Monday, April 14, 2014

Another Liebster!

Thank you, Laure! :)

Laure's Questions

1. Fiction authors: How do you use your blog?

All sorts of ways. I write book review, I blog about writing, I do memes, I share tidbits about what's going on in my life. I blog about everything you can imagine, and then some.


2. Do you have a master plan for accumulating hundreds of thousands of fans?

Not really. Just by networking naturally, I pick up readers and find a few gems myself. There's no grand plan involved, just doing what I love best.


3. What is the easiest part of writing for you?

The first draft, by far! Creating characters and whole new worlds is my favorite part. The very beginnings of the story is the most exciting for me. There are hundreds of pages just waiting to be written, and I get to decide what goes on them. It's amazing.

4. What is the hardest part?

Editing. :P My books are all little parts of myself, and it pains me to cut and change all my hard work, however necessary.

5. How much are you bothered by typos or misplaced words in other people’s stories?

We're all human, and humans make mistakes sometimes. I don't gasp and point fingers and tut at every extra letter or missing apostrophe. I do get annoyed, though, when I try to read a blog post or article about something I'm genuinely interested in, and instead of relaxing and letting my eyes roll over the words, I have to decipher the meaning of everything the writer says. I'm trying to read a blog post, not crack a code! And by now, everyone should know the difference between its/it's, their/they're/there, and your/you're. Those drive me crazy.


6. What is the best technique you’ve found for hunting down such problems in your own manuscripts?

I try not to do everything at once. When I start editing, I do a quick spell check, then work slowly, chapter by chapter. My critique partners are great at catching misplaced commas and semicolons, and my mom never hesitates to point out mistakes she catches! I always appreciate it when someone tells me I've misspelled a word or forgot a period.

7. Do you fully form your characters before beginning a story?

It depends on the story. Sometimes all I have is a name, and other times I know exactly what happened during her seventh birthday party. But I've never once created a character that I've completely stuck with throughout the entire story. I always end up changing at least one thing about my characters, even minor things.

8. If so, does the story ever end up needing those characters to be majorly different?

Again, it all depends on the story. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

9. How do you generally perk up a bit that has turned out kind of boring?

Through editing. I never try to change boring bits or parts that don't make sense in the first draft. I always focus on pushing past it until I do revisions. Usually I end up cutting boring bits all together, or adding a bit of dialogue. I struggle with description, so sometimes when I try to make an effort, I end up over explaining and boring myself.

10. Describe yourself in three words.

Bookish, empathetic, kind.

My Questions

1. Fantasy or sci-fi?
2. Male or female protagonists?
3. Epic adventures or simple, small-town life? (This can apply to books and real life.)
4. What book would somebody have to pay you to read?
5. What book have you reread the most?
6. Do you buy used books? Why or why not?
7. What genre would be wildly out of your comfort zone to write/read?
8. First drafts or edits?

9. What is your biggest source of inspiration?
10. Do you write stories based on real life experiences? Why or why not?

Nominees 

At this point, I've lost track of who I've already nominated and who I haven't. Anyone who would like to participate, jump in! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Bohemian Rhapsody Stuffed Animal Music Video"

My brother Maxim, my friends Rich and Brennan, and I all worked together for a total of four and a half hours to create this music video. It stars our stuffed animals, who danced and acted to the lyrics of "Bohemian Rhapsody." Enjoy! :)


Monday, April 7, 2014

Winner of the Fauxpocalypse Giveaway

And the winner of the Fauxpocalypse giveaway is . . .

Robyn LaRue! :)

Congrats, Robyn! I've just sent you an e-mail. Thank you for entering, everyone!

Be sure to check out my post below!

Royalties

I got my first round of royalties a few days ago from Fauxpocalypse! :) It was so cool to see the PayPal e-mail and to know that the reason I was getting it was because of an actual book my story was published in. All of the authors from the anthology have been pretty excited. I still can't believe that exactly one year ago today, my mom sent me an e-mail with only one thing in it: this link. The subject? "Interesting website that might interest you."

So glad it did!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Markram Battles: Omens of Doom (a Book Review) Plus an Interview With the Author!

Markram Battles: Omens of Doom by M.C. Muhlenkamp


Pages: 67

Earth is no longer Earth. The Markram Empire has transformed its once colorful cities into conglomerates of white concrete and glass where combatant divisions continue to thrive amid the eager demands of a bloodthirsty society.
 
Thirteen has already chosen to fight for her freedom as a warfare entertainer. But the fight for her survival is just beginning. Her unmistakable connection with her Unit Leader spawns their biggest challenge yet. Seven cannot control her, nor does he want to. Their bond has become a weakness. A flaw. A frailty that could prove their ultimate undoing.


I think I loved this book even more than I liked the first one. While the first Markram Battles book felt like set up--which is good, because it gave me a chance to get a feel for the characters--this one felt like action. I understand Seven and Thirteen better now, I like them more, I feel for them when they hurt. Though sometimes I got the characters mixed up--especially since everyone is named after a number--there weren't too many to keep track of. I like it better when stories have a small cast of characters rather than large ones.

The length of each short story was perfect. They were short enough that I didn't feel overwhelmed and wanted to keep reading, but long enough to deliver a good story. Hall of Monsters was my favorite. There was a nice mix of action and description throughout all three stories, and the writing was lovely. This quote, for example, is one of my favorites:

"Most people picture hell as a fiery inferno of darkness. But they are wrong. Hell is white, white as snow. Spotless. Stark. Incandescent. A sandy cage of crystal glass where strangers come to gloat at the monsters they have created."
Seven's voice comes out flat. "You are not a monster."

"Are you sure about that? We kill for a living. Thrust our blades into the souls of our rivals only to satiate the blood thirst of a crowd that wouldn't enjoy watching more than to see us die."
He lets out a grunt, barely loud enough for me to hear. "We fight to live."
"We fight to survive. This is no way to live." I drop my head and look at the metal floor before me.
"What are you saying?"
For a second I don't think I am strong enough to answer, but when I open my mouth, my words come out in a whisper. "I'm saying that maybe this isn't worth it."
Seven leans closer. "I think we are worth it."
My eyes snap back up, tears pooling at the edges of my vision. "I think we are damned."

