Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 827 (Hardcover)
Source: Bought
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This review is going to be short and sweet because I feel like the entire world echoes the following sentiments: I could not have asked for anything more from this series ender.

I am so satisfied with it. Everything from my OTPs (Cress and Thorne definitely steal the show with this one), to my love of action, to the death doom and destruction had me DYING. And every time I noticed another new nod to a fairytale I found myself flipping pages in glee. That's the best part about this book. Meyer skips nothing and gives this series the ending it deserves in 827 pages, but it's so addicting and well-written that you'll fly through this beast of a book in a single day because your hands and your heart won't let you put it down.

If there's one thing that I have learned about Marissa Meyer, it's that she knows how to write a story. Her fanfiction days really gave her the necessary tools to blow readers' minds. She gives us various romantic pairings that leave our hearts beating fast. I typically only have the power to ship one ship, but dang, I ship everyone in this book. You know, except for Levana. But the best part is that these characters grow so much. They are more than their romances, and the romances are just a small aspect that make us love them more. We love their bravery and strength, their fight, their determination to do what is right at all costs despite their young ages. We love them.

Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress, and even Kai (plus honorary Winter because holy cow is this girl lovable and extremely complex) may be the Rampion's crew, but they stole their way into our hearts and they're the crew that brings us friendship, loyalty, and infinite happiness.

I don't know what else there is to say because of how perfect this book is. I am eagerly anticipating Meyer's newest series to be started in 2016. I am ready to be putty in her hands once again.

5 stars


Black Friday 2015: Barnes and Noble Edition

I have never experienced Black Friday before. Waking up early and battling crowds just isn't my thing, nor is it something that any of my family members are down for either. If we can buy things on sale online we are good.

But I decided to venture out of the house today for Barnes and Noble's signed book sale. From what I understand, they've done this before and I just had no idea that it existed. I am fortunate that I live about five minutes from a B&N, so I rolled out of bed, threw on some sweats, and headed out to get there at its 7am opening. I had a mission: get three books and then go back to bed.

  1. Winter by Marissa Meyer- I've waited to buy this book knowing it would be here.
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- This book changed my life and I wanted a signed copy so badly.
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky-This book changed one of my best friend's lives and snce he doesn't read a lot, I thought he would love to have a signed copy.
I got there around 6:55AM and there was already a small line at every entrance, but I wasn't worried. I just needed to get in, get out, and go back to bed. But once I got inside, I woke up way too much to be able to go back to sleep.

To begin, there's this huge display of nothing but signed books. And even though these books have been out for a while, they're all hardcover! The hardcover book snob in me was so happy.

Once I got over the beauty, I grabbed my three books and prepared to leave. But it's this moment where I decided to take a step back and look around, and all hell was breaking loose around me. Guys, I have never done an all out Black Friday, but if I dealt with this little craziness in B&N, I can't imagine what it would be in regular stores and malls.

There were 3 little 10-year-old girls crying to my left.
Turns out their father told me there was a signed book event at B&N and instead of reading the article, he just assumed it was the entire store. So they came here for signed Harry Potter books and were very distraught when they weren't there. But let's be realistic, if JK Rowling took part of this event, I would have camped out 10 days in advance.

A mother was breathing heavily while stroking 3 copies of OUTLANDER.
This young teenager walked by apologizing about her mother to people, so I looked up and found this 40+ year old woman breathing heavy while stroking several copies of the book in her hand. She went to grab one more and her daughter tried blocking her because there were only two left and she screeched (I kid you not!), "I NEED THESE FOR MY FRIENDS! THEY MUST MEET JAMIE!"

Two kids were arguing over which YouTuber was best.
There was an entire group dedicated to famous YouTubers, and this boy and girl were actually arguing over which was better: THIS BOOK LOVES YOU by PewDiePie or Tyler Oakley's BINGE. The girl actually smacked the boy in the arm with a book before getting dragged away.

There was a revolt beginning in the cafe.
So there was this sign that advertised free small hot chocolates for everyone who gets there before 10am, not purchase necessary. From what I heard, it seems some parents took their kids to redeem the hot chocolate and the cafe insisted it was only for coffee. So this angry parent grabbed the sign from the front (I did notice this sign in line, for the record it said hot chocolate not coffee) and stormed up to the register demanding chocolate for his daughter because she is not old enough for coffee.

At that point I high-tailed it to the check-out, cringed at the book costs because unfortunately Amazon has spoiled my wallet rotten, and ran out to the car telling my Dad I never want to do this again. If this was a small ten minute snippet of Black Friday at a bookstore, I don't even want to know what regular stores are like.

