Category Archives: reading

Current Read: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

How are your current reads going? Any favorites so far? Any struggles?

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One of my current reads is Cruel Prince by Holly Black and I’m buddy reading it with my girl Anna @fairravens. I’m so glad we’re reading this together! Let me tell you, this book has us questioning our life choices. We’re not sure if we like these characters. We’re not sure why they do the things that they do. We’re not sure where this story is going. But we can not stop reading! We’re close to the end, so we may or may not have a more coherent review when we finish. Are there any books that have you questioning your sanity?

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For #marchlitwrit Instalove or Slowburn—Definitely slowburn! My first fandom was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice–I am a big fan of a slow build up. I also enjoy the hate to love trope too! For Cruel Prince, these tropes are in the story, but the execution has me doubting my love for these tropes! As for my WIP–definitely slow burn!

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For #bookishrandomthings Romance—Um. I think there’s romance in Cruel Prince, but so far everyone hates each other and if there’s a possibility for romance, it’s crushed with murder death kill action.

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For #marchinbooks18 Fictional Villain You’d Join—I’m going to say Madoc because even though he’s despicable and would sooner stab you while smiling, he has no qualms about doing what needs to be done.

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This Cruel Prince cover is an @owlcrate exclusive. Shh…I’m reading bookmark by the fabulous @markedbymary.

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How are we halfway through March?! I’m so not ready for April.

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Authors you’d like to read?

Who are some authors that you want to read this year? Are you planning on attending any signings or book festivals?

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Y’all West @yallwest just released their author line-up and it’s incredible! There are so many authors I want to meet, but first I’ve got to read their books! My March TBR is a mix of actual TBR books (Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson), but also books of some of the authors that will be at Y’all West: Dhonielle Clayton, Erin Estrada Kelly, Gloria Chao, and Samira Ahmed, to name just a few. I’m hoping to get these books read before the book festival. If you’ve read any of these, what did you think? (No spoilers, please!)

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For #marchlitwrit Writing Beverages/Snack | Writing Workspace: The cloudy skies and rain got the best of me before I could snap a decent picture of my desk! But tea is usually my choice of drink while writing. I might a sneak a cookie too.

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#authorappreciationmarch Author you wish to read

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Hope you are all having a great weekend so far! It’s actually raining here (yay!) so movies and games for us. What are you up to?

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Inspiration Quote for International Women’s Day

But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary.

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Inej Ghafa, Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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What are some quotes from books/movies/TV shows, etc. that deeply affected you? Or characters?

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Inej is one of my all-time favorite characters. Yes, she’s a bad ass. Yes, she and Kaz are awesome. But, for international women’s day, I thought this quote from her would be quite fitting.

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Not to spoil the story too much, but Inej has this realization during a confrontation with another character who, by all rights, has lived a life of privilege and has advantages Inej never had and this character should be the one who comes out on top. This moment is a turning point for not only Inej, but the reader as well. I’m not gonna lie. I cried after reading this part in the book because as a WOC (Inej is too), this quote spoke to me so much! I’d never seen my feelings captured so well in one moment in a book.

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Needless to say, I highly recommend this series!

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This shot is a little different from the usual because I wanted to address two prompts for #marchlitwrit: How/where you take notes | National Proofreading Day: Whoops! I take notes at my office desk, dinner table, while sitting on my bed! But I always use my notebooks when I do. The other night, I spent time setting up my revision notebook and I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. For proofreading, if you haven’t noticed, Inej’s quote that I lettered had a word missing, so I edited it. I wrote the quote when I was still learning to letter and I didn’t want to start over again. But I am learning to embrace imperfections and to care more about content than perfection.

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#readlikeagirl Inspiring Quote—This is such a great challenge—it celebrate’s women’s month!

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Which fandoms inspire you?

“If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison

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What’s your favorite fandom(s)? What inspired you to start writing?

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked about how I started writing. Stories would always pop up in my head since I was a kid but I never really thought of them as stories—just what ifs. What if we won a lifetime supply of Fruity Pebbles? What would happen if I could read my teacher’s mind? And sometimes my what ifs would carry on to TV and/movies shows—would Shaggy be really sad if Scoobie got lost? What would have happened if the Fertellis never found Mikey Walsh, his friends, and One-Eyed Willie’s treasure? I’d come up with these elaborate what-ifs but I never wrote any of them down (probably a good thing) because it never occurred to me that I should.

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Fast forward to my first year teaching—I truly believe books find you when you need them most. First year teaching is hard enough but during that year, my father passed away too. I caught the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy to me!) on TV and soon after I read the book. I fell in love with the characters and eventually was inspired by Jane Austen too (she drafted all 6 of her novels in secret on a tiny writing table because women of the gentry did not have jobs). Once I was done reading and binging Pride and Prejudice, the what if’s came back and I put my ideas to paper. Needless to say, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was my first fandom.

