Top Five Wednesday: Auto-Buy Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors

In honor of the Booktube SFF awards, today’s Top Five Wednesday is all about the sci-fi & fantasy authors whose books I must have in my hands the day they’re published. For the most part, I do buy all of the following author’s books, but your girl likes to save money and support her community by using the library. So while some books may not grace my shelves at home, they still hold a special place in my heart (and in the on-hold section of my library account).

Sarah J. Maas – I appreciate Sarah J. Maas’s writing so much because Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses really opened me up to reading both YA and adult fantasy. While I’m debating if I’m going to borrow Catwoman: Soulstealer from the library or buy a copy (I think finding a signed edition will influence my decision), I own copies of all of SJM’s books—her books are slowly, but surely turning my top bookshelf into its own.


Marie Lu – I am here for whatever Marie Lu writes, and my love for her writing is well-known in my family. My mom cried for me when Marie gave me an ARC of Warcross in her regular signing line at Book Con last year, and I even got my non-reader of a dad to follow her on Twitter (I am well-prepared for the Wildcard cover reveal to drop). I just need the graphic novel version of Champion to finish my collection of her existing books.

Marissa Meyer- The gorgeousenss that are Marissa Meyer’s book covers may or may not influence my decision to buy them all. I would love to find an Owlcrate edition of Heartless with its white cover, and the only reason why my Lunar Chronicles books are a mix of hardbacks and paperbacks was due to my impatience for the Winter and Stars Above paperbacks to come out. The only Marissa Meyer books that I currently don’t own are the Wires and Nerve graphic novels. I’d love to see them come out in a box set in the future.


While I love and support many SFF authors, I’d thought it would be fun to share some authors who I could see myself adding to my auto-buy list:

Katharine Arden- I loved Katharine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale because it was such a unique fantasy story with a lot of emphasis on folklore. I’m really looking forward to picking up the next two books in the Winternight trilogy this summer, and I can  see myself highly anticipating Katharine Arden’s future work.

Leigh Bardugo- I’m sure many of you are screaming at me through your screens right now (the Internet is great for at least one thing!) that Leigh Bardugo is not listed above. I obviously love the Six of Crows duology and I enjoyed Wonder Woman: Warbringer, but I feel like I can’t consider Leigh as an auto-buy author for the time being because I still haven’t read the Grisha Verse trilogy. I used to have no intention in reading Shadow and Bone and I know it has mixed reviews, but with King of Scars on the way and knowing that Leigh’s writing has grown, I’m going to give it a chance and borrow the trilogy from the library. Depending on my reaction, I’ll then be able to decide if I need to buy all of her books immediately. Six of Crows will surely find a way to my shelves one day and the Grisha paperback covers are too tempting.


Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.

I love how many incredible female SFF authors there are! Who are some of your favorite SFF writers?? Share in the comments!

April Snow Showers?? :TBB Asks Spring Edition

 The Blended Blog’s TBB Asks series is always a fun way for me to jump into a new season. And I need a lot of motivation this spring, between the final month of the spring semester and the fact that it’s still snowing in April!! I had two snow days last week and I’m quite ready for this winter weather to be over. I already packed away my Uggs, guys!

 What 3 colors remind you most of spring?

Easter probably has something to do with it, but I’m really reminded of pastels, especially pink, yellow, and blue.

What is the first thing you add to your wardrobe in spring?

Overall in spring, I go for lighter and less bulky outfits, but this year I’ve broken out my sneakers! Sneakers, especially Nike and Adidas, have really been on trend this year outside of the workout world. On Easter, I added these pink Adidas to my wardrobe and they’ve become my go-to shoes.


What is the first wardrobe item you ditch in the spring?

Uggs! I spent some time last weekend putting my Uggs away, and while my moccasins and Tasmans are among my all-time favorite shoes, I’m more than happy to put them away in hope of warmer weather.

Who mows the grass where you live?

My dad 🙂

What’s spring like where you live?

