Update

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to update you all. I was at first busy because my living arrangements for the fall semester fell through. Then I got tendinitis so can’t use my left hand (typing this one handed lol). I’ll be on Twitter and sometimes IG, but for now no typing for me ><! I’ll see you all and get to comments/replies when I can later!

~Justine

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey everyone!

Today I finally started to catch up on tags. I swear I’ll get to them all! Sometimes I’m hesitant to post certain things because what if I need it for later?? And then I end up not posting anything lol…

I was nominated by Amy @ The Little Book Nerds to do the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you so much for the tag!


What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

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The Rules

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog.

2. Answer the questions.

3. Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions.

4. List the rules as well as display the Sunshine Award Logo on your post.


Amy’s Questions

1. Do you prefer to read Kindle or physical books?

Physical but I like Kindle when there’s a lot of information or characters because sometimes you can highlight names, and it will tell you a little about what you highlighted.

2. Have you tried audiobooks? If you have, what do you think of them?

Yes, I like them but I usually can’t start one without reading the beginning of the book first. For some reason I retain more of the audiobook if I read the first few chapters.

 

3. Who’s a blogger you most aspire to? and why.

Ah, I think I’m going to go with Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky. I love her content and personality! She’s mostly into fantasy, and I find reading her reviews super dangerous because they always have me wanting to read and buy what she reads.

4. Can you listen to music while reading? If you can what music do you mostly listen to?

Sometimes. I read at the cafe I work at a lot and my boss/friend always has some version of Lofi Hip-Hop Radio playing in the background.

5. If you could give the first half of 2018 a rating, what would you give it?

It’s been a really good year for me ^^. I’m doing things I didn’t think I would be able to do again so 5/5 stars! 

6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Meeting and talking to people. I think this usually happens in the comments for me, but if there are other platforms everyone just chats on let me know haha… I met Sandra @gotathingforthings on Twitter through the #booksfortrade tag and we constantly chat when time zones allow us haha! Such a coincidence, but I’m happy to have made a new friend!

Kind of weird because these take me forever to do, but I also enjoy writing reviews. I feel most proud of myself when I write them because putting your opinions out in public is scary!

7. Have you been to any conventions?

Yes! I went to YALLWEST this year with my mom and it was super fun! I even wrote up a guide for it. I’ve also been to anime conventions including Fanime and Sac-Anime. I’ve been an artist at these conventions, too! ^^

8. If you could give your past self-advice about blogging what would you tell yourself?

Ah, I still consider myself a new blogger so if you’ve got advice for me have at it because I’m still very lost sometimes >.>. But honestly, I think I’d tell past me that being lost isn’t so bad. I kind of wish I had 2-3 reviews written for when I get in blog slumps, though, not gonna lie. Oh! I’d also tell past me that you’re posts will get better and you’ll become more efficient. Still telling myself that today!

9. What time of the day do you normally read the most?

I read throughout the day, really, but probably sometime in the evening between 6PM-9PM.

10. How do you plan out your next blog post out?

I try to use a planner, but I don’t stick to it a lot. But I have a few general processes. For memes I type out the questions, answer them, then add my intro. Then I add the pictures and links. For reviews I start a post as soon as I start the book, then probably half-way into the book I type out some of my notes so I know what direction I’m going in with my review. Doing this let’s me think about what I want to say while starting a new book. This works for me right now, but I’m hoping I can get them out faster later on.

11. How many completed posts does it take for you to say its a ‘good blogging day’?

Ohhh man…a good blogging day for me is when I’ve outlined a couple posts >.>. If I’ve gotten some of my thoughts out, it’s good enough for me lol. I’m working on it! But I usually don’t completely finish a post until the night before, I mean, I usually have the written parts done earlier. It’s the adding the links and pictures and ping backs that I procrastinate on!

My Questions:

1. Where do you get your inspiration to blog?

2. What intimidates you most about blogging?

3. How has blogging changed your life?

4. Can you point me to some of your favorite “hidden gem” bloggers?

5. How personal do you get in your blog posts?

6. What are 2 of your favorite things to do outside of the bookish world?

7. What’s the last book that surprised you?

8. What is one of your favorite bookish memories?

9. What’s the most extreme thing you’ve done related to books?

10. Can you give me and other bloggers 1-2 blogging tips?

11. If you have a blog theme, how and why did you decide on it?

My Nominees

1. Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

2. Justine @ Bookish Wisps

3. Vera @ Unfiltered Tales (lol sorry I know you just did it but planned this before! No pressure!)

4. Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds

5. Kate @ The Backwardsbookshelf

6. Destiny @ Howling Libraries

7. Melanie @ Mel to the Any

8. Brittany @ Brittany and Her Bookshelf

9. Norrie @ Reading Under the Blankie

10. Hamad @ The Book Prescription

11. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress


Thanks again for the nomination, Amy! And as always, no pressure if you don’t want to do the tag.

Cya! ^^

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words. Check out Sam’s post to join in and support!

