Mini Book Haul

Merry Christmas Eve!!

So, I was at Goodwill the other day and decided that I needed some new books. Buying books right before Christmas is totally okay, trust me! Especially when you get them for such a great deal. Honestly, buying books at Goodwill or thrift stores is my favorite place to get them. You never know which books will be there, which edition or cover it will be, whether or not there are notes in the margins, etc. I love it! So here are just a couple that I got on my last trip.

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Monday Musings

So, I find myself in a reading slump as of late. I feel like my thoughts and my motivations are all over the place and I can’t concentrate on one thing. Should I be working on my own writing? Should I be finishing the book that I put down two weeks ago? What about working on book tags or reviews? Maybe I should update my Instagram with more pictures?

I know I need to be more organized about my creative outlets, but splitting my attention between so many different areas just makes me retreat altogether and then I get nothing done. Quite frustrating, I must say.

How do you guys stay motivated or keep your different projects on track?

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Update!

Hey guys! I apologize for being lax on my posting again, but a few unexpected life things have gotten in the way. I wanted to update, though, and let you guys know that I am participating in NaNoWriMo this month, so I will be focusing all of my free time on that. That means even more of a lull in posts/reviews. I know! D: I do have a few book reviews on the backburner, so if I need a break from writing my WIP, maybe I will get to those. We will see!

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Anyway, thanks for sticking with me! And is anyone else doing NaNo? This is my first time trying it and I am already late to the party! If so, good luck on your writing!

-Chelsi

Blog Update

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to explain my lack of activity over the past week. I feel terrible that I have slacked off a little bit, but soon I will be back in a position to update the blog regularly.

I have had some personal family things to deal with and this past week, I have been busy preparing for Hurricane Irma. Living in Tampa, Florida, I am now facing a serious hit from Irma. My family and I have prepared as much as we can, and now we have to wait and see how everything turns out. I am hopeful that we will stay safe and strong during this storm. Scylla and Cake are right by my side and I will protect them at all costs. Keeping them safe, calm, and comfortable is my top priority.

For anyone who is in the path of this storm, please stay safe! I will update again after the storm has passed and will hopefully be able to start posting reviews again soon.

Thank you and keep on reading! I know I will (until that power goes out)!

-Chelsi

 

Birthday Book Haul

For my birthday this past weekend, I was lucky enough to get a bunch of awesome new books!

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I have heard so many great things about these books and I am really excited to read them!

  • The Court of Thorns and Roses Coloring Book: This is a gorgeous companion book to the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It features coloring pages depicting select scenes from all three novels. I can’t wait to bust out my colored pencils!
  • Strange the Dreamer: This is the first book in a new duology by Laini Taylor and it sounds epic! It is about a war between men and the gods, a lost city, heroes, warriors, a goddess and a young librarian who happens to get wrapped up in it all.
  • A Torch Against the Night: This is the sequel to Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes. I read the first one right after it came out and really liked it, but have not had the chance to pick up this second one yet. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what has happened to Elias, Laia, and Helene!
  • A Darker Shade of Magic: From V. E. Schwab, this is the story of Kell, one of the last, rare magicians of his kind. He can travel between the different Londons: Grey, Red, and White, but that does not mean he can always avoid trouble. This one has been on my TBR list for ages and I am so happy I finally have it in my hands!
  • The Crown’s Game: The last two Enchanters in Russia, Vika and Nikolai, must battle to the death, so that the victor can stand at the side of the Tsar in the coming war. Count me in!
  • The Star-Touched Queen: I have heard so many good things about this book, such as beautiful prose and imaginative story-telling. The protagonist, Maya, cursed with a bad fortune in her own kingdom is married off to another. There, she becomes a queen and a wife, she finds power and love. But, she also stumbles upon secrets and mysteries that could threaten her life and the lives of those she loves.

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Man, I am going to be busy for a while! Now, I just need to figure out which book I am going to start with.

Happy reading!

-Chelsi

ACOWAR Pre-order Map

Hey, everyone!

As I am sure many of you are aware, Sarah J. Maas and Bloomsbury publishing set up a promotion before the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin. If you pre-ordered the book and sent in proof of your purchase, then Bloomsbury promised to send a full-color map of Prythian to your house. It was really simple to enter, too. I took a screenshot of my order summary on Amazon, when I pre-orded the book, and just submitted it to the pre-order page on Maas’ website. Then, a couple days ago, my map arrived!

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I was definitely not disappointed! The map, by Kelly de Groot and Charlie Bowater, is really beautiful. I am not familiar with de Groot’s previous work, but I know Bowater’s art has inspired Maas before, is featured in the ACOTAR coloring book, was the source of Feyre’s awesome dress on the ACOWAR cover, and is absolutely stunning. Check them out! The details and the colors on the map are very nice, and the paper quality is great. It feels like thick photo paper. I love the Night Court symbol that is drawn in each corner!

