February was the hardest month of my life


This past February, I've realized, has been one of the more defining months in my life. Allow me to explain...

This past month I realized...
  • I was getting bullied as a nineteen year old by one of my roommates
  • I turned 20 and had the best birthday weekend I have literally ever had
  • I turned 20 while I continued to get passive aggressively bullied
  • I got told by three people that are very important to me that they think I'm a shell of the girl I usually am in the course of nine hours on the same day
  • I realized I really need to learn to stand up for myself
  • And I did
  • I put the process into motion to move out of my dorm room because I needed it more than anything to be able to be focus on my life again
  • I moved out yesterday (not in February, but I feel like it's worth mentioning) which is a really big deal to me because I am usually a very indecisive person
  • I realized that when I am upset, I project it into all aspects of my life and I really have to figure out a way to control that
  • I realized that I can't not respond to e-mails that upset me in an attempt to calm down because it gives people the wrong idea
  • I lost a blogger friend that I thought was very important to me because of this
  • I survived my first ever true public speaking speech even though my professor pointed out that my hands were visibly shaking the entire time 
  • Several people I've run into told me I was their tour guide and they came to Pace because of me...this is such a fulfilling, gratifying, amazing feeling that makes me smile all the time
  • I went to Apollycon in Philadelphia (a city I have never been to before) and visited a very good friend of mine that no longer attends my college but will forever be like a sister to  me
  • I learned how to play Settlers of Catan and Seven Kingdoms (which I rock at!)
  • My best friend made me cry when he bought me a birthday cake (Thank you, Max)
  • I started and completed 3 different assignments an hour before they were due (this is so unlike me it is ridiculous and I am disappointed in myself) 
  • I went home for every weekend except for the one leading into my birthday
  • I realized my family are my biggest supporters in everything I do in life no matter what
  • I began applying for summer internships (yay!)
  • Bloomsbury put a smile on my face every Wednesday and Friday 
  • I also attended some cool book events
  • I was miserable for a large portion of this month, with a few bright patches thanks to my amazing friends, my job, and my family
  • I realized that I don't deserve to feel miserable and I effectively worked to get out of that funk, even if it took a while to do it
  • My blog suffered in order to get myself out of that funk, and this realization really bums me out
Yeah, kind of a crazy month, but I learned a lot about myself. And the people around me, but mostly about me.

I realized I'm kind of a push-over. I'm loud and opinionated because that is how I was raised, but when it comes to confrontation I prefer to avoid it. I think saying as little as possible in upsetting situations is best, so sometimes I say nothing at all, and it seems that people always misinterpret my intentions, so I really have to stop doing this, especially since it's happened at least 4 times in the course of the month, even though I really only care about one person that is no longer in my life because of this. And I have to stand up for myself instead of allowing myself to be miserable. No more of that. I've survived a lot in life and I deserve to be happy, so dang it, I'm going to be happy.

It's funny because everyone around me tells me that twenty is a really defining year. Well, I've been twenty for just over two weeks and I feel like I've learned so much about myself it's ridiculous. And for the first time ever I've actually worked towards changing some of the things I don't like about myself, like the way I react to sad situations, how I really need to be decisive, especially in regards to things that affect me emotionally which in turn affects me academically, socially, and even motivation-wise, or how I put others before myself a lot. Putting myself ahead of others is hard and at times it means breaking ties I don't want to break or doing things I know will upset others, but it has to be done if no side will back down. And, in the end, that's okay.

That's what I've learned this past month. No matter what, everything will be okay. Things have a way of working themselves out in the end and what you want to happen isn't necessarily what's best for you. And it sucks in the moment. Believe me, it sucks in the moment, but you've gotta have faith. Those people who want you in their lives will reach out to you and prove it, and those who are not worth your time will somehow show you that they are not worth your time. Your career should make you happy, and if you're in the right industry it will no matter what. And my career does. So at least I've got something right, eh? ;)

My college makes me happy, too. As does my beautiful, beautiful city. And because of this I have to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

So, from this moment on, I'm going to do that. And I'm going to keep taking steps forward while I refuse to take any back. Because I need to, and because I should, and because, in the end, everything will be okay.

This post is more for me than it is for anyone else. I needed to get my emotions down on paper so that I can finish fulfilling this promise to myself and hopefully continue to move forward in the areas that I've promised myself to progress in. 20 is going to be a good year for me, and I'm not going to let a crappy start affect that. There are 2.5 months left in this semester, and I have my own room, kickass friends, and an amazing internship. I really don't need anything else in life.

Princess Academy Blog Tour Series Review & Giveaway

~*~Lili's Series Review~*~
 Please note that there will be spoilers since this is a series review.