And the ending was perfect! The cliffhanger on the last story is one of the best cliffhangers I've seen in a long time. I can't wait for the sequel!



(Actual rating: 4.5)

Amazon
Goodreads

Meet the author:







M.C. (Melissa Carolina) Muhlenkamp was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She is a lifelong reader, food lover, and slightly obsessive writer who loves nothing better than to lose herself in the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. Whenever she isn't writing, you can find her on Pinterest, unleashing frustration on her vegetable garden, or most likely, chasing her kids around the house. She lives and writes in sunny California, but you can visit her online at www.mcmuhlenkamp.com.

Connect with M.C. Muhlenkamp

Twitter: @mcmuhlenkamp


Interview


1. Who or what inspired you to write?

I don't think I can pinpoint one specific event or person. Maybe it's because I can't remember a time when I didn't write something. Writing has always been there. Sharing my writing with others however, took place because I had to make a choice. I arrived at a point in my life where I knew I had to either do something with it, or just conform myself with writing and dreaming all by myself forever. I am not a conformist. Never have been. Never will be. So, I did the opposite. I plugged my nose and took the plunge. 

2. What are your top three favorite novels?

Really? Can you torture me any more with this question? Answering it has left me depressed and practically bleeding over a giant stack of books. I feel like a traitor just so you know. However, after much deliberation and personal struggle here are my top three.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

3. What is your favorite thing about writing? How about your least favorite?
My favorite thing is research. I love reading and I love reading with a purpose. Research is just an excuse to do just that. That's when the drafting part of a story comes alive in my head. Different aspects I have learned through research come to play and mingle with already existing ideas, and the result is pure magic. I get all giddy and excited and my creative wheels begin to spin. My least favorite thing is outlining. Some writers don't do it. I've found it indispensable, however tedious it may be. 

4. What inspired you to write Markram Battles?

A combination of things. I like to think of Markram Battles as a dream that went to play with the X-Men in ancient Rome. It merges three of my favorite interests into one project. Sleeping. X-Men. And history. It all started with Seven, one of the main characters. My dream with him was more like a nightmare, but it stuck with me enough to dig deeper. That led me to study the concept of the X gene, which is the mutant gene in X-Men, as a possible explanation for an evolved race of humans with supernatural powers. Ending with the speculation of gladiatorial games within that frame of work. Like I said, a dream that went to play with the X-Men in ancient Rome.

5. What is the hardest thing you've had to do in your writing?
I have to say editing. It is such a painful process, but, oh, so necessary. Slashing scenes, cutting sentences, digging deeper into subjects, killing characters all together is not fun. Especially when someone else is saying you have to do it. But the end product is always worth it.

6. What is your favorite writing snack/beverage?

Water. I can't write while I snack. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to take a break every once in a while and clear my head before diving in again.
7. What is the best way--in your opinion--to bust writer's block?
There is no secret formula. Just sit back down and continue typing. I know it hurts. I know you feel like your head will explode while your body remains glued in front of the computer dripping with blood. But there’s no way around it. You can take breaks, clear your mind with another project, spend the next few weeks or months reading while you procrastinate, and even spend hours trying all the little tricks and tips you read online, including that one about standing on your head while drinking a glass of water. But sooner or later you’ll have to come back. Sooner or later that same headache inducing feeling will come back, and you will just have to deal with it. Don’t think other things won’t help. I have certainly tried many things that have helped me spur a new wave of inspiration, but in the end the best thing for me has been to sit back down and continue typing.
8. What is the best piece of advice you could give to teen writers who want to get published?
Start now. Don't wait until later to get out there and explore. Share your writing, enter contests, meet other writers. Time's a waistin' when you already know what you love to do.

Lightning round!

Chocolate or peanut butter?

Chocolate

Cats or dogs?

Dogs. Cats don't like me.
First draft or edits?

Edits. They make all the hard work worth it

Melissa will be answering any questions you may have for her, so feel free to leave her a comment at the bottom of the post! :) Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Encyclopedia of Me - E



Eleanor & Park: After Harry Potter, this is my favorite book. It's so simple, but beautiful and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As Eleanor once said, "I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death." That's how I feel about this book!

The Ellie Sweet series: Every teenage writer trying to get published should read this series. It deals with things we all go through--querying agents, critique partners, editing, balancing writing along with your other priorities, etc. It's very addictive, too! I read both books in three days each.

Ed Sheeran: Not only is he an amazing lyricist, but he also raps, plays guitar, and did a duet with Taylor Swift. And he's only 23! Some of my favorite songs by him are, "Give Me Love," "I See Fire," and "Kiss Me."

Eggs: You can boil them, scramble them, fry them, put them in a sandwich, put them in a salad, make omelets with them, use them to bake cookies, and so, so much more. What's not to love?

"Enchanted," "Everything Has Changed," and "Eyes Open": Three of my favorite Taylor Swift songs. Handy that they all started with 'e.' ;) Also, the "Everything Has Changed" music video is one of my favorite music videos.

Europe: I definitely want to visit Europe someday. Places to visit include England, Portugal, France, Italy, and Greece.

Eccleston, Christopher: The first Doctor from "Doctor Who" I was introduced to. :) I was convinced that he was going to be my favorite--because how in the world could I like any Doctor more?--but then David Tennant came along and changed my mind pretty quickly. But "The Parting of the Ways" and "Father's Day" are still some of my favorite episodes.

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Wrap-Up

Books I Read

Attachements by Rainbow Rowell

4.5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes dual perspectives, interesting layouts (half of this book is told through e-mail), simple stories, and romance.

Divergent by Veronica Roth  (a reread)

5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes dystopian, action-filled books, and The Hunger Games.


City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and a good, long series.