Hey everyone! The month is coming to an end, but I’ve still got some books I’m hoping to get to. Here are this week’s three W’s.


What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

ragingonesI am currently reading The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie. In this world, everyone knows the exact date of their death, and it causes society to be divided into the Influentials and the Fast-Trackers. The Influentials are people whose death date is further on in life. They tend to be treated well because they have more life to live. Fast-Trackers have shorter life spans, and they are treated like scum since they won’t be alive that long anyways. So far people are betting over causes of death and criminals are branded as “Icecastle.” I’m not that far into the book, so there might be more to it later. It’s a pretty addicting read, though!

fatgirlonaplane

 

I recently finished Fat Girl on a Train by Kelly deVos, and it made me so angry! I was going to give this a low rating but then realized I can’t because this stuff actually happens. I’m keeping this short because I realized my City of Ghosts review said many things I said in the WWW meme last week. So more about it in my review later!

 

orope

 

I think I will be reading Orope: The White Snake by Guenevere Lee. This isn’t on my TBR, but I’m trying to get my O.W.L.s done. I ended up trading the books I put on this part of the TBR, so these are my stand in’s.

 


What are you reading this week? I’d love to know!

Cya ^^

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Top 5 Tuesday: Books I Read Because of the Book Community

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by Shanah of The Bionic Book Worm. Give her page some love!

Hey everyone!

I chickened out! I didn’t post the fitness post because it was scary. I WILL get myself to do it, though! It’s a little like going to the gym for the first time after you haven’t in awhile. So nerve wrecking ><!

But today is Top 5 Tuesday, so let’s get on to the top 5 books I read because of the book community!


1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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I started reading YA last year with Caraval being the first, and then The Lunar Chronicles being next. During that time I became obsessed with Booktube, and this book always popped up. I honestly love a good romance, and everyone said this was it. So I read ACOTAR to get to ACOMAF and completely inhaled it! I remember thinking, “This is how giddy it feels when I read fanfiction of my favorite ships. I can’t believe real books can be like this!” I gotta admit, I didn’t like the next book in the series, but this will always be a memorable read to me!

2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

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So…I didn’t complete all of Harry Potter until June of last year. I wasn’t much of a reader, okay??? ><! But everyone kept saying, “If you haven’t read Harry Potter, then what are you doing on so and so?” The pressure finally got to me, and I read everything in 3 weeks. I know people read a lot faster than that, but since I’ve started blogging I’ve only managed 4 books a month so seven in three weeks is crazy for me. And now I’m like pretty much the rest of the world and am super obsessed and trying to find another MG/YA series that will have me as engaged as Harry Potter did.

3. Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

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I got this book because of Instagram. Like everyone said, I didn’t end up liking the first trilogy in this universe. However, I was glued to my seat reading the duology. Again, I was new to YA and couldn’t believe how good it was. This book also introduced me to multiple POV’s, and that’ actually my preferred narrative style now.

4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

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I am so late to the A Song of Ice and Fire train, but then again I’m late to most book related trains so eh…But for this one I was also late to the show hype. After watching the show I asked around in one of the Facebook groups for a book like A Game of Thrones, and some people finally convinced me to try the books. I was intimidated by adult fantasy up until this point, so I was not looking forward to this. But now it’s everything I want in fantasy!!! Great characters and character development, tons of lore, amazing writing, lots of intrigue, etc., etc., etc.! If I’m in a slump, I’m reading something from ASOIAF.

5. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

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This is the first book I read specifically because of book blogging. I’ve heard of this series because it’s a favorite of Kitty G. on Youtube, but when I picked it up at the library, I couldn’t get used to the writing style. Then I tried to read it again for a readathon, but still couldn’t get to it. Then I started following fantasy book bloggers, and I don’t think I’ve read a bad review on this one. I randomly tried to read it again, and I’m so glad I did because Robin Hobb honestly is amazing at writing characters. →my review


What are some of your favorite books you’ve read because of the book community? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? I’d love to chat!

Cya! ^^

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

35403058Title: City of Ghosts

Author: Victoria Schwab

Published by: Scholastic on August 28, 2018

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis: Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

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Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.

I don’t know why I didn’t love this more than I did. Victoria Schwab’s writing style still has that simple, accessibility to it that I definitely enjoy. I even read this in one sitting, and I haven’t done that for awhile. I decided to give this a shot because I enjoyed Vicious by V.E. Schwab, but I will say that middle grade isn’t a genre I’ve had much luck with.

City of Ghosts is about about Cassidy Blake, a young girl who nearly drowns and, as a result, is able to lift up the “Veil” to see ghosts. Her best friend is a ghost and her parents have both made careers centered around the paranormal. Cassidy’s parents start filming for a show on the most haunted places on Earth, and the first stop is Edinburgh, Scotland, home of a large ghost population.

The book is told through Cassidy Blake. She is kind of a loner, but she is perfectly okay with that because she has a ghost for a best friend whose got her back. She is scared of the veil, but is drawn to it. Sometimes it even pulls her in. Cassidy also enjoys photography and is obsessed with Harry Potter. Too obsessed. She mentions Harry Potter everywhere in Edinburgh, even in places where it doesn’t need to be mentioned. As a result, the story isn’t as scary as it could have been.