What's so great about this series is that it is absolutely timeless. Readers of all ages can read it and enjoy Miri's adventures with her friends and family and young readers can even grow alongside her.
But the best part is the fact that no matter what her age is, Miri is a strong heroine that is easy to support, admire, and love, and I think that there is nothing more important than that.

Book one starts off with Miri and her family living on Mount Eskel where they mine for linder. She really wants to help her beloved mountain and mine in the linder quarry one day, too, but her Pa won't let her because of her small size. Shortly a group of nobles come to Mount Eskel claiming that one of the young girls will marry the Prince and they bring all of the girls to a Princess Academy. Reluctantly, Miri accompanies all girls aged twelve to eighteen from her village to learn how to be a princess. Naturally there's going to be friends and enemies...Tutor Olana, for instance, is really hated because she is very cruel and downright unfair.

While she learns the typical things necessary to being a princess, like history and poise and how to read and write, she also learns quarry speech. As one can guess, this is how people speak in the linder quarries--a place very important to her despite her inability to work there. Eventually becoming the top student, Miri's intense fascination with quarry speak grows as the prince's visit comes nearer. Quarry-speech is just so cool, guys! It's such a unique concept that's totally fascinating and, agh, just pick up the book to see what I mean!

Full of friendship, adventure, romance, creativity, and a lot of girl-power, book one cannot be missed.

Fast forward to book two and Miri and her fellow Princess Academy attendees are heading to the city to prepare for Princess Britta's wedding. Yup, you heard that right, Miri did not become the Princess,
but that's okay! Not only was she questioning whether being a Princess was proper for her, her heart was also in another place with Peder...the boy who is conveniently accompanying the girls to the city to learn how to sculpt their beloved linder.

However, the city is not as fun as Miri expected. There are whispers of a revolution and overthrowing the royal family, which now includes Miri's dear friend Britta. While maintaining the lightheartedness and fairytale-like atmosphere of book one, book two ups the ante and raises the stakes with true political turmoil as opposed to a clean Princess-like Hunger Games set-up where one shall rise above all by out-Princessing them. Really, book one just feels like a clean, Princess-centric Hunger Games to me. Anyway, moving on!

Miri being the smart, sophisticated, loyal person that we all know in love, involves herself in the potential revolution and befriends people on both sides to figure out what is truly going on and which side her beloved home should take. She finds herself in the middle of this rumored revolution and must work her way out of it unscathed while protecting all of those close to her on both sides, including Timon...the handsome boy who has been very up-front with his feelings for her, unlike Peder.

What will happen? Well...onwards to book three which is even more delightful than books one and two. Who knew that was even possible?

After the ending of book two I'm actually trying to not include spoilers here, guys! Miri is heading back to Mount Eskel only to be summoned by the King. She has to journey to a distant swamp and start a Princess Academy for three sisters that are distantly related to the royal family. However, the girls are more interested in hunting than learning about proper etiquette and poise. Of course, the most entertaining havoc ensues as Miri learns to deal with the three sisters and their unique swamp ways while trying to turn them into proper young ladies.

The three sisters are Astrid, Sus, and Felissa and I love them to death for their complexity and entertainment value. I genuinely think that this feeling will echo across an entire audience of readers. Part survivalists and part young girls with many hopes and dreams, people will be able to root for them despite the mysterious reasons behind why the King and Queen are suddenly so invested in them.

But, have no fear, Miri is on the case and she's going to protect these girls with everything she's got while she figures out why, exactly, these three swampy little things must now be Princess-ready.

Also worth noting, Peder does make a small appearance because what is Miri's journey without a little bit of Peder in it? Watching their relationship progress has been a real treat and seeing where it ends is definitely satisfactory.

~*~In Conclusion~*~

I really have no idea what to say here aside from READ THIS TRILOGY! Not only does it read fast, but it's delightful, entertaining, hilarious, well-written, beautiful, and it has a very strong heroine that young girls can look up to. Mash up every positive descriptive word out there and that's how you describe this series. I already know I'll be re-reading it this summer with the family I babysit, and I hope that you give yourself the same opportunity to immerse yourself in Hale's amazing world-building that got her a Newbery Honor 10 years ago.

~*~Links~*~

Book 1 only costs 99 cents on Kindle, and book 2 is only $1.99!

~*~Giveaway~*~
This is a giveaway for a trilogy set of the new covers, US only.


Don't forget to check out tomorrow's stop on the tour at Icey Books!

Adult Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Reading Level: Adult (great YA crossover)
Pages: 400 (ARC)
Source: Gifted from Friend
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Take a seat and break out the popcorn while I tell you the story of how I fell in love with a boy with a glittering black eye and a magical coat that I want to steal desperately...