Markram Battles: Genesis of an Uprising (Part 1) by M.C. Muhlenkamp (a reread)

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes short stories, dystopian, and The Hunger Games.

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keen

2.5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes simple stories, quick and easy reads, and mysteries.

Movies I Watched

"The Goonies"

3.5/5

Recommended to anyone who anyone who likes the eighties, simple and goofy movies, and a light-hearted story.

"The Fellowship of the Ring"

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes high fantasy, lots of action, and a series of movies to get invested in.

"The Two Towers"

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes high fantasy, lots of action, and a series of movies to get invested in.

"Divergent"

5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes dystopian, action-filled movies, and The Hunger Games.

Quotes I Wrote

(I wrote a lot this past month--at least 100 pages--so there are more quotes than usual.)

“I don’t ask stupid questions,” I say, my voice full of fire and ice all at the same time, burning and freezing, and dead dangerous.
“No, I don’t suppose you do. You may be a lot of things, Raven, but foolish isn’t one of them. Emotional, easily manipulated, but you aren’t stupid.”
--Flightless Birds

He is insane. Out of his mind. He is a deranged, crazed, unhinged, psychopathic lunatic with too much power and a mouth full of lies.
--Flightless Birds

“I’m not injured,” I say.
“Raven, you were shot.”
I wave my hand in the air dismissively. “Like a week ago. I’m fine now.”
--Flightless Birds

"It’d break my heart to find out he died in Chicago because I was stuck here, safe in a tent full of bullet holes, waiting for a miracle."
--Flightless Birds

I lean forward, trying to make myself look as stern and as fierce as possible. “We need to go.”
“I’m not going through this again.”
“Too bad. I’m going, whether you like it or not. You can either come with me or stay here, but that doesn’t change the fact that I will rip this world apart if it means I can save them.”
--Flightless Birds

Obsessions I Acquired

THIS song. (Thank you, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner for that!)

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I don't know how I didn't hear about this series sooner!

Picture of the Month

There are two this month!




"Doctor Who" companions as fairytale characters


How was your March?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Peek at My Writing Process

I've been tagged! :) Robyn LaRue invited me to participate in a blog hop and share a little bit about what my writing process is like. Thanks, Robyn!

As I mentioned in this post, each day for me is different. Some days I'll write five-thousand words, three blogs posts, tweet like crazy, comment on every post my blogging friends write, and answer all of my e-mails. And other days, I'm like this.

via We Write Together!
I wish I could say, "On a typical day, I usually do xyz." But there's no such thing as a typical day for me. I would love to be able to do this every day:

-Get up at 8:30-9 (when everybody else in the house is usually still asleep)
-Get dressed
-Write 1,000 words before breakfast
-Have breakfast
-Write another thousand words

But in reality, my morning goes a little something like this:

-Turn off alarm clock
-Yawn and think, Just five more minutes. I won't even close my eyes . . .
-Wake up half an hour later
-Tiptoe downstairs with my pajamas still on, because if I take the time to shower and get dressed now, I won't have any time to write before my mom and brother wake up
-"Quickly" check my e-mail, Feedly, and Twitter
-Glance at the clock: "It's that time already?!"
-Eat something for breakfast before breakfast turns into lunch
-Write two hundred words before my mom and brother wake up and the dog needs to go outside and oh wait I forgot to clean that up and hey can you help me out real quick and did you all have breakfast yet and we should probably get ready for the day and--

Okay, that doesn't happen all the time. Most of the time, it's somewhere in between. For example, this is what happened this morning:

-Wake up at eight
-Shower
-Go back to bed for another half hour
-Sit down at the computer at nine
-Check e-mail, Feedly, and Twitter (which doesn't last more than ten to fifteen minutes, this time)
-Write 1,000 words
-Write this blog post
-Have breakfast

So there you have it. A little peek at my writing process. I'm going to tag all of you, so anyone who wants to write about their writing process, jump right in! :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free Books!

Fauxpocalypse is free to download from Story Cartel for the next 21 days!

AND everyone who downloads and reviews it in the next four weeks will be entered into a raffle to win gift cards, books, or even e-readers.

I'm also giving away a paperback copy of Fauxpocalypse to one lucky winner. Check it out HERE. You still have 11 days to enter!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I, uh, well . . .

There is one question that most writers hate to answer.

"What sort of stuff do you write?"

That, and, "What do you like to read?"

The answer to both is, "EVERYTHING."

But we can't say say that, because the person asking us is probably looking for specifics. But then, as most of us do, we start to ramble.

"Well, I write a lot of fantasy, but sometimes I get tired of that, so I try to branch out by writing dystopian, sci-fi, romance, short stories, poems, horror, medieval fantasy, middle-grade, YA, picture books, fan-fiction--especially Harry Potter fan-fiction--non-fiction, historical fiction, contemporary, and any combination thereof. Oh, and I have a blog."

Then sometimes they ask what I blog about.

After I figured out that I was just substituting the answer, "EVERYTHING" for a longer version of the same exact response, I started coming up with shorter answers.

"I write a lot of fantasy. Mostly middle-grade. Kids are fun to write for."

Or

"I've been writing a lot of young adult contemporaries recently. I'm trying to branch out a little."

Or

"I've been experimenting with poetry. Our local library's annual poetry contest is coming up, and I really want to submit something great."

I have to stop myself from saying, "But that's not all I write! I also write [insert extremely long list here]."
Because how can I sum up what I do every day in just a few short sentences?!

Even questions like, "What have you been writing recently?" is hard to answer, because every day I write something different. Every. Day. Some days it's a blog post like this one, other times it's a chapter of my YA dystopian novel, and sometimes I edit my YA medieval fantasy novella. But I can't just say, "Hmm, mostly fantasy, though I write other stuff, too."

But after a long, long time of getting this question and not knowing what to say, I've finally come up with the perfect response.

"Do you want the long answer or the short answer?"

How about you? How do you answer these questions? Leave a comment!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Exciting News . . .