So this is the point where I ask you a few questions...
Did you go to the B&N sale? What did you get? Have you ever Black Friday'd in general? Was it crazy? I want to know stories now that I experienced a small piece of it for myself!

The Intern Diaries: Goodbye Flightless Bird & Intern Advice

Last week officially marked the completion of my time at the Viking imprint of Penguin Random House. It was my fifth (what!!!) internship, and without a doubt the fastest internship I have ever had. I don't think time ever flew as fast as it did while I was there; time really flies when you are having fun. But, as it came to a close and I said my goodbyes, I started reflecting on all that I have learned throughout all my internships.

I'm not talking about legit tasks, but the overarching importance of things that can span any internship. And instead of lamenting about how much I will miss the trendsetting department I spent the past ~3 months interning for, I want to share these insights with others.

More posts about what I learned about publishing at Viking to come. But now, intern advice!

1. Take Notes.
I have at least one pad of notes from all 4 companies I have interned for. A lot of them are lists of crossed out tasks that have long been completed, but many have notes from meetings, from advice a boss or colleague may have given me, general observations, etc. You never know when remembering that small grain of wisdom mentioned to you at the water cooler can rock your world in a future interview, or even put things into perspective. Interning is great, but it's a near-constant workload and it can be hard to remember things sometimes. Write everything down and come back to it later. You don't want to forget anything about this experience that you have earned.

2. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Every time I was doing a mailing and someone would stop by to help or give me new instruction, I would immediately start picking their brain. Why publishing? Why publicity specifically? What is your end goal? What do you think about my path? What is this mailing for? Why am I sending out finished copies and not galleys? Did you study abroad in college because I am and I want advice?! Odds are if the question is appropriate and has ever crossed your mind, I have asked it of one of my bosses. I am a naturally inquisitive person, and my department tends to learn that my very first day. A department accepts an intern expecting them to be curious and to have questions. If you don't take advantage of this, you'll be kicking yourself later. What better opportunity to truly learn about your industry?

3. Get to know everyone individually, even if it is awkward.
I am an awkward person and I am totally aware of that, but I present an extroverted and loud personality to get past it. Make a concerted effort to get to know everyone in your department because odds are they were once in your shoes. The lower level employees experienced what you're doing more recently, so they're ready and willing with advice. The higher ups have been in the industry for years and have acted as a hiring manager at one point in their life, so they know what signs to look for in amazing employees. Pick their brains. Connect with them. Leave a lasting impression. BECOME FRIENDS. You want to be on goodbye hugging level with all your fellow huggers when it is time to leave. And if they're not a fellow hugger that's cool. But my point is you want to be professional friends at the end of your time there.

4. Dress to impress and always have a smile on your face.
I know that a lot of internships have relaxed policies, but it is important to still look professional and not frumpy. Every company I have ever worked at is okay with jeans on Fridays and whatnot, so I wear my jeans for casual Friday, but I am still in a more professional outfit instead of a t-shirt. Even if you see people around you wearing t-shirts, it is always better to dress to impress instead of dressing down. You never know the hidden opinions people are forming about you.

5. Just roll with it and your experience will be so much better.
As an intern, you are going to get assigned tasks you may not always like. A lot of the beginner's tasks are time consuming things that full-time employees just don't have the time or patience for. Take every task with a smile and roll with it instead of fighting it. In the beginning of interning, I hated doing mailings. Now I love them because I think they're super therapeutic and it's nice to have a calm task inbetween the craziness of my regular workload. Does that mean I was happy I had an entire day where I sent out more than 1,000 books for 8 hours while at Viking? No. But that day led to me being assigned more projects that weren't packing related because all the packing got done. Just roll with everything because most tasks are a necessary evil to get to the more interesting, complex, "fun" ones.

6. Go in with no expectations but to learn.
I think the worst thing that could happen is going into an internship with expectations about 100% everything you are going to do. Odds are you'll be surprised with what you learn and many of the tasks you are assigned. Going into an internship with expectations that aren't met can dampen the experience for you and actually make you dislike a position that may have been absolutely rad for someone else. Even though I had prior industry knowledge from my four other internships, I walked into Viking as a blank slate with no expectations other than the fact that it is going to be unlike any other internship I have had since every position differs. And you want to know what? It was awesome and totally different and I learned a lot. I was drawing a lot of comparison between it and Bloomsbury in my head while working because Bloomsbury was all I knew, but I did not go in expecting it to be Bloomsbury because it's a different company, of course it wouldn't be.