I need to start this review off by saying that Victoria Schwab is my favorite author that I have discovered since starting my book blog. That is a bold statement, but this book solidifies my feels for sure. She rocks my world with her epic storytelling and dark, atmospheric worlds full of the most intriguing, complex, and dynamic characters while pursuing the best kinds of tales of good versus evil. I cannot get enough of her stories and her imagination and I will forever follow her and her stories.

Originally referred to as "a novel with pirates, thieves, and sadist kings" back when VICIOUS (a novel where you can find my husband, Victor Vale) first made it onto the scene, I knew I had to have this book. It did not disappoint me at all and blew my expectations out of the water completely. It has aspiring pirates, thieves of all kinds, sadist kings, good kings, lovable princes, time-traveling of the most unique sort, multiple Londons, magic magic magic and more amazingly cool magic, a kickass cast of characters that I will legitimately never forget, and some of the most flawless world-building I have ever encountered while experiencing a crazy magic filled journey of a lifetime that absolutely everyone needs to read because it also serves as a great introductory to fantasy done right.

Let's start with the world-building...there are several Londons. Four, actually, but one London is sealed off from the rest because it fell in this magical war since it kind of turned evil and whatnot. In other words, this is totally mysterious and I want to know more about it in book two or I may stage a silent revolt. The remaining Londons are referred to as Red London, White London, and Gray London. Each London is set in a different point in history mixed with magic--at least it seems that way. Only travelers can make their way to other Londons and, right now, there are only two travelers in the world because they are a race that is dying out. This novel takes this obvious complex-sounding world and makes it seem like it is easy to build it and bring it into our lives as readers. Schwab excels in such a thing and I envy her for it greatly.

But holy cow, Batman, we must talk about the mad skills Schwab possesses for dreaming up characters that are impossible to hate.

Kell is the traveler for Red London and he is among the best main characters I have come across in a while. He is likable and respectable, though also unlikable all at once because he likes to dabble in illegal transportation of relics and such and that kind of ended up sending him on the wild journey found in this book. In other words, he's a bad boy and he knows it and I love him for it. And, in other other words, he is the best kind of hero out there, very much like Victor Vale. You love them even though you know you're not supposed to at times because they aren't the quintessential hero, but that's what makes them so real. I hate heroes that are 100% perfect and clean-cut. It takes away from our ability to admire their growth and makes their story less interesting because good balances out evil within oneself. No person can be truly good without being tempted by evil and overcoming it. Kell has both darkness and light in him, and that's why he is going to be very hard to forget. Plus, any form of tragedy in a hero in regards to their present life or even their back-story is like candy to me, so I'll automatically eat that right up.

Another character worth noting is Lila Bard, my favorite thief that is aspiring to be a pirate. She wants to live a life she dictates for herself with reckless abandon and that's just what she does. This girl is perfect and I literally would not change a single thing about her. She plays a very large part in this novel because she outsmarts Kell in the best possible way and from then on they are stuck together. I don't want to say anything else about her because discovering her for yourself is part of the fun, but I will say that I have so many theories about her that I am sure will be part of book two. But, oh gosh, this girl knows how to make life more interesting.

I also want to take a moment to talk about Holland, the other known traveler in this deliciously dark world. He is just another example of good and evil warring within a person, how a back-story really effects who a character is, what they become, and how they behave. And even though I did not love him, I can say I gained even more respect for Schwab because of how many layers Holland alone carried. Throw in Rhy, the Prince of Red London who I believe will have a very large part in book two, and you have heard about four of my favorite characters ever. Seriously. Ever. Like I will never forget them and even talk to my friends about them until they tell me to shut up.

But then I can just transition to talking about the magic in this world because it's not your typical magic. The magic itself is almost like its own being because of its complexity. It is its own world where it plays by its own rules, it's own living breathing thing that cannot be ignored or fully controlled and it will do what it wants whenever it wants whether you want it to or not. And that's what is so cool about it.

And even though this review is long enough already, I need to take a moment to mention the exploration of relationships in this because wow.

First, the romance. There is the potential for a relationship in this which is what makes it so enticing. There is a ship to ship and root for, but it has not set sail yet. Because of that there is a slow-building tension and desperation to make it work on the readers end while the characters blissfully do their own thing and slowly realize hey, this person isn't that bad. No insta-love plus the potential for one of my ultimate ships ever to set sail in book two is A++. And Kell's amazing friendship with his brother, Prince Rhy, is doubly A++ because it shows how important and necessary friendship is not only to life, but to one's sanity and happiness as well.

