25 Fangirl Facts About Me

Across many book blogs, one of my favorite posts to read is 25 Bookish Facts About Me. I actually did two parts myself, Part 1 in June 2017 and Part 2 in July 2018. While reading is an integral aspect of my lifestyle, as you also probably know, I can get quite fangirlish about frankly anything. Today I’m going to be sharing 25 fangirl facts about me that aren’t necessarily book related.

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  1. I’ve only seen two movies twice in the theater, which were Catching Fire and Mockingjay-Part 1.
  2. I’d love to one day attend YALLFest, a YA book festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
  3. My all-time favorite episodes of Parks and Recreation include “Leslie and Ron”, “Moving Up”, “Flu Season 2”, “The Comeback Kid”, “Bus Tour”, “Ann and Chris”, and “London Parts 1 & 2”. So basically all of them.
  4. Right after Parks and Recreation, my all-time favorite TV show is Full House. I’d watch it in the morning on Nickelodeon before school, and I collected each season on DVD as they came out. After watching them so much, some of the DVDs definitely need to be replaced.
  5. My favorite season of Full House is Season 6. How could you not love Disney, prom, DJ and Steve, and a flight to New Zealand?
  6. I live in fear that Parks & Rec will be taken off Netflix and Amazon Prime.
  7. I’ve never gone to a movie by myself
  8. I’ll be forever grateful to my dad for being a real trooper and taking me to see The Prince Diaries 2 in theaters
  9. I dressed up as “You Belong With Me” Taylor Swift for Halloween in 2017tswiftj.jpg
  10. My favorite Disney princess is Ariel. The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite movies growing up.
  11. I still haven’t seen the new Annie. I feel like I’m cheating on the original, another one of my favorite childhood movies.
  12. Speaking of Annie, I’ve been to the location they used for Daddy Warbuck’s house and the outdoor space for the final scene in the film.
  13. I want to go to California for many reasons, but I’d love to go to San Francisco for the Full House house and street and the Redwood Forest to recreate Ben and Leslie’s scene.
  14. Before I discovered Booktube, I mostly just watched some of the main British Youtubers, Jenna Marbles and Nerdy Nummies
  15. I still follow some of the British Youtubers, but I really only stay up-to-date with Zoella and MoreZoella
  16. I’d also love to go to the Pacific Northwest to go to Funko Headquarters in Everett, Washington
  17. As a kid and early teen, I think I was more of a Nickelodeon fan than Disney Channel. My favorite nick shows included Drake & Josh, Zoey 101 and iCarly. I’ll still watch them on Teen Nick!
  18. I drove to four different stores to find Rolling Stone’s Ultimate Taylor Swift Guide. I really wanted for their ranking of her songs
  19. My first concert was Avril Lavigne and Gavin DeGraw
  20. If I could see the same band in concert again, it’d have to be Paramore
  21. My favorite TV shows of 2018 include Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Friday Night Lights and Dynasty
  22. As of November 2018, I’ve seen 7 Broadway shows: Mary Poppins, Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, Waitress, Dear Evan Hansen, Carousel, and The Band’s Visit 
  23. The book that I own the most copies of is Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On
  24. I am a firm believer that adult coloring books are amazing
  25. I love reality TV shows about weddings and big families. TLC anyone?

YA LIFE & MUSE OF NIGHTMARES: Morristown Book Festival

Books and bookish events ALWAYS go hand in hand.

On Saturday I attended the Morristown Book Festival with Emily from @emily_reads_everything. This year, the festival hosted a variety of authors, including some of my favorite YA authors.

After a quick bite to eat in Morristown (one can never go wrong with Panera macaroni and cheese), Emily and I made our way to the main square. The Morristown Book Festival is a bit smaller than some other well known festivals, like YALLFest, so there aren’t any publishers’ booths. It’s mostly composed of a few book-for-sale tents, food trucks, and hand-on activities for young kids. In the “YA Loft” of a local church, we caught the end of the Rebels, Romantics and Everything In Between Panel with Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, and Kass Morgan, where they were discussing how long it takes them to write a book.