I always joke around that we really don’t get a full spring where I live (see mention of two snow days above). We spend the beginning of the season still in winter practically and then jump into summer-like days. By May, we typically hit sixty degrees Fahrenheit or above, but some days can be quite chilly or pure indicators of summer.

What’s your favorite thing about spring?

More daylight! It’s perfect for getting to go for runs after class and I love being able to read using daylight for as long as possible.

Are you a baseball fan?

Yes! I love the New York Yankees, and it was fun to watch a few games over Easter weekend and I love being able to flip a game on while tidying up or doing homework.


Tulips or Daffodils?


Favorite spring activity?

Getting to exercise outside without having to wear at least three layers.

Flowers in the ground or pot?

My mom and I love setting up potted plants and flowers all over our deck.

Car Wash or wash vehicles at home?

Car Wash for the first wash of the season, then wash at home.

When do you pull out your sandals?

The first sixty degree day! And as long as I have a pedicure 😉


Are you a spring person? Share in the comments?

My Experience Seeing Carousel

If there’s one thing that I’m super appreciative of thus far in my college experience, it’s how many Broadway shows I’ve been able to see (which obviously surpass the quality education I’m getting and all of the incredible opportunities that have come with that). During my first two years as a college student, I’ve seen 5 Broadway shows! While Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen were generously given to me as gifts from my parents, I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof and Waitress through my school, along with my recent show, Carousel.

If there’s one thing I’m super appreciative about seeing Carousel, it’s that I finally remember how to spell ‘carousel’ (that ‘u’ can really throw you, okay me, off). All jokes aside, I was really excited to Carousel for a few reasons:

  1. It’s considered a classic Broadway show, so let’s hear it for improving my Broadway education
  2. It was a preview! Carousel officially opens on April 12th, so this was my first ever Broadway preview. I don’t think it affected my experience too much, but at the end of Act 1, a few of the people from my group realized that they didn’t perform “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” (reprise).
  3. Jessie Mueller plays Julie Jordan! I love Jessie Mueller in Waitress– I listen to that soundtrack on the daily- so I was beyond excited to see her perform in this show. And yes, her voice and performance was amazing as always.

My best friend came to the show with me, and we had a great time hanging out outside of the school environment (especially because we are both currently stressing out far too much over this semester and classes for next year). We grabbed dinner at my favorite Irish pub beforehand- apologies for no photos of dinner, but we were in bit of a rush. We got to the Imperial Theatre twenty minutes before the show started, and while the line was a bit long, it moved quickly and we had some fun taking photos outside the theater. Since the show is still in previews, no pictures were allowed inside, but I managed to get sneaky shot of my playbill with my brand new bag (the star of many of my photos recently).


I knew next to nothing about Carousel going in, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit surprised to realize that the show’s title doesn’t have much to do with the plot, but I’m sure you could find some connections other than one of the main characters, Billy, working at the town’s carousel. Joshua Henry played Billy Bigelow and it was fun getting to see him perform, since he’s been in a few runs of Hamilton. Carousel follows a young couple, Billy and Julie, who are both unemployed, putting a strain on their marriage. Billy and Julie look to their friends and family in their small town in Maine for advice and help.

carouseloutsideCarousel features a lot of choreography and for someone who’s not used to heavily choreographed shows, other than Hamilton, it took me a bit to adjust to dancing over dialogue. While I wish there a bit more dialogue, all of the dances were amazing, especially Ballet performed by Louise in Act 2. Her dance didn’t need dialogue to convey her emotion. I really enjoyed Jessie as Julie and Joshua as Billy, but I wish we got to see them together a bit more. My best friend and I agreed that Lindsay Mendez, who performed as Carrie Pipperidge, stole the show for us! Her humor always had the audience laughing. My favorite number was its last, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (reprise). I’m excited to see the original cast recording hopefully come out soon.

Carousel was darker than I expected, but I think it added a bit more suspense to the show, and I would’ve never guessed its plot direction during the second half of Act 2. One of my favorite parts of the show was the various sets—my friend and I still can’t figure out how they made it look like people were really jumping into the ocean—and I think my favorite scene design-wise was for the backdoor. I loved the use of stars and how the dancers made up the gate/door.