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Featured here are some of the drafts of stories I wrote for the fandom! (Yes, I kept them!) I wrote fan fiction for various fandoms for over ten years, believing it was just a hobby. I’d teach during the day and write when I came home. It wasn’t until I read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir that I actually considered writing my own story—a biracial warrior princess who has to fight for her life against her father and a diwata—a goddess. But that’s another story for another time!

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Challenges (a day late!😅)

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#marchlitwrit Fandoms that inspire you

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#authorappreciationmarch Jane Austen | Romance

Harry Potter Reread Update

“Fred, your next,” the plump woman said.

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“I’m not Fred, I’m George,” said the boy. “Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother? Can’t you tell I’m George?”

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“Sorry, George, dear.”

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“Only joking. I am Fred,” said the boy, and off he went.

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For those of you new here, I listen to audiobooks with my children and we are currently listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s the first time for them and a reread for me. It’s been a really wonderful experience so far!

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Everyone remembers the first time the Golden Trio met on the Hogwarts train, right? Rereading this chapter, I was struck with how much Fred and George makes a splash into the story! Don’t get me wrong, I do remember that these guys were big on pranks and often making jokes, but I had forgotten not only how funny they are, but also how kind they were to Harry when they first met. My kids think they’re hilarious and crack up over their pranks—let’s hope they don’t get inspired by those two!

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For #authorappreciationmarch JK Rowling|Wizards!

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For #marchinbooks18 If you like this, read that—Akata Witch and Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor! It’s darker than Harry Potter, but it still has a great middle grade feel and is a fantastic telling of the Chosen one style story!

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For #marchlitwrit National Grammar Day: Pet Peeve—I get turned off when writers use drunk and drug as past tense verbs—I drunk coffee from Starbucks (should be drank) or He drug the toy box across the room (should be dragged).

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George and Fred Weasley bookmark by the lovely Grace Fung @fictograph.

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Who’s your favorite twin? What’s another series you’d recommend? Any grammar pet peeves?

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Book Challenge: Short Books, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I read all my books for my monthly TBR, said no book nerd ever!
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How did you all do this month with your February reading goals?

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Let’s be real here. It’s the end of the second month of the year and I feel like I’m behind on my reading goal! I’m seriously considering changing it from 75 to 25. Between revising my manuscript and well, being a mom, I need to make my life easier and not be stressed about reading all the books which is a valid concern, but one that I don’t need right now!

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I created a Story Highlight for my 2018 Reads and just put up the books I read for February—I forgot to include Watership Down! I’ll follow up with a wrap-up post later!

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I realized it’s been weeks since I’ve talked about Nnedi Okorafor! Her Binti series is becoming one of my favorite series—space travel, technology, and a main character who is the most talented astrolabe maker ever, it’s such a great sci-fi read, but Binti’s struggle with her Himba culture and pursuing her dreams of going to Oomza University add so much depth to her character and gives another layer of richness in the world building. If you’re struggling through the post-Black Panther movie life, Binti is perfect for you!

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For #grimdragon Short Books! The Binti trilogy is comprised of novellas! Each book is about 200 pages, give or take. Also, I can’t believe this is the last #grimdragon prompt ever! Holly @the_infinite_dragon and Corey @grimdark_dad, thank you so much for creating the #grimdragon community. I’m so grateful for the new friends I’ve made here and also for all the awesome book recs! My life is richer for the people I’ve come to know and I’ve grown so much as a reader!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Reread: Part 2

What’s the most memorable “meeting” with a fictional character you’ve had?

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My earliest memory was with Cinderella—those glass slippers! After that was Wonder Woman—bullet proof cuffs! After that was Scout—she was the first character who loved reading as much as I did. And of course, who can forget meeting Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy for the first time?

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But I think there’s something unique about encountering characters from the Harry Potter series for the first time. The first time I met Hagrid, I was already an adult but I loved that there was this gentle giant who was thoughtful and fiercely protective of people and animals he cared for. He quickly became one of my favorite characters! If I had been a child when this series was released, there’s no doubt Hagrid would’ve been a character I looked up to.

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SPOILERS

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Fast forward to the present—I’m rereading this series with my children and I’m not going to lie, I was both excited and a little emotional when we got to the part in the story when Hagrid comes to the shack in the sea and finds Harry to deliver his Hogwarts letter to him. After so many years of awful treatment, Harry finally has someone who not only tells him he’s not alone, but let’s him know he’s worthy of being treated decently.

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My kids really enjoyed meeting Hagrid! If you all don’t mind, I’ll keep you updated on our reading progress! Next post I’ll share their reactions to the Hogwarts express and the Sorting Hat.

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It’s Friday! For those of you seeing Black Panther either for the first time or seeing it again, TAKE ME WITH YOU 😭😆. I’ve been watching clips, interviews but it’s not the same.

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