So, in other words, you have to read this book. There's no way that we can be friends if you don't read this book. Okay, that's a lie, but if you are my friend and you don't read this book then prepare for a book pushing of a lifetime on my end. Schwab has mastered the art of creating enticing worlds with unforgettable characters and crazy stories that constantly blow my mind. She has officially taken up residence in a tiny part of my heart and I will never allow her to move out. I sincerely hope that all of you give yourselves the opportunity to fall in love with her works the way I have, and I truly cannot wait to see what story she decides to gift us with next.

Also read this book because magical coats. Yes.

5 stars
But, really, this book deserves infinite stars.

~*~Links~*~

If you want to read more about this book, I would check out my friend Nikki's review because it is much more eloquent than mine since I am still fangirling forever. Plus, she's hosting a cool giveaway!

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book as a gift from an industry professional and it in no way effects my views of the story. I accepted no compensation in any form in exchange for this honest review.

The Intern Diaries (4): The In's and Out's of Netgalley


 After my first internship at a literary agency, I put together a free-flowing post about what I learned. Well, now that I am at Bloomsbury, I want to do the same thing as I go, but share it with my readers since I'm quickly discovering that many of you aspire to do the same thing that I am doing now! With 5 months under my belt and several more to go, I think now's a good time to start recording my thoughts! This post series will be posted on Sunday's whenever I get the time.


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I got a few questions about Netgalley, so I just wanted to post about it to hopefully clear things up in all areas!

Here is something that I learned and never really realized as a blogger in regards to Netgalley...many titles have a limited amount of people that are allowed to download it. Those messages you get about there not being enough eARCs are actually real!

And I know you're sitting there thinking it's an eARC, it's not physical, so why is there a limit? And there's a limit because, like ARCs, eARCs are meant to be read by a certain audience with certain kinds of platforms to get the word out there.

As an intern, I do man the Netgally account for review requests and media professional requests. Yes, these are two different things. If you are a blogger, you should characterize yourself as a reviewer, by the way. It's important that you do this. There are certain titles with important caps that I can't touch, but otherwise I am told to simply look at the blogs and use my best judgment while staying within a certain statistic or expectation range.

So, some Netgalley pieces of advice... (I'm assuming they extend to Edelweiss, too!)

1. Make sure your blog links work.
So many requests filter in on a single day that we can't go googling for your blog. You have the option to link a website, so link your platform's website! After linking it, go back in and check to make sure you linked it properly, because when we try to click sometimes and we are taken to an error page because a letter or a dot is missing in the URL, you're most likely going to get denied for not having a platform.

2. Goodreads does not count as a platform.
Do not link your Goodreads account. People with only a Goodreads account linked are more likely to get denied. If you have a blog and a Goodreads you can link both, but the blog is more important!

3. Do not request books if you have no platform.
If you have no platform whatsoever and you just like to read, Netgalley is probably not the place for you.

4. Do not request books if you haven't blogged for months.
We do actually click the links you provide for us and check out your blogs. If your first post is dated from months ago, if not years ago, you are going to get denied. Just because you once had a blog does not mean you can still reap the benefits if you are not still active. :(

5. Do not request books that are out of your territory.
Seriously, it's not like we hate people that don't live in the US or Canada, but there are different branches of a publishing house that work with different territories. For example, Australian bloggers requesting US titles are probably going to get denied by the US but approved by the Australian branch. Just listen to the guidelines that say what territories the posting is for. You're hurting your approval/deny ratio if you don't listen and publishers do see that when they are approving people and, for some, that can make or break a random click.

6. When submitting Netgalley reviews, update your review with your blog link when the title goes live.
Do not link to your Goodreads or Amazon or blog in general, we want to read the review once it is live so we can help promote it and note it in our files etc etc. Just going in to update the review can help the publisher immensely and if you make a habit of it your name may just become something people recognize automatically, which is always a good thing.

7. Don't think that you won't get approved for books on Netgalley because you're a smaller blogger.
If anything, you are more likely to get approved on Netgalley than you are a physical ARC as a smaller blogger! Sure, there are frontlist insanity titles that have such small approval ratios you may not get, but you will have access to most titles as long as you are blogging consistently and purposefully. I'm not saying start requesting books after a month of blogging because that doesn't show the consistancy people are looking for when approving Netgalley requests, but once you're in it for 2-3 months and have a small amount of followers, go for it!

8. Submitting reviews is always a good thing!
It ups your review ratios which we do see and it shows you're reliable, which makes people more inclined to send you things and if you keep working with them then, who knows, one day you may be auto-approved! I'm not allowed to do such a thing as an intern, but auto-approved members are mostly those people who have been diligently supporting a house for a while that their name just sticks out.