Overall, I enjoyed Carousel a lot and I’m excited to see how it does at the Tony Awards in June. I’m hoping the show will get nominated for a few awards, since I think this is the only show I’ll be seeing this season.

Have you seen Carousel or any of its other adaptations? What Broadway shows have you seen? Share in the comments!

Review: The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Summary: Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage.  After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as “the end of the world.”

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life’s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it’s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

Nina George’s The Little French Bistro reminded me of some of Jenny Colgan’s work, who is one of my favorite adult contemporary/British contemporary authors. Jenny Colgan’s books, such as Meet Me in the Cupcake Café and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, and The Little French Bistro all feature protagonists who are looking for a fresh start in life. However, George’s The Little French Bistro features an older protagonist named Marianne. Marianne and her husband, Lothar, have traveled from Germany to France to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary. As romantic and glamorous as a trip for two to Paris may sound, Marianne is extremely unhappy with her marriage and the way her life turned out. Also taking a much darker route, Marianne attempts to commit suicide in the Seine River. I was taken a back a bit from the novel’s darker themes, as Marianne contemplates suicide a few more times in the novel as she lives in Brittany.

George provides an interesting juxtaposition between Marianne’s happiness with her new life and her anger over the past, but I feel that her wish for her life to end didn’t fit in with later themes. I also had trouble connecting with George’s writing style, which may explain my confusion over Marianne’s desires. I didn’t enjoy the sudden instances of French or Bruton folklore, and I found it a bit confusing when French was incorporated (coming from a reader who’s only studied Italian and didn’t remember a drop of it). I read a translated edition of The Little French Bistro, so perhaps some of George’s language and techniques were lost in translation.

However, I did enjoy The Little French Bistro for it’s seaside village of Brittany. Most of the novels I’ve read that take place in France center around Paris, so it was fun to explore a new setting. There is quite an eccentric cast of characters, and while I had some trouble keeping track them, it was really sweet to see them become close to Marianne. I also liked getting multiple third person close POVs.

Overall, The Little French Bistro wasn’t my cup of tea, but I think older readers or readers who have gone through similar struggles like Marianne can relate to the novel more. The Little French Bistro seems to be much-loved and read novel, so I’m glad it’s now part of my read pile.

I received The Little French Bistro from Blogging for Books for this review.

Have you read The Little French Bistro? Share in the comments!

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Jokesters

Today’s Top Five Wednesday is all about our favorite jokesters or funny characters. The five characters below may or may not be considered, but they’ve become memorable characters for me for their humor and smart remarks (some which are featured below).

Jesper from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – GIVE ME ALL OF THE ARTWORK AND PILLOWS WITH THIS PLEASE:

” “Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.” ” 

Scott from We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen – I think Scott’s sense of humor could be hit or miss from some readers, but for me, Scott’s jokes  instantaneously cheered me and Cath up. We Are still Tornadoes is my most recent read that’s made me laugh out loud.

Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I hold many Fangirl quotes close to my heart, but one that instantly pops into mind is one of Levi’s gems:

” “Have you met Cather?” Levi said to Reagan, his face still shining with amusement. “She spits hot fire.” “

Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer Each character in the TLC gang has some sort of standout trait, and for Thorne, it’s his jokes in all the right and wrong moments.

Polly from Something Like Happy by Eva Woods Something Like Happy is one of those heart-breaking, yet heart-warming novels, and the latter feeling results from Polly’s quick remarks. I still have this one flagged in my copy:

” “She waved at him as he limped on, brows knit fiercely and shoulders pumping forward.

“Oh, I love you, Dr. McGrumpy! I definitely won’t look up your kilt if you collapse!”

Who are some of your favorite literary jokesters? Share in the comments!


March was my most successful reading month of 2018 thus far, having read 14 books. I don’t think I’ve ever read this many books during a school month -spring break is amazing for a reason, people- and I have to say that credit is due to some of the reading  I’ve done for my two English classes. I’m currently taking Contemporary American Lit: The Short Story Cycle and Graphic Novels, and for the first time in forever, I’ve actually enjoyed many of the books that I’ve been required to read?!

