January Wrap Up

I am very happy that January is over! It wasn’t the best month for me, but I had a pretty good time reading-wise. Anyway, let’s not focus on the negatives. Here’s what I read this month:

938bc-pawprint d8ee9-pawprint 38c69-pawprint 8dfc7-pawprint 63169-pawprint

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling    The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

938bc-pawprint d8ee9-pawprint 38c69-pawprint 8dfc7-pawprint

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

938bc-pawprint d8ee9-pawprint 38c69-pawprint

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin  Ink by Amanda SunMy Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart

938bc-pawprint d8ee9-pawprint

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card    Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

How was your January? What did you read?

name

January Haul

I’m trying something new here today! I have never really done hauls because I don’t really buy books very often. This month, I actually only have two books (one from a publisher), but I still wanted to share them and see what I buy each month. Anyway, without further ado, here they are:

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)      Dreamology

  1. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – I finished the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and knew I had to pick up the next book immediately! The next day, I drove out and picked this one up and read it the same day.
  2. Dreamology by Lucy Keating – I received this book from the publisher, Harper Teen! I had actually never heard of it before, but now I’m really excited to read it. And the cover is so pretty.

What books did you add to your collection this month?

name

Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl From Everywhere

waiting

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine, featuring unreleased books each week. This week, I chose:

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

To be published February 16 2016

Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

I’m waiting on this book because I have already seen some great reviews! It also has a cool aspect of time travel all around the world which is something that I would love to read more about.

What are you waiting on?

name

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Make Me Happy

top ten tuesday key

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. As we are in the midst of the winter season, I feel like it can be a little hard to feel cheerful around this time. January of 2016 has not been shaping up to be the best month so far, but today, I wanted to focus more on some books that make me happy. Here are some of my favorites if you are looking for a pick-me-up:

A Work In Progress      The Conspiracy of Us (The Conspiracy of Us, #1)      The Selection (The Selection, #1)

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)      Since You've Been Gone       The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)       Paper Towns

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)       Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)       Keeping the Moon

  1. A Work in Progress by Connor Franta – I love how relatable this book is and I find myself referring back to it when I need some advice from someone who feels the same way.
  2. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall – This is an action packed thrill ride with an adorable romance! What more could you want?
  3. The Selection by Kiera Cass – I once saw Kiera Cass compare this book to mac and cheese in a video she did, and I would agree with that wholeheartedly.
  4. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins – If you are looking for some fun times and great characters, this paranormal book is a fantastic place to start!
  5. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – A book about friendship and finding yourself! This is such a sweet book and very heart warming.
  6. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – This is all about the love triangle! And I say that in the best way possible. Get ready for some swoons.
  7. Paper Towns by John Green – I really like reading about journies when I’m not feeling too great and this has a pretty epic one! And you can watch the movie after 🙂
  8. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins – So maybe, you’ve already read Hex Hall! There’s more funny leads, cute romances, and supernatural in this other series that is just as easy to love.
  9. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling – I love reading autobiographies to help me get through something and this is written by one of my favorite funny ladies.
  10. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen – She’s the QUEEN of YA contemporary! There’s just something special about her writing that will have you in the summer state of mind.

What are some of your favorite books if you need a pick-me-up?

name

 

Neon Yeti Writes: Update #1

neon yeti writes

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new monthly feature on my blog, Neon Yeti Writes!

After participating (and failing) in NaNoWriMo this past year, writing became a much bigger goal for me. It’s not even that I necessarily have a dream of getting published, but I would like being able to say that I have written an entire novel. It might take me a while (and it definitely will), so I have decided to document some of my adventures, the good and the bad, into these monthly update posts all about my writing life.

This could include a talk about my progress, my problems, upcoming ideas, or any new inspiration that I might have found. Of course, closer to November, this will include more NaNo prep, but one key to writing is writing year-round. Thus, we are starting now, at the beginning of this year!

Personally, I didn’t actually write that much in January! I know 😦 This was just a starting point for the year and the semester, but I have thought some about where I would like to write and when would be the best time to fit it into my busy schedule. I have also been throwing around some ideas and the best format in which to write them (perspective, tense, etc). I promise that future posts will have some more for me to talk about here!

Today, I’ll be linking up to Cait and Sky‘s Beautiful People’s writer’s feature! I won’t be doing this every month (or maybe I will, who knows!), but I LOVED these questions and figured they would be a good place to start this year.