I just got my first job today!!! I am a "Soda Pourer" at the Renaissance Faire. :)

I was pretty nervous when I went in for my interview--especially since it was my first time being interviewed for anything like that--but it went really well! My interviewer was super nice and the whole thing lasted maybe five minutes. I pretty much got hired on the spot, filled out a ton of paperwork, and went home. I can't wait to get started!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fauxpocalypse Giveaway!

YES, I will be giving away one paperback copy of the Fauxpocalypse collection! :) All you need to do to enter is check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck!


Life on Earth is predicted to end on 15 July 2015. But the oncoming megatons of rock and ice break up shortly before impact. Now humanity must live in a world most believed would not exist. Across the planet, people are haunted by the future they did not fear, and even those who did not embrace death must face the consequences of others' decisions.

A collection of twelve stories about rebuilding hope.


Amazon
Goodreads


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This or That?

I've been tagged! :) Thanks for nominating me, MorningTime4!

Rules: Answer the questions given to you, give the people you nominate the same questions, nominate three people and let them know they've been tagged.


1. Summer or Winter?
 
Summer, for sure. I'd much rather be hot than cold. Plus, I love sunshine, and I feel like it's always dark in the winter, no matter what time it is.
     
2. Blue or Pink?
 
Blue. :)
 
3. Frozen or Brave?
 
Ooh, that's a tough one. I'm going to have to go with "Frozen," though I really like "Brave."
 
4. Art or Reading?
 
Reading. Definitely reading. I am a terrible artist, but I'm okay with that. Just don't touch my books.
 
5. Christmas or Birthday?
 
Another tough one! I'm going to say Christmas, though, because of the feeling that's in the air in those few weeks before.
 
6. Flip-flops or Boots?
 
Boots. I absolutely detest flip-flops. I can't stand the look, feel, or sound of them. Especially that weird peg thing in between your toes.

7. Roses or Daisies?
 
Daisies.
     
8. Cat or Dog?
 
Dogs! You may say I'm biased, but even if I didn't have a dog I'd pick them over cats. Dogs have so much more personality. Plus, I'm severely allergic to cats. Just petting one will make my eyes get puffy and close up.
       
9. Vanilla or Chocolate?
 
Chocolate trumps all!
 
10. Europe or Asia?
 
Probably Europe, though I love sushi.
 
11. Raspberries or Blackberries?
 
Blackberries.
 
12. Vintage or Modern?
 
Modern. I love my computers. :)

13. Pasta or Soup?
 
It depends on the kinds, but soup would probably win most of the time.
 
14. Elephant or Lion?
 
Elephants. :) They're so cute.

15. Long hair or Short hair?
 
Long hair.
 
16. Beach or Water park?
 
The beach, for sure!
 
I nominate . . .
 
 
Even if I didn't nominate you, feel free to jump in! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Won!

I just found out that I am one of the winners of my local library's poetry contest! :) My winning poem, "Dear Dr. King," is actually one I wrote last year in April as a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. Here it is.


Written on April 4th, 2013

Dear Dr. King,

45 years ago today,
You were shot and killed by James Earl Ray.

Sometimes I wonder if you hadn't died,
If you could've done more when you were alive.

Then sometimes I think that by being the martyr,
You helped to do more with things that are harder.

Did you know I walked on your bedroom floor?
That I touched your house,
The kitchen door?
Today you could have been 84.

Marching,
Leading,
And teaching what's right.
All of that ended with a bullet in flight.

Racists,
Bigots,
People filled with hate.
By the time we changed,
It was far too late.
For this never should have happened
To the human race.

How is it that we creatures
With brilliant minds
Could be so hateful
And so blind?
How is it that deep down we knew what was true,
But we would keep screaming terrible things
Until our faces turned blue?

Dear Dr. King,
I'm writing to say,
That I hoped while you lived
You lived every day.

Sincerely,
Kate

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fauxpocalypse Review

The Fauxpocalypse collection just got its first editorial review! It got five stars from Lee Ashford at "Readers' Favorites." Check it out HERE!

Friday, March 7, 2014

No One Else Can Have You (a Book Review)

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale


Released: January 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 389



The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard meets the cult-classic film Fargo in this gripping and darkly humorous murder mystery by debut author Kathleen Hale.
A quiet town like Friendship, Wisconsin, keeps most of its secrets buried . . . but when local teen Ruth Fried is found murdered in a cornfield, her best friend, Kippy Bushman, decides to uncover the truth and catch the killer. Since the police aren't much help, Kippy looks to her idol, journalist Diane Sawyer, for tips on how to conduct her investigation. But Kippy soon discovers, if you want to dig up the truth, your hands have to get a little dirty, don'tcha know.
In this riveting young adult novel, Kathleen Hale creates an intricately plotted murder mystery that will keep readers guessing, laughing, and cringing until the surprising final pages.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty good. Once I got into it, it kept my attention. I was hooked. The mystery was interesting, the plot was gripping, and the creepiness was perfect.  I couldn't put it down and blazed through the rest of the book in two days.

However, the writing wasn't the best and there was a ton of (in my opinion) unnecessary swearing. I don't care about swear words if they're used well (such as in Eleanor & Park), but this was every other word. I also couldn't stand the characters. I have a hard time liking a book if I don't like the main character. Otherwise who am I rooting for? The plot mostly made up for that, but I couldn't get past the fact that Kippy was boring and really embarrassing. Socially awkward is one thing, but I found myself cringing at nearly everything she said. She didn't always make the best decisions, which I'm usually okay with (hey, nobody's perfect), but she didn't learn from her mistakes. I didn't really like her dad, either. He treated her like she was seven, and even though he was doing the best he knew how, she treated him badly back. Ruth was a jerk, too. Kippy read her diary after she died, and Ruth was constantly insulting Kippy behind her back. The only character I really liked was Davey, and he wasn't in it a whole lot.

To sum up, terrible characters, but a good story overall. It's definitely worth the read if you're into creepy mysteries.


