle, but swoony af and reminded me of Lizzie/Darcy and Jane/Rochester. Like a perfect blend of both those ships. A particularly *fans self* scene with Lord Byron reciting stirring poetry, demon exorcism hand holding, the fight/first aid scene, the next to last chapter showdown OMG.

-Regency England. Goddamn, this book is amazing. Alison Goodman knows everything about the Regency Era, I am convinced. There are lots of historical books that go for the glitz and glamor of an era, but never follow society’s rigid rules. This book never takes an easy way out. Helen has to sneak out to attend a public hanging? Well she can’t just climb out her bedroom window, but instead this book is excellently plotted and constructed to really live in its time period. Regency jargon! Apparently even the weather in the book is accurate to its date (see: author’s note). I’m just in awe of how perfectly in synch this book is with Regency conventions, rules, and daily happenings. It’s a marvel of a book that feels like Austen reinvented with some actual magic.

-Physically, this book is so beautiful. The art at the top of every single page. The typography of the letters. The dates.

-A refreshing take on The Chosen One and an actual choice for Helen. So, we all know the YA fantasy where the MC has this special power than can quite literally save the world (not that I don’t also enjoy those books from time to time). Helen is also a special lady, but she actually has this amazing choice if she wants it or not, and I love it. Like, there are real stakes/consequences for whichever choice she makes and it was riveting.

-On the same line, the world-building. Along with giving Helen a choice and consequences, the mythology in the story is fascinating. It’s also the reason the fact Helen has a choice works so well. I never felt flooded with too much info. It’s well paced and artfully spread out, and feels familiar yet new.

-WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR READ IT NOW

View all my reviews

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I want to marry this book. MARRY IT. I also want to marry Carlston. *cough*

i need a moment hook ouat

Just… just… please everyone read it. And then come at me so we can swoon and fangirl and WAIT tortuously for The Dark Days Pact.

And since this section is technically called “What I’m Reading” and not “What I Just Read and Loved and I’m Pretty Sure I’m Now Dead,” I’ll say I’m listening to the audiobook of Jenn Barnes’ The Fixer, and it’s so good!! YA Scandal, basically. I’m all for it.

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What I’m Doing 
FOOOOOOODD! Okay, well wait. I have some other things to blog about before we get to the food.

So firstly I was at Books of Wonder last week to see three amazing people: Steph Perkins, Nina LaCour, and David Levithan. Also on the panel were Lisa Williamson (The Art of Being Normal), who has the best English accent and read from her book SO well; Jane Mason (Without Annette); and Billy Merrell (Full Spectrum). They were also amazing, I just didn’t know it until I found out about them at the event 😉

Unbeknownst to me, this event was part of the Openly YA series Books of Wonder was doing in celebration of Pride Month. I felt so honored to be in that room with so many queer teens and allies, especially just a few days after the horror in Orlando. All the authors on the panel recognized the importance of this event, in supporting lgbtqia teens and literature, and standing up to hate with love.

In David’s words, the readings that night would begin with tragedy, but end with Pride. He was right. We started with a scene from one of his older books were a girl is lighting candles at a 9/11 memorial, and from there moved to Stephanie Perkins reading an excerpt from Tim Federle’s short story in her anthology Summer Days and Summer Nights where a gay couple just broke up.

Next was Lisa who read a scene where her main character was being bullied. Then there was Billy who read an excerpt from one the new essays in Full Spectrum about sex and gender.

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Jane read the opening of her book where the girls are arriving at boarding school. And then, Nina and David stood up and owned the floor.

 

They read the opening two chapters from their new book You Know Me Well, and then read a bit from the end (and the crowd was freaking out about spoilers). It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. The two of them were acting it out, being silly and adorable, and reveling in their unapologetically gay book about teens being HAPPY and THEMSELVES and ALIVE. I haven’t read my copy yet, but I am so so SO excited.

That was Wednesday night. And then on Friday….

 

happy baby

I did my waiting! 12 13 years of it! In Azkaban. 

Jess and I went to see Finding Dory! We went to an 11am showing haha because we could just not wait any longer. Plus, we wanted to avoid screaming loud children. It worked out very well.

The short film, Piper, before the movie is too cute. Like, I reached my capacity of cuteness before the actual movie even started.

Finding Dory was really good! It was just cute. There was no horrible traumatic scene we’ve come to expect from Pixar movies. It was lighthearted and adorable and I loved how Dory’s neurodiversity was celebrated. They did such a good job with it, which is why it was a letdown when they failed to do the same two side characters (find an article about it here). That was the only blah part of the movie for me.

Then we went to eat.

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My French toast after I’d taken a bite out of it. I love me some French toast ❤

I promised you food, didn’t I? Well, here’s more!

Yesterday, Mom and I had a day out and enjoyed lunch at this Italian restaurant we’d never been to before in Park Slope.

The first being my appetizer, mozzarella and tomato! ❤ You can never go wrong with that. Then I had penne fiorentina, which is spinach pesto and fresh ricotta! My mom had fillet de sol. For dessert we split a pear tart with hazelnut ice cream. Yuuummm!!