I have spoken to interns who have gone in expecting their internship to be something and then being sorely disappointed when it wasn't. The purpose of an internship is to learn if this is or isn't where you belong. Not going in with crazy expectations can help you keep a clear mind and it makes it easier to focus on the tasks in front of you.

7. Stay in touch with your department after you leave.
I always make it a point to see all my past bosses, especially those I connected with on a personal level. I can now call many of these people dear friends. These people are my champions, rooting for me and my future and the future of this industry. They want me to succeed and it is such an uplifting feeling, and upon graduation they will assist me with actually succeeding since I am unable to job hunt just yet. It is important to maintain your relationships with these people. I am not talking seeing them every month because realistically they are beyond busy, but every couple of months it's always great to drop them an email to catch up. Past bosses know more about you than they think you do, and forging friendships is always amazing. Not talking to someone for three years and then calling them up asking for a reference and assistance with the job hunt will only end badly because it is a blatant example of using someone for their connections instead of respecting their publishing prowess and seeking to learn from them. Again, presentation matters in an example like this.

This advice can span any internship, not just the publishing industry. Do you have any questions about the intern experience or thoughts to share in regards to your own experiences? Share them below! As always, every comment is appreciated. <3

Ten Things I Am Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Ten things I am thankful for in no particular order...

1. My parents- for encouraging me to follow my dreams, and for always supporting me and my decisions (even when they're crazy).

2. My pets- for being uber cuddly and entertaining when I most need it.

3. My friends- for teaching me that the truest friends out there really do exist, and for getting me through some of the toughest times I've ever experienced while also giving me my highest highs. I don't know what I would do without some of you, both bookish and regular.

4. My college- I may have a love/hate relationship with you, but without it I would not find myself where I am today, and I really like it. In 4.5 years I'll be graduating with a masters, a major, and 2 minors, and I'll wear your name proudly. Where else would that have happened?

5. My ability to study abroad- I am so thankful for this opportunity because I have looked forward to it for so long, and I cannot wait to head out to London in January. This is going to change my life, and I am so ready for it.

6. The Pforzheimer Honors College- for satisfying my love of education, giving me some of my favorite people, and helping me to find the first safe zone of my life where I felt like I could truly be myself.

7. Bloomsbury- for launching me towards my dreams and giving me the confidence that I can do this.

8. Books- the ability to lose myself in a book is so integral to who I am today, and without novels like Harry Potter, The Book Thief, Jellicoe Road, I'll Give You The Sun, The Beginning of Everything, and so many more, I don't know what I'd do.

9. My Broken Friendships- This sounds funny, but I've broken several friendships this year and I have no regrets. They've helped me to remove the negativity in my life and realize how amazing my true friends really are. There are certain people in my life that I have no idea what I would do without, and it took these crappy feelings that other people instilled in me to figure this out. So I owe these people a thank you for helping me to find the people I deserved to find.

10. Netflix- for getting me through those long days full of homework that I simply do not want to do.

Don't forget to link your TTT posts below!

Let's Talk About It: Life

One of my professors for an online class was a saint and decided to give us the week off. While we typically have a discussion forum each week, response work, and miscellaneous other projects, she decided to give us a forum to talk about life. Our worries, our stresses, what is going on with the present and what we want to happen with our future. We get credit as long as we just rant to our heart's content. As a student experiencing the time where most of us are stressed out with final projects and final prep, this was beyond appreciated to know someone is aware of it and cares.

Naturally, I just did a quick post highlighting everything and thanking her for her kindness, but dang, it alleviated a little stress and I just need to get things out. So I am creating this open forum about life for all of us to simply share what is going on right now. And to get some things off our chest so we can go into Thanksgiving with smiles on our faces. I don't expect people to read this, and if you use it that'll be amazing because writing this post was such a therapeutic experience for me. But this is more a personal post out of necessity than anything else that I hope others choose to take advantage of.

So, let's begin. I just want to get it all out.


I am so stressed and exhausted, I don't know how I am getting through the day, let alone the next month of school.

I am constantly tired, and I have never felt exhaustion quite like this. I think it's because I am commuting. The actual commute I have is pretty short (under an hour) compared to a lot of other people's commute, but it is absolutely exhausting. I am also not getting a lot of sleep at night. I've never been a great sleeper, but going to sleep at my normal time and then waking up two hours earlier than I would if I lived in the city is taking its toll.

But so is taking 19 credits. I'm doing this out of necessity because I want to graduate early still (next December! 13 months away!) on top of being able to study abroad. I'm being greedy, and I know when I am in England I'll have a 5 month long break, but that doesn't make anything better in the moment. Because in the moment I am still stressed as hell. I have all these calm patches and then every single one of my classes has a project due within 48 hours of each other. Just my luck, right? I spent this past week staying up till 3am every night and waking up at 7am to get all of it done, and it's making me hate being greedy and wanting the best of both worlds.