(Actual rating: 3.5)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Today is my mom's 40th birthday. My dad had the idea to surprise her with Happy Birthday blog posts that would publish all at the same time. So, Mommy, here is my list of 40 things I love about you:

1. Your thoughtfulness.
2. Your willingness to jump into anything.
3. Talking with you.
4. How you sing and dance like nobody's watching.
5. How you always put your family first.
6. Playing games with you.
7. Reading books with you.
8. How you make an effort to make everything nice for us.
9. Watching TV with you.
10. When you give us random hugs.
11. How you make everything fun.
12. How you're an open book.
13. How you make Maxim and me a part of big decisions.
14. That you talk to us openly.
15. That you treat Maxim and me like adults.
16. How you always know what to say.
17. That you ask for our opinions on things and really care about what we say.
18. That you always say, "I love you" before we go to bed.
19. That you worry about us like any mother would, but gives us our space when we need it.
20. You cook great food.
21. You're creative.
22. You're funny.
23. You're smart.
24. You like spending time with us.
25. That you always comment on our blogs.
26. You like the simple things in life.
27. That you always move over in bed when we have bad dreams.
28. That you miss us when we've only been gone for a few hours.
29. You get excited about the little things.
30. You create fun holiday traditions.
31. That you go all out to celebrate our birthdays.
32. That you take pictures of everything.
33. You get my quirky writing habits.
34. You get my quirky habits in general.
35. You're able to laugh at yourself.
36. You enjoy my friends, and my friends enjoy you.
37. How you're forty and still sleep with your teddy bear.
38. You take a genuine interest in our hobbies and try to understand them, no matter how complicated they may be.
39. That you save articles and funny pictures on your computer so you can show us later.
40. How much you love us.

I love you!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Wrap-Up

Books I Read

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and a good, long series.

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

3.5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes action-filled books, simple stories, and short reads.


The Giver by Lois Lowry (a reread)

4/5

You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who likes dystopian and books that make you think.

Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands by Susan Carol McCarthy

3.5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes a simple story, historical fiction, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

3.5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes non-fiction, autobiographies, and stories set in places besides America.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes urban fantasy, romance, and a good, long series.
Crossroads Poetry by Miriam Joy

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes poetry, quick and easy reads, and books that make you think.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (a reread)

5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes books that make you laugh, books that make you cry, character-driven stories, and romance.

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

3.5/5

You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who likes creepy stories, murder mysteries, and "fluffy" reads.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

DNF

I've tried for three months to get into this book, but I couldn't. I can see why people like it, though. I'm just not a huge sci-fi person.

Keesha's House by Helen Frost

4.5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes poetry, character-driven/simple stories, and fast reads.

Movies I Watched

"Silver Linings Playbook"

5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes to laugh, likes simple stories, and quirky characters.

"The Lego Movie"

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes parodies (this movie makes fun of a lot of iconic things, like Lord of the Rings and Batman), likes to laugh, and movies that appeal to all ages.

Quotes I Wrote

I bend down over what was once a campfire and run my fingers over the soot. My fingertips come away black and smelling like home.
--Flightless Birds

For a few seconds, I forget all about Liam and whether or not he's safe. Flynn's here, Mara's here, Toby's here, and I'm back with the Flock. Everything feels right, like broken pieces glued back together again.
--Flightless Birds

Obsessions I Acquired

The music from "Doctor Who." (Thank you, nevillegirl!) This one is a particular favorite of mine.

Making pixel art on Minecraft.

Any music by Lorde.

THIS song. I won't be able to hear it now without thinking about The Fault In Our Stars, since they used it for the trailer.

Picture of the Month



How was your February?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cast a Harry Potter Spell Tag

Stealing this from Layla, who proclaimed it "the best tag ever." This was super fun to write, and I invite you all to join in with me! :)

Reparo
Fixes damaged objects
A book that needs some serious fixing: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. The names were impossible to pronounce, the main character had no personality, and everything was confusing and unorganized.
Lumos
Creates a narrow beam of light
A book that deserves more attention: The Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill. It's the kind of series I'd shove into your hand. Every teenage writer who wants to get published should read it.

Nox
Counters the effects of Lumos
An overhyped book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm sorry, but after the 150 pages I read, I couldn't get through the rest. I was so, so bored. I'm sorry, but where was the plot? People keep saying how cool it is that it's narrated by Death, but half the time I forgot that Death was even narrating the story!

Accio
Summons an object from a significant distance
A book you’re anticipating: The Seeker by Stephenie Meyer, Compulsion by Martina Boone, and Landline by Rainbow Rowell. :)

Alohomora
Opens unlocked doors, unless bewitched
A book you want to be more open about: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I'm planning on reading it at some point so I can form valid opinions on the books, but every time I think about it, I groan a little. But my best friend loves them and I figured I should see what all the fuss is about.

Expecto Patronum
Conjures an incarnation of positive feelings
A book that made you cry, or at least want to: Allegiant by Veronica Roth caused me to fall into an incurable book hangover that lasted for three days. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (which I reread recently for my book club) make me cry for fifty-three pages straight (no lie--I counted). There's a circular spot on page 260 near the binding that's worn out because a tear landed there. Though there were many others (which you can read about HERE), those two take the cake.

Morsmordre
Conjures the Dark Mark
A book you wish to mark as one of your favorites: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Petrificus Totalus
Petrifies victim
A book you wish to keep forever: See above.

Riddikulus
Used against a boggart
A book with a deceiving synopsis: Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner. This part right here made me snort: "In the course of one year at San Paulo Junior High, these four lives will intersect in unique and hilarious ways." This book wasn't remotely funny, and the four main characters hardly crossed paths at all.

Lacarnum Inflamarae
Shoots fireballs
A book you wish to burn out of your mind completely: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I couldn't finish it. I hated it way too much to continue reading it. The characters were mean and catty and gross. I didn't care about any of them. I did read it when I was younger (11 or 12, I think), but looking back, I don't think I'd like it even now. I can't relate to any of them.