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Oh, I almost forgot. There was also an excess of vodka pizza for Father’s Day, and I only managed to grab this picture before it was all gone.

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Pizza is the best. Pizza is life. Piiiiiizza.

What I’m Thinking About
-I just found these 2 articles I wrote on a short lived blog I was running last year, and I’m still really proud of them a year later! 🙂

-Vote vote vote in November to remove all the awful Senate Republicans who voted against stricter gun laws. They’re not even strict gun laws; they’re common sense gun laws. Obviously you should have to pass a background check to buy a gun. Obviously if you’re a suspected terrorist you should not be able to buy a goddamn assault weapon.

-Sometimes you cut toxic people out of your life for a reason. But sometimes they reappear, seemingly to have changed, but then pull the same crap. It just sucks, when you’re hopeful something is different now and you can get back to a good place. And then you have your heart stomped on again.

-My cat is a celery fiend.

What I’m Writing
Nothing! Right now, anyway. Because I finished my draft!!!!!!!!

gg blair happydespicable me i'm so happy feels

!!!!!!!!

What I’m Watching
The Bachelorette. Gotta say though, last night’s episode was pretty boring with Chad gone and all the guys turning into jerks/blobs/sexists. I need a good show! Recommendations?

That NBA finals game was intense.

US men’s soccer team vs Argentina tonight! I’m excited! Am bummed UEFA and Copa America are happening at the same time, though. I wish they were one after the other so we could have more soccer over a longer period of time. Alas.

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤

june 2, 2016

Hello!

What I’m Reading
People of the internet, I have read some amazing books. Like, books that have floored me. I can’t wait to tell you about them. The first I loved so much I’m going to embed my Goodreads review/rambling here For Reasons.

And I DarkenAnd I Darken by Kiersten White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ALL THE STARS OH MY GOD PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT BOOK I WILL WRITE SOMETHING COHERENT LATER

Okay okay. SO.

AND I DARKEN is a wonderful book–and that’s an understatement. It’s Game of Thrones (minus the dragons/magic/fantasy) meets The Captive Prince Trilogy meets YA in the Ottoman Empire.

There are two hearts of this book.

One is Lada. Holy. Shit. Lada is incredible. I’ve seen people call her a sociopath, but I don’t think she is. She makes brutal decisions with calculated precision. She yearns for the affection of her father. She wants power in a world that doesn’t want to give any to her because she’s a woman, and she finds a way to take it. Her fear of marriage is real. Her love and protection to her brother is gut-wrenching. The moment she learns about woman’s pleasure is eye-opening. Her relationship with Mehmed is hard, twisted, murky. Her dream is a land she calls her own, and her nightmare is a land she finds herself captive in. She is cruel. She is funny. She is loyal. She is lost. Lada is the dragon.

Heart #2 is Radu. Man, Radu. Radu starts out as a crying, fearful little boy. He grows into someone who is still scared, but has gotten his hands dirty, done some saving, but found some measure of peace and safety in Islam. He has found an impossible love, too.

Lada and Radu’s complex sibling relationship is the driving force behind this novel. Sent to the Ottoman court as wards to keep their father (Vlad the Impaler) in line, they both develop differently, despite being side by side. Lada clings to her homeland and hates everything around her, but is desperate to cleave some measure of power for herself. Radu comes to love their new surroundings, meeting new people in and out of the court, and is drawn to Islam. Where Lada is violent, rash, volatile, Radu adapts to the quiet kind of manipulation, where a smile does more than a sword.

It’s fascinating to watch.

I also love that this novel devotes much time to Lada and Radu’s birth and early years. For half the book, Lada and Radu are 12 and 11. It’s a Bildungsroman! It was done so, so, SO well. As much as I love Jane Eyre, I was antsy during those first 100 pages where Jane is a young girl in that awful boarding school. But AND I DARKEN had me gripped from the very first line and all through those beginning pages. It was beautiful too, to experience all those things with Lada and Radu and meet their father and older brother, and then be separated from them like our main characters. There’s a moment late in the book when Lada and Radu have a sweet moment after much angst, and it feels like the reader gets to reminisce and make jokes with them too.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I loved Lada/Mehmed. Their relationship was so messy. But the messiness was not glossed over, excused, or glamorized. When Lada called out Mehmed out about… errmm… things… it was glorious. So were the moments Lada assessed why she hadn’t run away, or where her power came from, or didn’t come from. I felt for her so much. So when she makes her final move at the end, I was rooting for her, despite the fallout and shattering of important relationships.

I could rant on and on about my deep seated love for this book. But I shall attempt to control myself and end it here.

Oh, and btw, I super want a mini series for this incredible book (and sure to be trilogy).

View all my reviews

I’ve never done this before so I hope it looks pretty. Anyway, I LOVED AND I DARKEN to infinity and beyond. I am so ready for the next book. This is definitely one of the books I’m SO glad I got at BookCon. I feel so privileged to have read this book early. Kiersten will be on tour this fall, and I really hope she comes to NYC so I can tell her how much I love her book in person… not that twitter isn’t great.