Soon after, the YA Life As We Know It Panel began with Emily X.R. Pan, Ibi Zoboi, and Jennifer E. Smith. Everyone can guess that this contemporary reads girl was super excited for this panel, especially since Jennifer E. Smith is one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. I had also read all the books that these authors were promoting at the festival, including The Astonishing Color of After, Pride, and Windfall.

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Emily X.R. Pan, who was wearing the cutest dress with giraffes all over, kicked off the panel by discussing how color comes into play in The Astonishing Color of After. She said that her husband would associate her drafts with colors, one day saying that her story felt so orange! She also said that when she originally sold the book, it including an entire fantasy realm instead of the finished version’s touch of magical realism. When someone from the audience asked if Emily inserts herself into her characters, she comparing herself as horrocruxes in her characters.

Ibi Zoboi talked a lot about how she used the framework of Pride and Prejudice for her P&P remixing, Pride, but still made changes, such as Zuri’s first-person point of view. While discussing Windfall, Jennifer said that Leo was one of her all-time characters that she’s written. Ibi and Jennifer also both said that they like writing about characters who are in the transition stage between high school and college (hello Jennifer’s 2019 release that I NEED to get my hands on, Field Notes to Love). They laughed at how much they knew about today’s college application process from all the research they’ve done for their books!

The YA Life panel was then followed by a Fantastical Sequel panel featuring Laini Taylor and Muse of Nightmares, moderated by author Emmy Labourne. Since she didn’t want to give spoilers for both Strange the Dreamer and MoN, she described MoN as a story of reclaiming your identity and life after destruction. Laini said that Sarai has been a character that’s been with her for a while (even before writing Strange the Dreamer), but she felt that she needed to make the first installment Lazlo’s story. Emmy and the audience agreed that Lazlo was every fantasy bookworm’s crush, and Laini responded with the Strange quote, “His nose was broken by a falling volume of fairy tales his first day on the job, and that, they said, told you everything you needed to know about strange Lazlo Strange”.

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After the panel, there was an autographing session with Laini. This was my second time meeting Laini, who is seriously the most sweet and heartwarming author that I’ve ever met, and she signed my copy of Strange the Dreamer. Her and Emily discussed what an elilith looks like and even drew a quick sketch for Emily as an inspiration for a future tattoo. With my signed Strange the Dreamer and hot chocolate in my hand (it’s finally starting to feel like fall on the East Coast), that wrapped up our day at the Morristown Book Festival.

Have you attended any book festivals? If there’s one that I NEED to get to, it’s YALLFest! Have you met any of the above authors? Share in the comments!

FAVORITE BOOK & CUTE THINGS: August 2018 Owlcrate Unboxing

After years of swooning over Owlcrate unboxing videos, bookstagrams, and blog posts, this fangirl finally decided to get an Owlcrate of her own! I admit that I get nervous when it comes to book subscription services in case I’m not a fan of the book being included in that box. However, I know that Owlcrate includes both quality books and merchandise, and I have some of their merch from Book Con and Book Expo. For my birthday, I asked for the August 2018 box, Ruthless Royals. I was really intrigued by their social media hints for this box, especially since there was an exclusive Throne of Glass item and a never-before-seen item inspired by The Cruel Prince. I also wanted an exclusive edition of this month’s book, which I guessed correctly!

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Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart Exclusive Edition- Grace and Fury is one of my favorite books of 2018. I have an advance copy that I read and reviewed, and I knew that I wanted my own finished copy. I absolutely love the Owlcrate exclusive edition, which is signed by Tracy Banghart. The box also includes a note from the author and a bookmark.

The Belles Inspired Pocket Mirror (Catarina Book Designs)– I haven’t read The Belles yet, but I love the design on the mirror and know it will come in handy.

Throne of Glass Tea Towel (Little Inklings Design)– I’m a sucker for any Throne of Glass merch and I really like the quote. I have plans to turn the tea towel into a wall hanging.

Gemstone Ring (GeoCentral)- This was an unexpected item, but I really like this ring and I can see myself making it a statement piece in some of my outfits. Or a nice bookstagram prop. I really like how the ring’s color/pattern was unique to each box.

