My Harry Potter Story

Blame it on the holiday season for making me crave Hogwarts and butterbeer. Like many readers, I crave cozy reads during Christmas time, and Harry Potter happens be one of the most atmospheric choices. Since 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, today I’m going to be talking about my experience with the Harry Potter series and franchise.

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I was not the biggest Potterhead growing up. Looking back, this sort’ve surprises me, considering that it was my mom who first fell in love with the series and made sure to get each book upon their respective release. This is a HUGE deal for my mom, who is not only an avid reader, but an avid library user (AKA she rarely buys books). One of my best friends is also a huge fan of the series—she reread it at least thirteen times- and I was a bit envious of her Hermione Halloween costume one year. It came with a wand- I think this was before Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and having a wand wasn’t that common. 

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My The Hunger Games Story

If you’ve been around Fangirl Fury for a while, you’ll know that I love what I consider to be “throwback YA.”Aka, YA books that typically came out before 2013 and those that personally, I read while I was in middle school and in my early teen years. One of the series middle school me and the entire world was obsessed with? The Hunger Games. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary since The Hunger Games was published and three years since the final film, Mockingjay-Part 2 came out.

In anticipation for the first film adaptation, I read THG trilogy in 2012 when I was in the eighth grade. I remember a few of my fellow nerdy friends freaking out about it, and me being me, I had to see what the hype was about. And give myself an excuse to see a new movie starring Liam Hemsworth, my middle school celeb crush courtesy of The Last Song. Needlessly to say, the hype was worth it and I absolutely fell in love with THG. At the time, I was not the biggest dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy/anything that was basically NOT contemporary read, but THG encouraged me to pick up new genres. In my opinion, THG also additionally opened doors to the dystopian genre in YA—sometimes I wish I could say I was a THG hipster and started reading this series in 2008.

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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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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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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!