9. Stats are always a plus!
In your bio maybe mention stats. It can never hurt you to help us find them as opposed to making us search for them.

10. Do not get discouraged if you are denied from a title.
In the end, Netgalley is two buttons on our end. It's easy to miss a button sometimes, or sometimes we have to deny because of the limit ratio. Other times it's as simple as you being out of territory or your blog link not working. So, just keep going with it. Don't allow yourself to get discouraged. We do want you to read and review, so make sure you actually do read and review and everyone wins!

11. If you are a reviewer, say you are a reviewer.
There are several different categories for Netgalley users. Librarians, Booksellers, Educators, Media Professionals, and Reviewers. If you are a blogger, then you are a review. If you categorize yourself as a media professional you may be more likely to get denied because you aren't technically one. Just make sure you note that you are what you are and you are good!

I hope that you learned a little bit about Netgalley and this answers the 3 or 4 questions I got about Netgalley in my inbox. If you have any questions that you want answered or perhaps something you think will be a great post topic, fill out this form!

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Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts below. Do you have any other Netgalley questions? Did you learn anything from this post? What other topics do you want to see a post on?

Rick Yancey Author Event Recap & Giveaway

Last Tuesday, I went to an event at Books of Wonder with Rick Yancey to celebrate the paperback release of The 5th Wave. I'd be lying if I said this was not one of the most fun author events I have ever been to. Seriously, Rick Yancey is absolutely hilarious. He stood behind the table wielding that microphone making the crowd laugh for well over an hour while he welcomed questions. His stories were fabulous and his charisma was absolutely contagious and the questions were literally never-ending. Just, gah, everyone needs to take a lesson or two in public speaking from this entertaining master pictured to the left.

Brief note...sorry that this picture is a little dark, but the lighting wasn't the greatest and there's only so much you can do on a cell phone. :(

However, I really want to share some of what I learned with you guys! Without further ado...

~*~On The Movie~*~

Filming just wrapped last month and though he won't get to see the script for many more months because authors always hate the Director's Cut (his words, seriously), he's happy with what he has seen. He has had a solid two interactions with Chloe Grace Moretz and definitely fanboyed on the inside each time. 

His favorite scene that he saw shot was the scene where Cassie is hiding under the car and has to decide to if she wants to run and potentially die or stay under the car and probably die since she's wounded and the shooter is most likely still out there. That car? Well, it's a big block of wood. Chloe was laying under a big block of wood with a huge square tunnel cut out in it so the camera could stare directly down at her face. Of course special effects would make it like the cool inside of the car, but the minor emotions displayed on her face at this time blew his mind. This scene filmed on an airport tarmac in Atlanta was the first scene he saw shot and, guys, seeing his excitement made me literally freak out inside.

For him, this experience is "like stumbling into a dream you have had and there it is in real life." I can totally see that.

Favorite fun fact ever: the dead bodies in the film are actually mannequins. Rick Yancey desperately wanted a cameo in his own film, but they refused to give him one despite his amazing dead body imitation abilities.

~*~On The Book~*~

Rick is currently writing book three and all anyone wants to know is who gets with who? I mean, the world is ending and everything is blowing up and WE JUST NEED TO KNOW WHO ENDS UP WITH WHO. 

Aside from that...these are some of my favorite questions and answers from the night.

1. Are any characters based on people you know?
They sneak their way in, especially his son who is preparing to enter college. He actually channeled Cassie's personality form his wife, Sandy, who he would run to often with amazingly snarky quotes only to realize he took them from her when she said them weeks prior.

2. Where did the idea for The 5th Wave come from?
Fear of aliens and personal bankruptcy, of course! ;) He always wanted to write science fiction so he took an alien invasion theme and made it about us instead of them. Because we never actually see the aliens, the series is all the more unique.

3. Why does he write YA?
His career as a young adult novelist actually started from failure. He wrote an adult novel with a male protagonist and it wouldn't sell, and now he's here.

4. Do you have any writing rituals?
His rituals build on each other the longer he writes. In the beginning he had absolutely none, but now he has to be writing on his patio with a fire going even though it's hot in Florida (because he compares them to the fires of creation). He also has to drink a certain amount of coffee and listen to a certain kind of music. No more writing in the car!

5. Where would he go if the world was ending?
If the world was ending, Rick Yancey would go to Disney instead of staying in his house because they would stay open right until the end and probably attempt to negotiate with the aliens. I mean...let's be honest. ;)

6. If he lived in his world, when would he die?
The author would die in the first wave...stuck in an elevator with much bigger people for days with one bottle of water and no food. (This literally made me die!) If he needs a quicker death then he would probably be at Disney on a roller coaster when the power goes out so he dangles and dangles and dangles then falls out and dies.