Wingardium Leviosa
Levitates objects
A book you wish to reread: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, to name a few. ;)

Avada Kedavra
Causes instant death
Worst book EVER: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander, Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner, and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
Stupefy
Puts victim in an unconscious state
A book with a chapter you couldn’t seem to get over: Besides the obvious ones I previously mentioned (Allegiant and The Fault In Our Stars) The epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is enough to make any loyal fan cry, simply because it's so perfect.


Confundo
Causes befuddlement or forgetfulness
A book that generally confused you: Going Bovine by Libba Bray. It was good, but totally bizarre. It's hard to even describe it.
Crucio
Inflicts unbearable pain
A book that was a pain to read: Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner. SHOOT ME NOW.


Episkey
Heals relatively minor injuries
A feel good book that you enjoyed: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Also, books like the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and the Calvin and Hobbes books by Bill Watterson are great books for those days when you need a cup of hot chocolate and a big hug.

Impedimenta
Impedes target’s progress
A book that kept you up all night reading: Well, all books keep me up late reading if they're good enough, but some that I've read recently that stand out in my mind are the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and Panic by Lauren Oliver.

Silencio
Immediate silencing
A book that left you speechless after you read it: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I finished it, reread the last page again (and again, and again, and again . . .), closed it, stared at the ocean (I finished it during our family's beach vacation last year), and kept thinking about it until we left. I tried and failed to get into several books soon after I finished reading it.

Legilimens
Allows you to delve into someone’s mind
A book with well-developed characters: All the characters in Rainbow Rowell's books are fantastic, especially considering that all of her books are written in the third person (which I know is hard to do). The characters from Harry Potter are wonderful, of course, but Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Wanda from The Host by Stephenie Meyer also go through significant changes through the books.

Levicorpus
A spell that turns you upside down
A book that changed your mind about a character from its prequel: Hmm . . . I liked Chase in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill, but after something happened in The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, I couldn't stand him. I only liked Isabelle okay in City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, but I really liked her after reading City of Glass. In Dungeon Crawlin' Fools (the first book in the Order of the Stick series--or OOTS--by Rich Burlew), I thought Haley was kind of a boring character, but you really start getting to know her in No Cure For the Paladin Blues. (I highly recommend the OOTS series if you're a D&D fan.)

Obliviate
Used to hide memories
A book with a story you can’t remember: Defiance by C.J. Redwin, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld. I read these books a long time ago.

Peskipiksi Pesternomi
Useless spell
A boring book that had absolutely no effect on you: Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner. *slams head on desk*

 

Reducto
Breaks through solid objects
A book that convinced you to reconsider a certain genre: I generally don't like hardcore sci-fi (with the exception of "Doctor Who," of course), but These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and Cinder by Marissa Meyer helped me to give it a second chance. I still can't get into Ender's Game, though.

Rictusempra
Tickling spell
A book that made you laugh: The OOTS books and The Fault In Our Stars are both incredibly hilarious. I've almost woken up my parents before because I was laughing so hard late at night.

Sectusempra
Offensive spell that violently wounds the target
A book that may have scarred you for life: Allegiant by Veronica Roth and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green have both caused me to cry hard until all I want to do is curl up under the covers and stay in bed all day.

Tarantallegra
Makes you dance uncontrollably
A series finale that made you feel giddy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. No explanation necessary.

Bombarda Maxima
Causes an explosion that breaks through obstacles
A book that made you explode with the feels: The Harry Potter series, Allegiant, The Fault In Our Stars, Eleanor & Park, the list goes on.

Finite Incantatem
Nullifies other spells
A book you thought you’d dislike, but ended up loving: The Host by Stephenie Meyer. If it weren't for my BFF, I would never have picked it up. I'm so glad I did!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pages

The pages are FINISHED! :) What do you think? Can you see them all right? All suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Design

I'm going to be making some changes around here over the next few days. So far I've only changed the header (do you like it?), but I'm planning to add tabs that I think will make the blog more organized.

Is there anything you feel is missing from here? Anything you'd like to see reorganized? (While I can't make any promises, I'll definitely take your ideas into consideration.) Don't hesitate to leave a comment with suggestions!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Top 14 Tear Jerkers

At first I was just going to make it about books, but then I kept remembering these movies and TV shows that made me cry just as much as all of these books did. So I split them up into two categories: Top seven books, and top seven movies/TV shows. I put them in order from the ones that made me sniffle to the ones that made me go through a whole package of tissues. They're mostly spoiler free, but I'll warn you before I give something away. Here they are.

Top 7 Books:

#7. Bridge to Terabithia

I'd heard this book was sad, but I never thought it'd be that sad. I definitely didn't see it coming with it being a kid's book and all. It's a very sweet story.






#6. Wonder

Is there anything that could make this book more spectacular? It makes you cry, it makes you laugh, and then it makes you cry some more. Guaranteed to make you feel good.



#5. Harry Potter 5-7

For those of you who have read the books, I don't think there's any need for explanation here.



#4. These Broken Stars

What happened in this book was completely unexpected. Never in a million years would I have thought it could be sad just based on the back of the book. Definitely have your tissues handy for this one.



#3. The Host

Ahhh, I can't even begin to tell you how much of a hangover I had after this one. The beginning's a little slow, but the payoff is worth it. I'm positive you'll get a little teary-eyed. (The movie has the same effect, too.)



#2. The Fault In Our Stars

This is one of those books that people disappear into their rooms for hours after they finish reading it. John Green is a genius. I can't wait for the movie.



#1. Allegiant

This series had the best ending of any dystopian trilogy I've ever read. Oh, you'll bawl like a baby and get a massive book hangover after reading it, but the ending is much more satisfying than, say, Mockingjay's ending. It's much more realistic and completely and totally fantastic.







Top 7 Movies/TV Shows:

#7. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

That scene in District 11 is enough to make anyone tear up. Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress.