Jacob is a ghost and Cassidy’s best friend who saved her from drowning. He’s funny, likes comics, and is always there for Cassidy. However, he has so many secrets that I ended up not trusting him! I have a feeling we’ll be learning more about him in the next book, but for now I’m not too sure about him…

We then have Cassidy’s parents. They are both interested in the paranormal but they each have a different approach to it. Cassidy’s father is a skeptic and likes to question how ghosts would exist in a historical context, and his wife is a dreamer who likes to explore the lore behind the paranormal. Their different approaches make for an entertaining television show.

Again, I think middle grade just isn’t my genre. I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple days trying to think of something that stood out, but everything goes back to just being okay. The plot was alright, the characters were charming enough, and I still enjoy Victoria Schwab’s writing style; but it needs a little more to be memorable for me.

I received an ARC from the publisher via YALLWEST in exchange for an honest review. Quotes were taken from an unfinished proof copy and may not be the same in the finished work.

3stars

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words. Check out Sam’s post to join in and support!

Hey everyone! Today I’m participating in a different meme because I realized I do two list memes in a row and wanted to change that up. Maybe I will pick and choose which lists to do because they’re all so fun! However, right now I’m trying to branch out a bit. Like I said I want to add a Creation Corner post twice a month and now my trainer and friend convinced me to post about my weight loss journey to keep me accountable once a week. I still want to predominantly be a book blog, but I think weekends will be for off topic posts.

But for now, on to the three W’s.


What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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I am currently reading The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker, and I’m really liking it! I’m not that far in, but I’ve recently DNF’d a book, put a book on hold, and given a couple books only three stars so I’ve been in a bit of a book slump. I really need a winner over here lol… I’m pretty engaged with this story about a trickster trying to outsmart the Father of Lies. So far I’m liking the writing and the main character, who hasn’t been named yet, is arrogant but it’s kind of funny. I have a good feeling about this one so fingers crossed!

 

35403058

I recently finished City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. I wanted to love this so much more than I did, but I think Middle Grade just isn’t for me. It gives off a spooky atmosphere and is fast-paced and full of adorable and lovable characters, but I thought it was just okay. I like world-building and characters to be a little more fleshed out even if that means the actual plot is relatively lacking, and I’ve found that most Middle Grade books I’ve read, including this one, are heavy with adventure over anything else. This wasn’t for me, but if you’re into Middle Grade I think you’ll really enjoy this one. I’ll be posting a more in depth review of City of Ghosts on Friday.

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I have been craving an epic fantasy but I still have ARC’s I requested and need to read so I think I’ll be reading Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos next. Though I mentioned that I will be blogging about my weight loss and fitness journey once a week, I still want to work on being confident even when I’m fat (I am just personally not healthy at my current weight, but others definitely can be.) I adore Fat Girl on a Plane’s premise about a fat girl trying to make it in the fashion industry. I’m big and I love fashion! This book sounds like it will have tons of body positivity, so I think this will be just what I’m looking for.


What are your three W’s? Have you read any of mine? Come chat with me in the comments!

Cya! ^^

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Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Naked Hardcovers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by Shanah of The Bionic Book Worm. Give her page some love!

Hey everyone!

I’ve been away for a week due to mental health. I think I’ve just been feeling overwhelmed with decisions concerning my future. I’m also in search of an apartment closer to my university and a new job!

This week’s Top 5 Tuesday is supposed to be books to re-read, but I’ve already talked about those, so instead I will be posting my favorite naked hardcovers which was the theme for the first week of July.


 

1. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

anemberintheashes

I was lucky enough to find this used on AbeBooks! You’re definitely going to see a pattern here. I love black and white books with gold, bronze, or silver foil. The whole naked hardcover of this book is gold, so I had to add it!

 

2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

cruelprince

This is the Barnes and Noble edition so the background is white instead of black. Again, gold foil on white so I had to add it.

 

3. Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir by Cinelle Barnes

monsoonmansion

This is the most colorful naked hardcover I own, and it’s sooo gorgeous! I love just staring at it sometimes. It’s another book on Filipinos, but it’s nonfiction so I’m hoping to read it in November.

 

4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

I was obsessed with this naked hardcover when I first got it! I’m also a sucker for anything by Marissa Meyer because she used to write Sailor Moon fanfiction >.>. I didn’t like this book as much as The Lunar Chronicles, in fact, I actually had it on my DNF shelf for sometime. However, I ended up giving it 4 stars when I picked it up again.

 

5. Circe by Madeline Miller

circe

Everything about this cover and its naked hardcover is gorgeous! I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet as I adored The Song of Achilles, but I’ll get to it eventually!

 


And that’s it for today! Are you as in love with any of these naked covers as I am? Is there anything you find particularly attractive in naked hardcovers? Let me know!

Cya! ^^

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