7. Favorite thing about being an author?
He is very thankful to be where he is today and even at the event at Books of Wonder. In his eyes, the coolest part of writing a story is the ability to entertain yourself since you're your own first audience and having people react in a way where they share in that joy brought on by an entertaining story. The joy of reading can unite people and make them all care for something. Because of this he does care for his readers. An example is that he makes it incredibly clear which perspective you are currently reading after feedback from the beginning of book one.

8. What's so interesting about writing for him?
It's really interesting to him to write young characters like Sammy because you don't want to bore readers with simple sentences, but little kids experience before they can process, so it's challenging to get inside their head sometimes.

9. My favorite piece of parting wisdom: Books are organic. You work in a garden and nothing is set in stone so it changes as you go. Writing is not a formula, but a process that you're working through constantly.

10. Fact that made me squirm: the last bit of his survival food would most likely be sardines because he eats them once a week. (EEEWWWWW!!!!!!)

~*~Giveaway~*~
This giveaway is provided by the amazing publisher, Penguin. It is for one (1) paperback of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. You must be 13 years or older to enter and this is for US citizens only. The winner has 48 hours to respond before I pick a new one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May the odds be ever in your favor. (:
Thank you to Penguin for providing this giveaway prize! 

I'm 20 Today...so let's have a giveaway!


AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On this day, twenty years ago, my parents were agonizing over the fact that they just had their first child a month in advance. New parents...totally not ready for anything ;) I'd say I turned out just fine, though.

I cannot believe it is my birthday! I've been looking forward to this one for a while, mostly because the age of 19 is kind of awkward. I was ready to chop that "-teen" off the end of my age and all the negative connotations that come with it. I am accomplished for a young twenty something living and making her living in New York City. You guys! THAT IS MY LIFE NOW!!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS MY LIFE NOW! Cue the epic internal dance party because hey-ooooo!!!!!

Anyway, back to all seriousness, I was raised believing the birthdays are a time to be celebrated, but celebrations are only fun when you share your happiness with others. So, I want to tell you twenty fun, random facts about the little ole birthday girl and then I have an awesome giveaway for y'all.

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1. I hate yellow gummies. I don't know if it's the fact that they're yellow or that they're lemon. Both...definitely both.

2. I've been in NYC for the past two years officially as a college student, but I was actually born in NYC. I feel like I've returned and embraced a long lost friend. So much better then Jersey.

3. I really hate Jersey. That's where I grew up. Really really hate it...don't go there.

4. I'm 5 foot 8 and in search of a 6 foot + Prince Charming. He'll come along one day, I suppose. All the books I read are making me super antsy ;)

5. My first ever job was at a library. I miss it, but I can't wait to one day find myself at a publishing house.

6. I have the worst bad luck ever. Even my bosses at my tour guide job and my internship acknowledge it. If something bad can happen, it'll happen to me and then I'll craugh my way through the rest of the day.

7. I'm obsessed with musicals. I can't sing or dance or act but I tend to blow $250 dollars a year on musicals, hence my Broadway Review feature.

8. I've been a vegetarian since I was five years old. I first took on this challenge because I just hated meat and it made me feel sick to my stomach, but when I was eight I realized there were other people like me in the world and there was a name for us, so that's when I officially adopted the title of veg-head.

9. I can't stand tomatoes. If it ain't salsa, I ain't digesting it. Ick ick ick.

10. My bucket list is to one day travel to all of Europe. So far I've got England, Ireland, Scotland Whales, Italy, Vatican City, Malta, Greece, Switzerland, and Israel off of my list. Technically I've also been to Germany, but I was only in the airport for an hour so that does and doesn't count depending on my mood.

11. Cheese. I could not live without cheese. Seriously.

12. I am obsessed with all things Disney and Pixar and all things Marvel when it comes to movies. I'm a franchise fangirl, it seems.

13. I discovered Netflix in college and I've never gone back. It's gotten me addicted to my now ultimate favorite TV shows like Once Upon A Time and Breaking Bad.

14. I am the most squeamish person you will ever meet. I won't eat for the rest of the day after reading a gory book, watching a gory movie, or participating in a gory discussion. I'm disgusted just thinking about gore.

15. I crave salad. I could probably survive off of salad, pasta, potatoes, and cheese if that were an option without gaining a million pounds.

