Currently 6/2/15

LOVING…

Disneyland. I just went to the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration and it was so magical! My favorite part, aside from the glittering castle, was the new Paint the Night parade. I grew up with the Electrical Parade, and this is like that one but on steroids. So beautiful.

READING…

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renée Ahdieh. Such a lovely book. I love the poetic elegance of it, and the way she twists the tale of 1001 Arabian Nights. Oh, and the food descriptions and out of this world.

WATCHING…

Gravity Falls. I’ve been seeing commercials for this one for a while, but now that I’m actually sitting down to watch it, I love it! It’s so funny and clever, not to mention creative.

LISTENING TO…

Aside from the usual (my book playlists, etc.), I’ve been listening to the Bend it Like Beckham soundtrack a lot. Growing up, I went to a lot of Indian parties with loud Indian music, and I hated it. But when I get to listen to Indian music on my own (especially Bhangra), I love it a lot more. That’s the introvert in me, I guess!

THINKING ABOUT…

All together now: Timekeeper. Always Timekeeper. Every single waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment. I’ve been playing around with my Pinterest Board a lot and working on revisions for book 2.

ANTICIPATING…

The all-clear.

WISHING…

That time could go a little faster. Or that I can transport myself back to Disneyland.

MAKING ME HAPPY…

My awesome new tea mug, the giant stack of books I have to read, my friends who are getting into Harry Potter for the first time (yuss), Parks and Rec reruns.

 

Currently 5/19/15

LOVING…

Cheese. All the cheese ever. Friday I worked on my night cheese with some friends while corgis frolicked in the background, and it was magical. Also: the writing community. I seriously can’t imagine life without people to complain/cry/celebrate with!

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READING…

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir. It’s brilliant. The world is so rich and bloody, the characters so complicated and compelling, and the writing SO lovely. I’m reading this one very, very slowly so I can savor all the details.

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WATCHING…

A lot of things, but forefront in my mind is Outlander. The season finale is this Saturday, and it deals with some really difficult topics. I’ve read all the books and I know what happens, but I’m still nervous!

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LISTENING TO…

The new Mumford and Sons album, Wilder Mind, and the latest Imagine Dragons album, Smoke and Mirrors. I also listen to my WIP soundtracks all the time. Timekeeper’s playlist is solemn and ethereal, and Strange Duet’s playlist is like “WHOO LET’S DANCE AROUND AND BE CRAZY.”

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THINKING ABOUT…

Timekeeper. What’s new? I’m currently revising book 2, and it’s difficult and rewarding at the same time. I get to delve into my culture and heritage while also setting the stage for an adventure that goes horribly awry (as always). I love that aspect about it. Danny and Colton are always on my mind, and have been for the greater part of (nearly) two years. My boys are everything.

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ANTICIPATING…

Good news!

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WISHING…

For Friday to hurry up and get here so I can reunite with my college BFF!

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MAKING ME HAPPY…

My kickass friends, my cat, Parks and Rec reruns, and A TRIP TO DISNEYLAND IN A WEEK AND A HALF!!!

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My Favorite Reads of 2014

I read a lot of really great books this year, so I thought I’d write up a list of my favorites. (There are some I loved that didn’t end up on this “favorites” list, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t good! Just take a look at my Goodreads to see what all I’ve read). Also, I cheated and listed a few books that were published last year but I only got around to this year.

In no particular order:

Grasshopper Jungle

Grasshopper Jungle

This book. Guys, THIS BOOK. It is one of the strangest books I have ever read, and that’s one of the many reasons why I love it. On the surface it’s about an apocalyptic infestation of killer grasshoppers, but underlying that is a beautiful story about a Polish boy who tells the reader his family history throughout the book and relates it to his current struggle with bisexuality. There’s a lot going on, but it’s told in such an insightful, funny, and thought-provoking way that the end result is just beautiful.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2012)

The writing is simple and philosophical in this book, and creates a very smooth, engaging read. The two Mexican-American boys in this novel stole my heart; they are both so believable and adorable that I wanted to hug them on every page. Their struggle to understand their love for one another, and to understand themselves, caught me up in the novel’s world and wouldn’t let me go even long after I put it down.

Fangirl

Fangirl (2013)

For a long time (until roughly five minutes ago) I thought this book was published this year. Well, no matter the pub date, this book is AMAZING. I found the main character, Cath, incredibly relatable. She’s so wrapped up in her writing and the fictional world of Simon Snow (aka Harry Potter) that she can’t seem to function in college the way she wants to, but still has to find a balance between the real world and her own world. Also, Levi is great.

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor and Park (2013)

Basically I just love anything out of Rainbow Rowell. I was amazed by how hard this book hit me in the feels. I mean, seriously, the feels. It starts when an unconventional girl and an unconventional boy start sitting together on the bus, which blows into a startling romance that has them risking social rejection, abuse, and separation. Both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8)

Written in my Own Heart’s Blood

This is the eighth book of the Outlander series, which got super popular this year thanks to the Starz show adaptation. I’ve been waiting for this book for a very. Long. Time. And it didn’t disappoint! It’s always great coming back to Claire and Jamie (and of course, Lord John) and their adventures riddled with inappropriate jokes and sexy times. Also, the ending. ❤

Noggin

Noggin

Okay, this book hit me hard. Really hard. It’s brilliant and inventive in its premise, which is that a teenage boy is brought back to life when his head is attached to a donor body. The main character made my heart bleed. Seriously, he made me tear up more than once, mostly because he was supposed to be a symbol of hope who kept getting hit by all these unfortunate scenarios. It really made me sit back and think about what we should be thankful for in life.

Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would, especially considering it’s an epistolary novel. The prose is elegantly crafted, and every single sentence is gorgeous. It deals with loss, shame, and family in a way that’s both old fashioned and original.

All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays (2013)

I wanted this back when it was in hardcover, but this year it came out in paperback so I snagged it. So very glad I did. It’s really hard to pull off time traveling these days, but this one nailed it. The novel is split into two POVs: the main character from the past and the main character from the future, who goes back to her past to set up a series of events to prevent her future from happening. It’s really clever and actually made my heart pound with how well it sets up tension.

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #2)

Hollow City

This is the second of the Miss Peregrine’s books by Ransom Riggs, and it’s even better than the first. It’s really fun to get to know the supporting characters better, and of course, the old-time photographs are an awesome touch. But WHY did it have to end in a cliffhanger?! *impatiently waits for book three*

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris’ Autobiography

Yes, I actually read a non-fiction book this year. Because, c’mon—it’s NEIL PATRICK HARRIS. And more than that, the way he wrote the book is fantastic. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure style of autobiography! Who else has done that?! (Answer: no one. Now go read it).

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha, #3)

Ruin and Rising

This proved to be the best of the Grisha Trilogy. The writing was lovely, the characters were more realized than before, and intense, dark things were happening all over the place. Oh, and of course the magic and worldbuilding were spectacular. There needs to be more of this type of fantasy in the YA section.