 

I also read WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord. I adore Emery Lord’s writing. She’s one of my idols of contemporary YA. You know what, I’m also rather proud of my Goodreads review of it, so what the hell. Let’s embed ALL THE GOODREADS REVIEWS.
When We CollidedWhen We Collided by Emery Lord

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t even know what to say. Geez, Lord, you got me again! *wipes tears away*

This book was HARD. I struggled reading it.

I related to both Vivi and Jonah, because of what is going on in my life right now. I started this book the day before my dad’s suicide attempt. I related to Jonah, learning how to be a caregiver, feeling helpless and strung out, and confused. I related to Vivi, her manic and depressive episodes, something I’ve now seen up close and personal, experienced, witnessed.

I’ve been visiting a psych ward for over a week now. There’s a psych ward in this book! And it’s not scary or dark and evil. It’s normal. Parts of my reality are painted into this book with loving detail. Thank you, Emery Lord.

I loved the Daniels, their family friend Ellie, and their darling restaurant staff. I love love love big homey books, with families that are so alive and adorable you want to squish them.

I loved Vivi’s mom, Carrie, who was trying to be the best mom she could.

I loved the observations of friendship–having a word for homesickness and heartbreak, but not one for missing your friends. I love how friendship became the ultimate love story in the end, for Vivi, and it was always her motivation. I would have liked to see more emphasis on it in the beginning, but it was beautifully done towards the end.

The insta love was hard for me to deal with, and so was being in Vivi’s head through her manic and depressive states, but I knew we were always building towards a story about mental illness, and when the climax finally happened and everything came together this book sung. Usually a really good ending/resolution can’t save a book for me, but this did.

I think I’ll have a complicated relationship with this book, but I’ll always be grateful for what it made me feel. And the way it so perfectly came into my life when I needed it most.

View all my reviews

And finally, I wanna talk about LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Welch.

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I’ve been excited about this book for awhile, and then when it debuted on the Times list it increased my anticipation for it. I identified a lot with this book, being Italian on my dad’s side and spending a lot of time in Tuscany growing up. I tore through this read in a day. I was so hooked by the characters and the mystery. Take this one to the beach! Warning: it will create an urge for gelato. And then you’ll have to book a ticket to Italia!

What I’m Doing
*Casually swooning over the cute guy that works at the locksmith nearby. Here’s a story.

I read EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour some time ago. It was a library book, and I loved it to pieces. As soon as I finished, I bought my own copy from Amazon. I was not home when it was delivered, and instead found one of those official notes that told me I could pick up my package the following day at X location. This was strange, as in the past packages have just been left for me. I was frustrated and anxiously waited for the following day.

Said day came, and I took a walk a few blocks over to apprehend my book. I was not expecting to open the door and come face to face with a veeeeerrrryyy cute boy. My insides turned to jello, as all the love poems like to say. We had a short exchange, I remember saying something about it [my package] being a book, and then zooming out of there with my giddy pounding heart.

So when we had our doorknob changed and needed to make extra copies of the new key, I was happy to run the errand.

Why is there something so adorable about bashful boys who can’t make eye contact? Le siiiighhh.

cutie alert agent carter

*I’ve started taking long walks. Ideally I’d like to start running, but I actually really like walking, so who knows, I might just keep walking haha. I can do 4 miles easily, and am trying to increase to 5 this week. I use the app RunKeeper to mark my progress, and it makes me excited about getting fit. I can already feel the benefits. I feel more awake and creative throughout the day. And just generally in a better mood. Elle Woods was right.

endorphins make you happy legally blonde

*I tried the most AMAZING drink yesterday. Basil pineapple juice! I’m going to tell the world about this drink. Everyone must consume it. It was so good and light and refreshing. I’m in love.

gatsby cheers

What I’m Thinking About
-Writing a cute locksmith romance, hahahahaha.

-Attending this thing: http://www.lamprophonic.com/amplit-fest/

To go or not to go? That is the question. 😉

-Why is Hamiltome SO GOOD?

What I’m Writing
#FANTASYWIP! I am back at work! I crossed 46k today. And even though I think most of the words were crap, I’m still so happy to have finally made progress. I can’t wait to finish this messy draft and refine some arcs and get it looking pretty.

 

parks and rec happy

What I’m Watching
HOLY EVERYTHING. I just watched Poldark.

My life has been changed.

*inserts Aidan Turner’s face everywhere* *Demelza, my loooovvveeeeeee*

I pretty much loved every single thing about it. Everyone must go watch it immediately. It’s on Prime, finally, for your convenience. In a time where everyone seems like they’re trying to be ~dark, edgy, gritty~ like Game of Thrones, I love how this show was not afraid to be hopeful. It was really really good. And I want season 2. Now.

I feel like there was something else I was supposed to mention… perhaps the DCOM marathon over the holiday weekend??? I DVR’d Motocrossed, The 13th Year, Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off, and Brink. Love them so much! ❤

That’s all from me for now. Be kind to each other,
Mic ❤