16. My birthday was not supposed to be February 16th, it was supposed to be in March. I was a premie that weighed exactly five pounds and almost didn't get released from the hospital because of it. My birth is a long story of the hospital not believing my Mom was in labor, my Dad freaking out, some wine to calm her nerves, oh dang! a baby was just born!, and my Dad holding me like a football (first picture ever!) because he was scared he would break me. It's actually really funny, I should tell it to you some time.

17. Even though I have been blogging for over 2 years, I still have trouble remembering the minor details in books. Overarching plots, sure, but anything else escapes me.

18. I am slightly obsessed with the show Big Brother. It's a family thing.

19. When I was a kid, I modeled. My mother has won several awards for pictures she took of me.

20. One day I want to road trip across the U.S. and find an awesome indie bookstore to visit in almost every state. However, to do this, I need someone to steal my cash and credit cards because books will begin to take the place of what little clothing I decide to bring.

21. Twenty-one is my lucky number, therefore I had to add one in for good luck. ;)

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I also want to take a second to say I am thankful for my family. We're kind of nuts and things are always complicated and hectic when I am at home, but being away from them for two years now shows me how much they really do mean to me...antics aside. ;) Love you Dad, Mom, and Sydney.

And a brief shout out to all the amazing friends I have made...Jessie, Bekka, Dana, Shae, Nikki, Angie, Shifa, Rachel, Alyssa, Nicole, Alexa, Jen, Christina (Reads YA), Kristin, Ashlea, Montana, Summer, Kelly, Jon, and so many more that I can't write them all here when I am putting this post together last minute. Know that I love all of you to pieces!

Lastly, I just want to say that I am really thankful for my internship. I didn't think I'd be able to say I have had any kind of success in the publishing industry until after I turned twenty and here I am...more than half way through literally my dream internship and, agh, I still need to pinch myself sometimes. To show my appreciation for Bloomsbury, I'm going to give you, my awesomely awesome kickass readers, the opportunity to take home one of my personal favorite ARCs that I have worked on at the internship. Please note that these are my personal copies I received as a reviewer, so they are very gently loved but still in amazing condition. (:


Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 ~*~First Giveaway: US Only~*~
Prize: Your choice of one of the 3 ARCs above
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter.
2. This is US only! Sorry, but I am saving up to study abroad.
3. Winner has 48 hours to respond before I pick a new one!
4. I reserve the right to disqualify who I see fit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~Second Giveaway: US & CAN~*~
I am attending Apollycon at the end of the month and I will be meeting Sarah J. Maas *commences fangirling*. So...I will be able to get a signed copy of THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE! I am hoping to get it personalized for the winner, but if that is not possible then at least it will be signed!

Prize: signed copy of The Assassin's Blade
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter.
2. This is for US and Canadian residents!
3. Winner has 24 hours to respond before I pick a new one!
4. I reserve the right to disqualify who I see fit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, guys! I hope you have a great day. (:

The Intern Diaries (3): Q&A Numero Uno


After my first internship at a literary agency, I put together a free-flowing post about what I learned. Well, now that I am at Bloomsbury, I want to do the same thing as I go, but share it with my readers since I'm quickly discovering that many of you aspire to do the same thing that I am doing now! With 5 months under my belt and several more to go, I think now's a good time to start recording my thoughts! This post series will be posted on Sunday's whenever I get the time.
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I noticed a lot of people asking questions that were awesome to answer, but not enough to create an entire post on, so I have decided to do a few Q&A posts whenever enough of these questions arise. Here are the first set with a few more already ready for another set, so please don't hesitate to ask me your questions. Odds are they'll be answered somewhere, somehow. (:

1. How long is the typical internship? - @kalebsmome 
The typical internship lasts for the equivalent of a college semester. A typical college semester is 15 weeks, so factor in the fact that some houses have flexible beginning and end dates depending on schedules and I would say about 13 or 14 weeks, though internships are closer to 10-12 weeks. The fact that mine is a full academic year while I am still in college is incredibly long because I was invited to extend to help with a very busy season after I had previously proven myself and impressed my bosses. This is an amazing honor that I'm very grateful I was given the opportunity for. With that in mind, some houses will keep interns for extended periods of time so they don't have to repeatedly hunt every couple months if they are incredibly impressed or if the intern is out of college. Oppositely, some houses, like Penguin, have a very strict internship deadline of 10 weeks that cannot be altered no matter what season you are interning it. It really depends on where you go, what department you are in, where you are in life, and who you manage to impress in your time there.