#6. "Up"

Darn you, Pixar!



#5. "Saving Mr. Banks"

What? A movie about the making of "Marry Poppins" is sad? Um, yes. You've been warned.



#4. "The Help"

Gah, that scene at the end with the little girl banging on the window broke my heart. This is one of the few movies that is actually on par with the book.



#3. "Toy Story 3"

It's Pixar, so it's to be expected that you'll cry, but this was different. I'm very attached to my stuffed animals, so it really hit home. My mom forgot to bring her tissues when we went to see it. Big mistake.



#2. "Gilmore Girls: Bon Voyage"

One of the best series finales I've ever watched. I want to move to Stars Hollow.



#1. "Doctor Who: Doomsday"

Spoilers ahead!!!

I can't tell you how excited many of my blogging friends were when I said I was going to start watching "Doctor Who." After the tenth recommendation, I finally gave in and started watching. I wasn't sure what to think at first, and I didn't really believe that I could get as attached to these characters as everyone else was, but after the fourth episode or so, I was hooked. I absolutely loved the ninth Doctor and Rose and cried when he regenerated. I'd heard that David Tennant was a fan favorite, but I didn't think I would like him as much as Christopher Eccleston.

Well, it took me half a season, but the tenth Doctor grew on me. His chemistry with Rose that made me giggle right along with them had me worried for when Rose had to leave. I knew I was going to be a mess, but I wasn't nearly as prepared as I should've been.

The last twenty minutes of "Doomsday" had me bawling. I went through an entire package of tissues and it still wasn't enough. The scene where Rose and the Doctor had their faces pressed up against the wall made me lose it, almost as much as the beach scene. (I've got to tell you, I think "I'm burning up a sun just to say goodbye" might be the most romantic line I've ever heard on TV.) This episode is guaranteed to make you cry really, really hard (unless you're a Dalek, in which case you won't feel anything).



What are the saddest things you've read/watched? Leave a comment!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Fictional Life

I'm stealing this meme from Zoe at "Bookhi." Her blog is super fun, so be sure to check it out! :)

1.What fictional world would you live in?

Definitely the wizarding world. Definitely.

2. What fictional being would you be?


A witch. :) The good kind from Harry Potter, not the evil, warty kind.

3. What fictional animal/creature would you keep as a pet?

Ooh, that's tricky. I think I'd like an owl, because it's so much better than e-mail. But I'd also really like a pet unicorn, because how cool would that be?!

4. What fictional couple would be your Mom and Dad?

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley! :) (Can you tell I like Harry Potter yet?)

5. What fictional characters would be your brother and sister?

Hmm. Probably Hermione for my sister. For my brother it's a tie between Jamie (from The Host) and Max (from The Mortal Instruments series). Hermione and I have a lot in common and Jamie and Max are both super sweet.

6. Which fictional character would be your best friend?

I think Hazel from The Fault In Our Stars would be a close friend. She seems like someone I could easily hang out with.

7. Choose 3 fictional characters to be your close girl friends?

Other than Hazel, I'd say Cath from Fangirl, Luna, and Tris from Divergent, though Melanie/Wanda from The Host, Lilac from These Broken Stars, and Clary from The Mortal Instruments series are close seconds.

8. Choose 3 fictional characters to be your close guy friends?
Ron, Neville, and Peeta.

9. What fictional character would be your girlfriend/boyfriend?
Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars or Levi from Fangirl.

10. What author would pen your story?

J.K. Rowling. Definitely.

I tag you all! :) Feel free to post your answers in the comments and/or on your blog.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Wrap-Up

Books I Read

John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge

3.5/5


Recommended to anyone who likes biographies and the Beatles. (That one was kind of obvious . . .)

Panic by Lauren Oliver (Can't believe I got an ARC of this!!!)

4/5

Recommended to fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher. A great contemporary that feels like dystopian, with touches of romance.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

DNF

I'm sorry, but I don't see what the big hoopla is over this book. I tried and failed to get into it for two months and 120 pages. I might pick it up again eventually, but right now I have other books to read.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

5/5

You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who loves a good slow-progressing relationship (much like Hazel and Augustus's relationship in The Fault In Our Stars, but with much more dislike at the beginning. The character's practically hate each other for the first 100 pages.) and sci-fi that doesn't feel like sci-fi (much like The Host).

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

5/5

You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who loves games and riddles. It's a great book to read as a family.

The Order of the Stick: No Cure For the Paladin Blues by Rich Burlew

4.5/5

Recommended to anyone who loves simple cartoons, Dungeons and Dragons, and laughing out loud.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

3/5

(I know, I know, I should've read this a long time ago. That's what everyone has been telling me.) Recommended to anyone who likes fairytales and looking for symbolism. (Anyone else think that the scene where the queen kills Aslan is supposed to represent the crucifixion of Jesus?)

Movies I Watched

 "Apollo 13"

4/5

You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who likes space, suspense, and historical fiction.

"The Croods"

4/5

Recommended to anyone who likes Pixar movies (though this movie isn't Pixar, it's DreamWorks), prehistoric times, comedy (especially slapstick humor), and people of all ages.

"Saving Mr. Banks"

 5/5

Recommended to anyone who likes to write and doesn't mind a good cry.

Quotes I Wrote




Flynn smiles. “We won’t get hurt. We’re with you.”

“That’s a dangerous way of thinking.”
“Everything’s dangerous nowadays.”
--Flightless Birds

Obsessions I Acquired

"Doctor Who" (I've only seen Christopher Eccleston and part of David Tennant so far, so no spoilers please! So far Eccleston is my favorite.)

Rediscovered my love for Flightless Birds, which I had gotten stuck with in December around Christmas.

Chocolate Mocha hot chocolate.

Picture of the Month


(Psst. If you'd like, you can grab my blog button on the sidebar of my blog.) Thank you to the Notebook Sisters for showing me how to make it! :)


How was your January?

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Book Blogger TMI Tag

Thanks for tagging me, Boquinha! :)

How old are you?