On top of all that, I am doing thesis work to graduate early. I am working on developing this huge general public survey that I will be launching upon my return home from London in June. I don't want to share the topic yet, but I can promise it's something that concerns all of my readers and that I'd love your responses to! But anyway, I have to gain all of these permissions to be able to distribute this survey so I need to put together this 10 page proposal with the proposed survey and permissions, rights, etc. all in it. It's exhausting! And let's not forget, you know, the actual thesis research that I have been doing simultaneously.

My internship ended Friday and it's bittersweet. I really enjoyed my time at Viking (a more intense goodbye post to come as part of The Intern Diaries), but I am thankful it's over purely for sleep purposes. You'd think this frees up all my Mondays and Fridays, but nope, I've been called into my on-campus job for extra work. And that's fine. I'm not complaining because I won't be able to make money for 5.5 months since I opted not to get a work visa for London, but that means I have to make all the money I can now. I am an on-campus tour guide and it's a job I love, but it's a job that can be hard to put a smile on when you're exhausted. Out of all of the remaining Mondays and Fridays for the rest of the semester, I currently only have one Monday off, and then I have nearly two weeks straight of tour guiding in December for when we are unofficially open after classes end because I am desperate for cash. Oh, the struggles of being a college student. But I am fortunate to have a job I do love, which makes the exhaustion fade away temporarily when in the thick of things.

I also barely have time to read. I am putting in any moments of reading I can get to snatch back some semblance of normality and calmness, but it's not enough. I miss reading, and I feel like it's impacting me emotionally since it is what keeps me so calm.

My father often remarks how well I am keeping it all together. And it's nice to see that from the outside, I am succeeding in remaining calm and level-headed, but inside I am just a tornado of who knows what. Exhaustion...stress...but also pride that I am managing this. And I'm doing a good job. My grades aren't suffering and as far as any of my bosses know, I am feeling 100% fine. The issue is that I sure as hell don't feel 100% fine at this exact moment.

I think the one thing I don't have in my life right now is stress about my future. A lot of my peers don't know what they want to do with their lives and they're struggling to get internships. I've been fortunate enough to have five amazing internships, and I do know what I want to do with my life because of these awesome intern experiences. And for once, I am kind of thankful I don't have to devote a lot of energy to the internship hunt (and subsequent competition that comes with it) because I can't work in London. Sure, I'll be stressing from an ocean away when hunting for a summer internship, but that's something that'll come later. The most important thing is that it is not happening now and I know, deep down, whether I get a position or not, I still am happy with where my work experience has taken me and what I want to do with my future. I am taking solace in that fact because I do feel so far ahead of some of my peers in that respect. Again, it makes me so thankful for Bloomsbury for leading me down this path.

I keep reminding myself it'll all be worth it in the end, but I am so ready for London to just be here because I want to relax. I want to not work for the first time since I was sixteen, and travel, and spend all my money without any guilt. I want to explore, and learn what I am truly capable of, and go on a new adventure everyday. And I am counting down the days until that happens while I stress out about packing. lol

Oh, stress, you are becoming my near constant companion these days.

As mentioned above, I welcome you to use the comments as an open forum to get feelings off your chest. I found voicing all my worries was super useful and therapeutic, and you should take advantage of this for yourself. I don't expect people to read this post because, really, who wants to hear someone vent about their life for a full post? But if you do, thanks for listening, and I'll listen to anything you have to say below. Sometimes you just gotta get it all out.

Stacking the Shelves #105: The One Where I Return To Blogging

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So, it's been over a week since my last post and I just had to take an unofficial hiatus because school is kicking my ass. But I am happy to be returning and have taken the time to set up some posts! I didn't get a lot this week, but I am excited for every single one of these books!

From Bloomsbury
Break Me Like A Promise by Tiffany Schmidt
From Penguin For Review
The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
I am almost done with this and I am loving it!

Bought and Signed
Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Am Looking Forward To

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

All of these movies have at least been optioned for film. I am aware this means that not all of these may be made, but I am excited for all of them because of how much I loved this vast array of books, and I know for sure at least four of them are being made, one of which comes out in less than two weeks! So I'm good!

In no particular order...

1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
2. Mockingjay Pt 2 by Suzanne Collins
3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
4. Jellicoe Road by Melinna Marchetta
5. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
7. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
9. I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
10. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Please excuse the lack of prettiness of this post. I am exhausted haha life got in the way