PAPERFURY

  1. What were your writing achievements last year? Well, I attempted NaNoWriMo and succeeded more than I ever have so far. I didn’t win (yet!), but I found a really great community from doing it and convinced myself that it is something I want to do and work on in the future.
  2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year? I’d really love to finish one novel, even in just it’s barest draft form. The current one that I am starting is a YA sci-fi about intergalatic spies. It’s a pretty complex world system and that is something I am working on before I even begin!
  3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year. I think finishing something is a big one! Also, finding my writing voice, making characters sound different, giving all my characters struggles to overcome, and pacing.
  4. Are you participating in any writing challenges? Not right now, but we will see what the year brings!
  5. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year? Currently, I don’t have one, as I haven’t written anything. I could see myself possibly finding one by the end of this year, but that’s way in the future!
  6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research. I very recently read Paper Hearts by Beth Revis and it helped SO MUCH. Highly suggest if you are looking to do something in the writing world, no matter what stage. I think reading more sci-fi is really helpful just in general.
  7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this? I’m always attracted to writing very strong, witty female leads, but they always end up as being Mary Sues. For this, I want to work more on planning out the character and seeing them as multi-faceted before I start writing.
  8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack? Once again, I’m just a baby duck in this whole writing thing! Maybe by the end of the year I will be in edits, and I plan to follow Susan Dennard’s advice for that.
  9. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world? I want to see more YA sci-fi (so, that’s what I’m writing) as well as having longer books with lots of characters. Another thing I want to see is more diverse romance and different types of female leads, including some that aren’t necessarily strong or are strong in different ways. And of course, different voices, diversity, and using typical formats in new ways!
  10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016? My main goal is to have written, from beginning to end, a whole novel! It doesn’t have to be good, and it most likely won’t be, but just having some words on pages is all I’m looking for to start.

 

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling Review

Why Not Me?

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Published Crown 2015

Genre: Nonfiction

Format: Kindle ebook

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.

22a99-coollogo_com-9181998For some reason, at the beginning of the year, I always crave some memoirs. Maybe it’s because I hope their life advice and reflection will inspire me, but this year, I decided to start off with Mindy Kaling’s second book. I read her first book last year and really enjoyed it!

I actually liked this book better than her first book. This one is filled with all different types of essays about Kaling’s life. She takes us through some moments that are more recent to right now, including her work on The Mindy Project and some of the more recent projects she has been on recently. Another example is her Harvard speech, which I have listened to many times, and liked that she included the text of it in the book. There isn’t really a major theme to each of the essays overall, but Kaling is self aware in an extremely funny way.

I laughed out loud a couple times during this book! I appreciated all the different perspectives she gives into her life and what it is like to be famous and working in the TV industry. Although the first book was more about her journey to get there, here, she is already there and is doing quite well. She can reflect on what it is like, in a still humble way, and offers her thoughts on things like fashion, filming, friends, and confidence. (I almost had three F words going there…)

Overall, I LOVED this book. It was a great first memoir to start my year with and offered some advice that I will probably take with me going into the future. I would highly suggest this book, even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Mindy Kaling (I’ve never actually seen her act in anything, although I hope to start The Mindy Project sometime soon), and you probably will become, at least, a supporter.

name

Discussion: My Perfect Supernatural Book

discussion

FOREVER ago, I did a really fun discussion post all about my favorite fantasy books and what exactly makes up the perfect fantasy book in my mind. I always meant to continue this with different genres of books and it is finally time to talk about another genre, maybe even a subset of fantasy – supernatural.

For some reason, every time I start thinking about supernatural books, my mind immediately jumps to Twilight. Vampires and werewolves are the two featured there, but there are so many other types of supernatural creatures. Just a few that I have read include wizards, faeries, mermaids, and more. I think that this genre is really fascinating because it continues to grow in many ways. There are endless options to look at these creatures and integrate them into our world or a whole new one.

What are some of the aspects that I am looking for in the perfect supernatural book?

  1. A system that makes sense! This is critical because it is the backbone of the entire story. If I don’t understand the creature or the rules they live by, it will ruin the entire book for me. I am pretty easy to convince of something (which may or may not be a good thing) and finding plotholes is not something I try to do, but if it is really obvious, I have a big issue with that!
  2. A relationship with humans or the non-paranormal that also makes sense. In most cases, this is just their inability to be seen and I am okay with that. But it really shouldn’t be obvious that they exist if it is supposed to be a secret. For example, the Twilight vampires! How has no one but Bella made the connection before? Especially if there are some really damaging action scenes, I need a real world explanation for all of us mundanes out here.
  3. Some really interesting plot/conflict! Of course, this is the perfect key to most books, but here it is really essential. I get pretty bored by books that are JUST about supernatural creatures doing their thing, so having some type of conflict is great. It can be between humans and the supernatural, but I really prefer when they aren’t!
  4. Characters who already know about their powers. I really enjoy reading about characters who already know the supernatural world and the system, instead of focusing on the characters discovering their powers. There’s nothing wrong with it, as it seems to be the focus of most supernatural books, but I would love to see some from people established within their abilities!

These are just four of the parts of supernatural books that I look forward to reading in these types of books. Some of my favorites that exemplify some of these qualities include:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)      The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1)      Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)      Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)      The Host (The Host, #1)

And a couple on my TBR that I hope can becoming a new favorite supernatural book:

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)     The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)     The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)    Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)      The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

What do you think makes a good supernatural book? And what are some of your favorites?

name