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The map is a little smaller than I expected, about the size of regular computer paper, but that is not an issue for me. I will definitely frame it, though, to keep it safe and unwrinkled.

Have any of you received the map of Prythian? What do you think?

-Chelsi

Book Signing/Talk with Paula Hawkins and Edan Lepucki

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Hello, friends!

I wanted to share this with you guys, despite being a bit late. Thanks to my amazing mother, we got tickets to see Paula Hawkins and Edan Lepucki talk about their new releases. It was an amazing night at the Tampa Theatre! Paula Hawkins is the author of Girl on the Train, and Edan Lepucki is the author of California. These ladies were SO interesting, funny, and inspirational!

I really enjoyed hearing about their writing processes, the pressures put on bestselling authors releasing their second books, and how they are dealing with their success. Edan was hilarious! She was very down-to-earth, funny, and relatable. She discussed how she grew up in Las Angeles, California and how it has influenced her writing. ย Her take on Hollywood Hills and the way of life there was very fascinating, and I look forward to reading more about it in her new book Woman No. 17. The book is about the mother of a mute son and her relationship with him, her family, and the young nanny that she hires to assist her. Edan jokingly said the character of the mother is like her, but “darker.” She also mentioned that it was challenging to get into the heads of both the mother in her 40’s, and the nanny in her early 20’s. She incorporated technology and social media into the book, which she said was different from California, where she did not bring that into the novel at all.

Paula was a bit more subdued, but definitely still brought some dry humor of her own to the discussion. The two women together were very entertaining! I found it very interesting how Paula, and Edan too, write their novels based on characters first. Both said that a character or an idea of a character will come to them long before their plot is laid out. Then, they begin to ask themselves questions about this character, to figure out where the story might take them. For me, someone who generally has grand ideas of a plot or specific images of a scene in mind, before I hone in on my characters, this was especially intriguing. For Paula, she had the characters from Into the Water, two sisters, in her head much earlier than the actual plotline. And, like the constant of the train in her first novel, this story features water as large presence/theme in the book. She talked about how many people have a significant body of water in their lives or childhood memories and how those lakes, rivers, or beaches can seem pleasant on the surface, but hide “something nasty” underneath. That idea is a metaphor of sorts for her new book and the little village it is centered around.

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Overall, Paula and Edan provided great insight into their new books and their habits as authors. I am happy I was able to catch a glimpse into their writing worlds. I was also lucky enough to get a signed copy of Into the Water and I cannot wait to read it! Check out their new books, Into the Water and Woman No. 17, and let me know what you think.ย They both sound awesome!

– Chelsi

Thoughts on blog structure

So, I have been debating on how I want to actually organize and structure this blog. I think I have decided that I will start off with some more recent reviews/book discussions and then maybe have some throwback posts, as well. There are so many books, both YA and not, that I have read over the past couple years that I would love to discuss. Hopefully, that works well and I mayyyy be trying out some video booktalks, as well, but no promises there. I am extremely unnatural in front of the camera :[ IF that happens, I will most likely link to a youtube channel for those. For now, stay tuned for some talk on some of my recent reads and let me know what you guys think!

~Chelsi

Starting a Blog?

So, I figured that my first post ought to be the reason why I decided to start doing this. Maybe? I don’t know, I’m new to blogging! I just started thinking recently about all of the things I never get to say, especially about books. I used to have a circle of friends that read the same things (for the most part) as I did, I used to live at home where I could subject my parents or my siblings to hours of gushing over the books I was reading (sorry, guys), and I used to be in school, where I was graded on what I had to say about the books I was reading. But now, now that I live away from home and have graduated college, I find myself missing that ability to delve into a novel and give my opinion. Now, I mostly just read with my cat in my lap or my dog laying next to me. And, honestly, they are great reading companions! But, at my ripe old age of 24, I have decided I might give this blogging, booktubing, reviewing thing a try. I am not sure what I expect from all of this, but I know that it will do my soul well to have a structured, routine book discussion in my life again. Not just the occasional Goodreads review. I am excited to start!

As far as the schedule or actual organization of this blog, I am not quite sure what I am going to do yet. I suppose I will figure it out along the way! I have a ton of books that I have read or want to read that I would love to discuss with you guys. Maybe I will start with a more recent read and then maybe a flashback read? Maybe I will bring some of my own (underdeveloped) writing into the mix? The possibilities are numerous and, most excitingly, up to me. I just hope that I can put my voice out there and maybe get some input from all of you, as well.

I would, also, like to preface everything by stating that everything I write or say is my own opinion. Sometimes I may get harsh with it, don’t get me wrong! But, in the end, please know that I am not out to offend anyone and differing opinions on books is one of the most beautiful things about them. We can all read the same book and each take something completely different from it, when we reach that last page.

Thank you all for checking out my new blog, being patient as I learn, and loving books as much as I do!

~ Chelsi