13, turning 14 in April.

What book are you reading?

This answer will probably change by the time this posts, but currently I'm reading Girl, Stolen by April Henry (for my book club), an ARC of No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.

What are you wearing?

I'm sick right now, so I'm staying in my pajamas: a comfortable T-shirt, blue yoga pants, and fuzzy, rainbow socks.

OTP?

(This means, One True Pairing, which is your favorite fictional relationship).

Ron and Hermione, Eleanor and Park, Katniss and Peeta, Hazel and Augustus, Wanda and Ian, Lilac and Tarver, Tris and Four, and Ellie and Palmer. I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones off the top of my head. ;)

Blogger or Wordpress?

I'm a Blogger girl, through and through. Wordpress confuses me. Also, I find the commenting system too complicated. It's hard to subscribe to comments without having to go through several verification e-mails and links.

Going outside being active or staying in and reading a book?

Can I pick going outside and reading a book? ;)

What is the last book you read?

Panic by Lauren Oliver. It didn't even come close to the brilliance of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, but it was a quick read and helped me through my hangover. ;)

What is the book you're going to read next?

I'm going to read I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai for my book club, but other than that I'm not sure. I found this really cool thing online that helps people to pick what book they're reading next. You take a jar, write down the names of all the book on your TBR pile (that took me a while), and put them all in the jar. When it's time to pick your next book, you reach in and pull a name out. So I have no idea what I'm reading next. :) Although several people have been begging me to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater for a while now, so maybe I'll cheat and go with that. ;)

eBooks - yes or no?

I'm going to go with a sometimes. If I'm dying to read a book, but it's only in hardback and our library doesn't have it, I'll go with an eBook. I love taking my Kindle on road trips, because it's light and can easily be squeezed between my stacks of notebooks and pencil cases, but it annoys me to no end when it runs out of battery. I made the mistake of reading Catching Fire on my Kindle. Boy was I mad when I had to wait until it charged to find out what happened to (spoiler alert) Katniss and Peeta in the arena.

Where do you prefer to read?

My bed, my reading corner, the car, wherever. As long as I have a good book with me, I'm happy.

Who is the last person you tweeted?

As of now, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner about a giveaway of These Broken Stars.

Whose blog did you look at last?

My mom and dad's blog, "Sushi and Pizza."

Who is your favourite blogger?

I have to pick one?! Sorry, can't do that. I'll pick a few: my mom, my dad, my brother, my BFF Kirsten, nevillegirl, storytellergirlgrace, Karoline Kingley, Layla, Cait and Mime, Sherri, Christine, Martina and Jan, Joe Bunting, Bryan Hutchinson, Lydia, Charley, Kristin, Bethy, Joe McGee, Stephanie and Jill, and much, much more! :)

Who is your favourite booktuber?

I don't really follow any booktubers, although I love John and Hank Green's videos on YouTube.

What do you do when someone tells you reading is boring?

Say something noncommittal, like, "Hmm" and change the subject.

Who is the last author you spoke to?

A.S. King in real life (she's awesome), but I'm pretty sure I tweeted back and forth with Rainbow Rowell last (she's also awesome).

Who is the last person you texted?

Alex.

Who is your all-time favourite book character?

Again, just one?! I have a soft spot for Hermione from the Harry Potter series, but recent character discoveries that I've loved are Katniss from The Hunger Games, Tris from Divergent, and Lilac and Tarver from These Broken Stars. I also love Clary and Simon from the Mortal Instruments series. And Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park. And Melanie, Wanda, Jamie, Ian, and Jeb from The Host. And Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac from The Fault In Our Stars. And Ellie and Palmer from the Ellie Sweet series. (See? I have a hard time picking favorites!)

UKYA or USYA?

Both. ;) Harry Potter is from the UK, but most of the other books I read are from the US.

What is your preferred drink whilst reading?

Hot chocolate or a chocolate and peanut butter milkshake. Anything chocolate, really.

If you hated reading, what would you be doing instead?

That's such a sad thought! :( Um, if I hated reading, I'd probably hate writing, too (and I just can't imagine that), so I'd probably be playing more board games/video games and watching more TV. I'd also probably interact with real life people more often instead of fictional ones. ;)

How many bookshelves/bookcases do you have?

I personally own one, but I stuff books in all sorts of places. Whenever there's an empty corner, I stick a few books there.

If you had the choice to meet all of your favourite book bloggers or all of your favourite authors, which would you pick? You can only pick one.

I can't pick. I want to meet all of them!!!

Insta-love: yes or no?

Meh. I don't have a strong opinion on it, though I think it's rather unrealistic. I prefer a slow progression in a relationship, like Eleanor and Park, Ron and Hermione, Lilac and Tarver (one of the best slow-progressing relationships I've ever read!), and Katniss and Peeta.

Favourite author?

J.K. Rowling, but Rainbow Rowell is a close second.

What is the number-one book on your wishlist?

The Host by Stephenie Meyer and the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill.

Do you prefer books with female or male protagonists?

While I love strong, but realistic and complex female protagonists (like Katniss, Tris, Lilac, Hermione, etc.), I don't care if the main character is a boy or a girl. I just want to be able to like and root for him/her.

Which is your favourite book-to-film adaption?

The "Harry Potter" movies instantly come to mind (of course), but "The Hunger Games" and especially "Catching Fire" are also fantastic. Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress!

What is the last song you listened to?

I don't remember, but I know that I was recently listening to my soundtrack for my novel Flightless Birds while I wrote a particularly tense chapter involving massive dehydration and hallucinations. On second thought, it might've been "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift.

Which do you enjoy reading more - negative reviews or positive reviews?

While negative reviews can be hilarious, I much prefer positive reviews. I'm left with a better feeling after reading one than I am after reading a negative review.

Who are you going to tag?

Sticking with the theme of not being able to choose just a few people, I tag all of you! ;) Feel free to complete the meme on your blog or in the comments. Have fun!