The Cruel Prince Inspired Book Tin (Stella Bookish Art)- Owlcrate hinted that The Cruel Prince inspired item was something that they’ve never done before, and I really like the uniqueness of the book tin. The artwork throughout is absolutely stunning! I think this will also make a great bookstagram prop and I might keep some bookish things in it for my dorm room. Or maybe for my love letters (can you tell I’m still on a To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before high??).

Villanious Queens Bookmarks (Craftedvan) –I can’t get over the adorableness that are these magnetic bookmarks, featuring the Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, and the Evil Queen.

Before She Ignites Artwork/Quote Card- I haven’t read the Before She Ignites series, but I like this quote and plan on hanging it up in my dorm with my photos.

As always, the box also included a Owlcrate pin, a Ruthless Royals guide, and a teaser for  next month’s theme, Masters of Disguise.

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Overall, I loved the Ruthless Royals box! My favorite items include the Throne of Glass tea towel, the magnetic bookmarks, and Grace and Fury. I’m not really interested in the Masters of Disguise theme, but I can definitely see myself ordering from Owlcrate again in the future.

Do you subscribe to Owlcrate? Did you get the Ruthless Royals box? Share in the comments!

Attending the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Advance Screening

On Tuesday night, I attended my first advance screening for my most anticipated movie EVER of the year: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I was beyond excited for the opportunity to attend an advance screening for one of my favorite books of all-time. This experience was also pretty special since To All the Boys I’ve Loved is a Netflix original, so now I can say that I’ve watched the film both on the big screen and small screen.

I went to the screening with my completely non-bookish, but movie-loving sister. Who else could have brought to a rom-com about sisterhood?? We got to the move theater in uptown New York City a little over an hour before the event’s official start time at 7 PM. I’ve heard that this is common with advance screenings, especially through gofobo, but we could not believe how long the line was when we got there! It had to be at least 50 people deep, so I’m thankful that we decided to go right to the theater instead of getting dinner beforehand.

My sister and I didn’t get into the theater until 7 PM. I really don’t know how many people were able to get in after us because by the time we made it in, the theater seemed pretty filled up. gofobo said that the theater was overbooked beforehand and seats were not guaranteed, so unfortunately I don’t know what happened to all the people behind us in line. Luckily, the actual movie tickets we got once inside already had assigned seats (we had perfect spots in the middle!) and we received free popcorn and drinks. Everyone also received their own Netflix-inspired swag bag, which included the movie tie-in edition of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (so glad I didn’t buy it!), a notebook, a pencil, and bookmark.

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While my full review will be coming on Monday (this fangirl needs to watch the movie 2 or 40 more times), I will say now that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before completely met my expectations and more. While a few minor details were changed, I was so happy with how much the film felt like the book! It had all the warm feels, the Covey-Song sisters bond, and PLENTY of laugh-out-loud moments from Kitty.

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After the film ended, there was a Q&A featuring Jenny Han, Lana Condor (who plays Lara Jean), and Susan Johnson, the director of the film. The Q&A was on the shorter side, but it was so cool getting to hear from these awesome ladies. A few things that they revealed were: Jenny wrote love letters and kept them in a hatbox too, Lana couldn’t believe how long her hair was in the movie until watching the film, and Susan hopes for more romantic comedies. By the end, the audience was cheering for 2 more sequels -hopefully the Netflix executive in the room heard!

The Q&A was then followed by a signing with Jenny. I got the movie tie-in edition and my own copy of P.S. I Still Love You signed- now all of my Jenny Han books are signed!! I’m also so proud that said non-bookish sister also attended her very first book signing and got her copy signed! Even though she made me spoil the endings of the books for her on the way home.

Overall, I am so grateful for my experience at the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before advance screening. This movie is easily my favorite of the year, so make sure to watch it on Netflix now!