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know that I am not the biggest classics fan and a lot of my classics reading comes from the classroom. However, most of the books on both syllabuses were published within the past 5-10 years and are actually comprehendible! Today I’m going to be discussing three of those books, as well as one book that I’ve read on my own time.


Irmina by Barbara Yelin51vZHZqFsrL._SX375_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

My Rating: 4/5

Barbara Yelin’s Irmina is a graphic novel set in 1930s England, as German foreign student, Irmina, befriends Howard, a young Caribbean man attending Oxford University. The novel follows Irmina and Howard’s relationship and some of the harassment the two face in England, Howard being discriminated as a black man and Irmina being associated with the National Socialist part simply because she’s from Germany.

I enjoyed Irmina for its unique take on the World War II period and how it tracks Howard and Irmina’s relationship and lives as college students through adulthood. I loved how Barbara Yelin’s inspiration came from her grandmother’s own experiences during WWII, and I enjoyed talking about her use of color and full page spreads in class.

A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl

My Rating:2.5/5 Stars

A Psalm for Lost Girls was one of my most anticipated releases of spring 2017. I even treated myself by buying a copy as a “treat yo self” moment at the end of my freshman year (its deckled pages/edges were too tempting). The book surrounds the death of Tess da Costa, a seventeen year old girl who was considered to be a saint by her small town Massachusetts community. Her sister Tess is left to investigate Tess’s sainthood, a kidnapping that Tess may or may not have been connected to, and more importantly, prove to her town that her sister was more than just a saint; she was Callie’s best friend.

A Psalm for Lost Girls intrigued me for its saint and religious plot, but unfortunately I found myself disappointed by plot direction. Most of the time, I didn’t really understand exactly what Tess’s boyfriend, Danny, and Callie were investigating. I had trouble connecting to the writing style, and I couldn’t connect to Callie, who also acts as the main narrator.I didn’t understand her sympathy for the antagonist and I still don’t fully understand the big connection between him and Tess.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout51gPc+A5uvL.jpg

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Olive Kitteridge is my absolute favorite short story collection that I’ve read in my contemporary American literature class. The novel is a linked short story collection surrounding the title character’s small town in Maine. I loved how the characters were connected to each other, and it was fun to see Olive pop up in every story in a different fashion. My favorite stories include “The Piano Player,” “Security,” and “Winter Concert”. I’m looking forward to watching its mini series adaptation when my semester is over.

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

9781250164988_FC-550x779.jpgThe most recent graphic novel I’ve read for class, The Silence of Our Friends takes place in 1960s Texas, surrounding the civil rights movement. The book primarily follows two families, one white and one black, who connect through a protest at Texas State University. I think the book is a great tool to teach in a history class covering civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s and it felt so current. The edition I read from was just published this year, and its introduction connected the book to many events and discussions surrounding racism today.

One of the few things I didn’t enjoy about the graphic novel was its use of small text at times. However, I think these moments where the text within the speech bubbles was too small to read was done so on purpose and had no real significance to the plot.


What books have you enjoyed reading for school? Have you read any of the books above? Share in the comments!

Give Me More Spring Breaks: March 2018 Wrap Up

March is a lovely time for most college students here in the US because we get to embark on this lovely concept that is spring break. While some of my friends traveled to warmer climates, I had the best time staying home reading, eating food that didn’t come from my school’s dining hall, and catching up on some TV and movies. Yes, I did read 5 books over my spring break and yes I did quite a lot of reading for classes this month, but I still can’t wrap my head around how I read 14 books this month!?!


I have reviews already posted or coming to the blog (RTC) for many of the books below.