Have you watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before yet? What did you think?? Share in the comments!!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Inspired Baking

As you may know, Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of my all-time favorite books and series. AND IT’S BEEN TURNED INTO A NETFLIX FILM THAT COMES OUT ON AUGUST 17TH! In preparation for the movie, I of course had to at least reread To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. And P.S. I Still Love You. And my Always and Forever, Lara Jean reread is still yet to come, but IT WILL. While rereading, I found so many new favorites quotes, many expectedly coming from Kitty, but I was really into all of Lara Jean and company’s baking. Since one of the Song sisters’ most beloved Christmas traditions is their Christmas Cookie Bonanza, it only seems fair to make it all about cookies! I’ll be sharing with you three cookie recipes inspired by To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

One of Lara Jean’s goals in the trilogy’s final book, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, is to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. The recipe below is my family’s go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookie bars, which is the perfect on-the-go snack or companion for some late night reading. Plus it’s easier to lose track of how many bars you eat vs. cookies! This recipe can also be used to make regular chocolate chip cookies.

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Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are Lara Jean’s key for getting Kitty on her good side. While I do make 100% homemade Snickerdoodles from time to time, I find that my family likes Snickerdoodles made from yellow cake mix best!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

I will forever be a Peter K. girl, but Josh’s favorite cookies sound too good to pass up! This recipe is taken directly from the US paperback edition of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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How excited are you for To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to hit Netflix? What are your favorite cookies? Share in the comments!

How to Read in the Pool

In many of my blog posts this summer, I’ve mentioned how I’ve been doing a lot of reading by the pool. Don’t worry, this beach girl has been to the shore plenty of times this season. But between my internship and work schedules, family, some really fun events, and LIFE, I’ve found wanted to relax at home near the books and pool a bit more.

And when often when I say reading by the pool, I really mean reading in the pool. I consider myself to be many things: reader, fangirl, sister, Pawnee goddess, and QUEEN OF POOL READING. One of my best bookish friends IRL thinks I’m crazy for getting my books near the water, but I do some of my best reading while floating around. I think it’s mostly comes from the fact that I’m multi-tasking (girl has to get her summer tan somehow!) and don’t have my phone or laptop within reach. Sorry, but how to blog in the pool won’t be coming from me anytime soon.

Today I’m going to be teaching you how to read in the pool without getting your book wet. Okay, maybe how to avoid minimal damage because there are plenty of moments where I have to duck under water in fear of being stung by a bee.

What You Need:

  • A Pool. I feel like reading could also work in a hot tub without all the bubbles or a river/lake? Where it won’t work: the ocean or any setting that involves waves or splashing and not being able to maintain balance
  • Swimming attire. I’ve found most of my bathing suits at Old Navy and Kohls, and a ton of my friends recommend Target
  • A raft or tube/floatie. I personally like reading on a raft so I can easily tan on my back or stomach. If it’s a strong sun day, I like to sit in a floating chair that keeps you half in the water and cool.
  • 1-2 beach towels
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Hat (optional)

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Reading tan lines are a thing, trust me.

Directions

Step 1. Have your raft near the entry point of your pool. For me, this is by the ladder.

Step 2. Place your book and towel(s) in a place where you can easily reach them from in the pool and on the raft. I usually keep my book wrapped in one of the towels on top of the ladder or on the ledge.

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Step 3. Get on the raft. Try not to get too much water on it, especially if you plan on reading on your stomach (further instructions for backside reading ahead). Make sure the raft stays near to where your books and towels are.

Step 4. Odds are you and the raft did get wet while getting aboard. Take one of the towels and dry off your hands. If you plan on reading on your stomach, try and wipe as much water off at the head of the raft. I recommend bringing two towels for this process because the towel is most likely going to get soaked (especially if you drop it right in the water like I often do…).

Step 5. Book time! Grab your book and get reading! If you are reading on your stomach, I recommend taking one of your towels, laying it across the head of your raft, and laying your book on the towel. The corner of the towel will likely get wet, depending on the size of your draft, but the book should stay safe! I recommend also wearing a hat and/or sunglasses. Sunlight + paper= brightness.

For flipping while reading

So your back is starting to feel a bit red? If only they made sunscreen that lasts long enough for marathon reading! Whether you’re flipping from your stomach to back or vice-versa, these steps should hopefully make for keeping your book safe as possible. Unless you have zero balance like yours truly.

Step 1. Get your book to a safe and dry place, preferably where you first had it at your entry point. If you were reading on your stomach, move your towel also.

Step 2. FLIP WITHOUT FLOPPING INTO THE WATER LIKE YOURS TRULY. If you anticipate falling into the water, make sure your book is a splash-free zone

Step 3. Repeat steps 4 & 5 from above.

Fangirl Fury is not responsible for any damage to your while reading in the water. Enter with your fictional BFFs at your own risk.

Do you read in the pool? Any tips? Share in the comments!

IT WAS EPIC: My Experience at Epic Reads Day

On Friday, I attended a pretty epic (the epic jokes will should stop eventually) book event, the first ever Epic Reads Day. Epic Reads, HarperCollin’s YA community, opened up their offices for us readers for a day filled with panels, authors, and books. As I’m sure you’ll discover as I continue, I’m so thankful I got to attend this event, especially since it sold out not even a day after I bought my ticket.

Rimg_6091.jpgegistration started at 10 AM, where you were welcomed with your very own *book shimmy* t-shirt and you could sign up to participate in one of Epic Read’s video. After, you were directed into their conference room, where most of the day’s events would take place, with a bag filled with books and bookish goodies at your seat. The books inside the bag (or at least mine) were: Seawitch by Sarah Henning (a finished copy which didn’t even come out yet), American Street and Pride (ARC) by Ibi Zoboi Three Dark Crowns and Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, and AN ARC OF BECKY AND ADAM’S WHAT IF IT’S US! I didn’t manage to get What If It’s Us at Book Expo and Book Con, so I thanked all the book shimmy gods once I saw it in my bag. The bag also included an Epic Reads pop socket, book nerd question cards, and pins for Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and On the Come Up.

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The day kicked off with a welcome session from Team Epic Reads. They talked about some of their most anticipated releases, including one of my own, When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen. The Luxe and the Bright Young Things series were some of my first YA books and I loved them so much, so you better believe I am more than ready for When We Caught Fire. After some bookish questions from the audience (I said that Second Chance Summer was an ugly-cry worthy read) , the first author discussion began between Ibi Zoboi and her editor, Alessandra Balzer. While I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, I am so excited to jump into Pride, and it was fun hearing Ibi talk about her writing process and the book itself. We then moved on to lunch, but before I ate, I participated in an Epic Reads video. I chose to do a book talk, where I was asked to talk about my favorite book and why I love reading YA. While waiting to film, Jane, the Team Epic Reads member who talked about When We Caught Fire, showed me a copy of The Luxe with its new cover design. I’ll give you some insider info and say that I talked about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in my video. Did anyone really expect anything else?

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After lunch, two members of Team Epic Reads who work in the design department walked us through their cover-making process. We got a behind-the-scenes look of the covers of Pride and Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’. It was cool to see how much 3D-design work went into Pride and how MANY (amazing) cover designs there were for Dumplin’. We then moved on to our next author discussion with Kendare Blake and BookTuber Emma Giordano. All three authors discussions were filled with laughter, but Kendare Blake is easily one of the most funny, sassy authors I’ve ever met. She often referred to her morbid sense of things, but it was so funny to hear the stories behind her research and honestly daily happenings! One of my best bookish friends IRL has begged me to read Three Dark Crowns and after hearing Kendare speak, I need to immediately! During the Q&A, I asked her about her favorite YA fantasies, which included The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke and Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. Emma and Kendare then moved on to a game of Rip It or Ship It.

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Rip It or Ship it was followed by a quick break featuring Dō cookie dough and a panel from Team Epic Reads about their experiences in publishing. It was really awesome to hear how they each got their start, and they gave out great advice about how to get into the publishing industry. Their panel then led to the last author discussion of the day featuring Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Like Kendare Blake, Becky and Adam’s discussion was filled with humor and it was really fun to hear about their process of writing a book together. Everyone was cracking up throughout, from Becky talking about stepping on Nick Robinson’s toe when she first met him to Adam saying that Becky has written 3.5 books during their BFF Challenge.

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The day ended with a signing from all four authors, and after the signing, it was time to book shimmy home. Overall, Epic Reads Day was such a great day and it was one of the smoothest book events I’ve ever attended. I hope Epic Reads continues to hold this event.

Did you attend Epic Reads Day? What are some of your favorite Epic Reads books? Share in the comments!