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | 3.5/5 Stars

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor (ARC) |4.5/5 Stars | RTC

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace | 4/5 Stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline | 4.5/5 Stars

American Panda by Gloria Chao | 4/5 Stars

I Hate Everyone But You by Allison Raskin & Gaby Dunn| 3.5/5 Stars

A Pslam for Lost Girls by Katie Bateryl | 3/5 Stars

Irmina by Barbara Yelin | 4/5 Stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang | 5/5 Stars | RTC

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen | 5/5 Stars | RTC

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #4) | 5/5 Stars | RTC

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long and Jim Demonakos | 4/5 Stars

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout | 4.5/5 Stars

The Little French Bistro by Nina George | 2.5/5 Stars | RTC



Book Reviews


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

I LOVE COLLEGE YA & HERE’S WHY: American Panda by Gloria Chao

The Librarian of Auschwitz Review & Recommendations

Amanda Lovelace & Cyrus Parker Event + the princess saves herself in this one

I’m Ready to Play More than the Wii: Ready Player One Review

The Fae Have Landed: Heir of Fire Reread Discussion

TV & Movies

Love, Fangirl Fury: Love, Simon Review

I Sense a New Favorite TV Show: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Discussion

I Like Words on Screen: What I Watched Winter 2018



Mystery Blogger Award Round 3

Monthly Recommendations: LET’S DISCUSS *EVERY* DUOLOGY I’VE READ

Top Five Wednesday: Most Anticipated 2018 Movies

Top Five Wednesday: Favorite Mentors

IT’S TIME TO BUY ANOTHER BOOK SHELF: Most Anticipated Spring 2018 Releases


Mona Lisa Smile and Mystic Pizza– Post spring break, I took advantage of the fact that it was not yet April (aka I wasn’t drowning in papers just yet) and found myself watching a few movies during the week. I’ve been in the mood to watch “older”/more classic films lately, so I watched Mona Lisa Smile and Mystic Pizza, both featuring Julia Roberts & both included on Amazon Prime. I adored Mystic Pizza for its relationships and humor (I may or many not be trying to plan a summer trip to Mystic, Connecticut), and I loved basically everything about Mona Lisa Smile, especially its message. I’ll definitely be revisiting both films in the future.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Seasons 1 & 2)– My Parks & Recreation heart had me craving a similar style of show, so I decided to start the much loved Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I have a discussion about the first season, linked above in the previous section, but just know that I am in love with this show and Jake Peralta, and I cant wait to continue on this summer.

Love, SimonLove, Simon met my expectations and more! The film based on Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of the best YA book-to-film adaptations out there, and I’m even more excited for Becky Albertalli’s latest book, Leaf on the Offbeat, to come out in April. I have a Love, Simon review post also linked above if you want more of my non-spoilery thoughts, including my fascination over Simon’s bedroom! MINI PSA TO ALSO CHECK OUT THE LOVE, SIMON SOUNDTRACK, YOUR EARS WILL THANK YOU!


Amanda Lovelace & Cyrus Parker Event- During my spring break, my best friends and I attend a launch event for Amanda Lovelace’s the witch doesn’t burn in this one and Cyrus Parker’s DROPKICKromance. The event included Amanda and Cyrus reading from their latest collections, a Q& A where the married couple talked about their love for Leigh Bardugo, and a signing. I also have a post about this event and my princess saves herself in this one review in that lovely What I Wrote section above.

Working on my bookstagram game- One of my blogging goals for 2018 is to create better quality photos and an overall aesthetic for my blog’s Instagram. My mom and I went to our local craft stores, where I picked up some props, like flowers and chalkboards. Taking bookstagram photo definitely isn’t easy as it seems and setting up photos does take some time, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve been fortunate enough to be using a Canon from my school’s art department lately and I will soon be transitioning back to my iPhone for photos.  Follow me on Instagram here!

Since I didn’t attend too many bookish events this month, I figured that I’d list some amazing bookish news that came out in March:

  • Grab your favorite pajamas and a plate of chocolate chip cookies! The film adaptation of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is coming to Netflix this summer!
  • The sequel to Marie Lu’s Warcross has a title and release date! Wildcard will be the second book in the Warcross duology, coming out on September 18th.
  • Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses is making its way to the big screen.
  • Little, Brown for Young Readers is publishing a YA novel based on Dear Evan Hansen, coming out on October 9.



What did you read or watch in March? Did you do anything bookish?? Share in the comments!