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2. When do you think bloggers are best able to send in requests? -Anonymous
Firstly, you should have a blog when sending in request e-mails. If your email says you will start a blog once you get books for review or are in the process of starting one, you most likely will not be considered because you don't have a platform of any kind. I, personally, did not send in my first request until I had been blogging for 11 months. By then I had about 400 followers on my blog and 600 on Twitter. If you're sending in a request after only having blogged one or two months, it's very unlikely you will be sent a book because you haven't been blogging consistently enough for a lengthy period of time. Furthermore, your platform is still in the beginning stages and the point of books is to help get it known to the world. I'm not saying your requests won't be considered if you send them in at 2 or so months of blogging, but you have yet to truly prove yourself and it is honestly worth waiting at this point. You will have very little luck getting physical ARCs and Netgalley may be more your speed.

The best time, in my opinion, to request book is at least 6 months into blogging when you can show you truly have the swing of things and the commitment down. By then you'll also probably have about 300 followers. 300 is a substantial amount of followers, so don't be ashamed of that! You will definitely be considered for ARCs! However, those with 1,000 followers will be considered more, obviously. So, my last tiny piece of advice is go for the smaller titles in this period. If you have 300 followers and you are among 300 requests for 100 copies of say a guaranteed future best-seller, you won't get as much attention as you would a new book coming out by a new author that isn't super hyped, but has a ton of potential and may be that future best-seller with the sequel. I'm really hoping all of this makes sense.

The point is: wait to request ARCs until you have a substantial following and have been blogging for at least 6 months. Anything before then is really early and you most likely won't get anything. Smaller blogs also have better luck on Netgalley and with smaller titles than they do larger titles or for physical ARCs. Patience and consistency is key.

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3. Are the publicity teams for publishing houses friendly with one another or are they rivals? -@YerAWizardBekka
Okay, so, I kind of love this question. Publicists from different houses are often the best of friends from what I have observed. They can bond of book swapping and an obviously intense love of books without seeing each other every day of their lives. I would guess that there may be some friendly competition since it is part of life to be competitive, but there is no intense competition or dislike in that sense. Publicity tends to be a happy field because we are all essentially book pushing as a living while helping to promote authors behind the scenes. Publicity rivals are just not a thing, but I would totally love to see a blog tour throw-down or something now that you've asked this question. haha 

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4. How do publishers decide who'd they like to invite on a blog tour? - @AwkwordlyEmma
This is actually a really hard question to answer because for everyone it is different. I have done six blog tours on my own at this point and I do my best to spread myself across everyone who has indicated interest in blog tours because as a blogger I know that it really is fun to do them. However, a lot of thought does go into choosing who to invite. First, we want to invite people who have displayed interest in the author that is touring before. Secondly, we typically look at the people who requested the book because it means they have interest in that specific title. We also look at prior history with that individual. People who respond fast and kindly in a positive manner are more likely to get picked than those who rarely respond and aren't always that positive. People who promote their content on social media are great, too, as opposed to people who just post and are done. Also, if people have indicated interest in being on a specific blog tour or are part of a limited street team, that is definitely something to look at, too. Stats are taken into consideration, though are not a deciding factor. And, of course, having previous connections and interactions with that individual for a lengthy period of time indicates a level of trust and reliability that one can easily take comfort in.

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5. What is your favorite thing about being an intern? -@SassyandBookish & many more
The coolest thing about being an intern, for me, is experiencing the other side. As a blogger myself, I get to work a lot with you guys both directly and indirectly and it's awesome. I feel like I bring a lot of knowledge to the table with firsthand blogger knowledge. I try to expand those who we do blog tours with, how we do blog tours, implement new systems, grow those who are on our connections list, and everything of the sort. So just being able to do professional work with bloggers and come across new blogs to follow as a blogger when I get home is awesome. Seeing Twitter freak outs and smiles everywhere after I do a mailing and your shared excitement when you see my signature at the bottom of a galley letter (six so far!!! omg, I can't believe that I've actually written six galley letters!!) is something that is truly awesome for me. I know that sounds cliche, but knowing that people have looked up to me as a role model despite my young age (I turn 20 tomorrow!!!!!!! ahhh!!!!!) and have faith that one day I can achieve my bookish job goals is definitely something that gives me the warm fuzzies inside.

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6. Do you have any resume or cover letter tips? -@everybookaworld
I honestly wish I did, but, in reality, I am just a day away from being a 20 year old floundering in the world of internships hoping that I can get that interview and convince them that I am worth hiring. I've been told by many people, even my career counselors at my college, that for someone my age my resume is extraordinary. There's a lot on it from leadership to work experience to other activities. My GPA is high and the resume itself is also pretty to look at. From a young age I knew I wanted to go into books so my resume is very book-centric though it does have my on-campus jobs and activities to show I am involved and also responsible. Everything on my resume was put there strategically as opposed to being a place holder, so my best resume advice is to build yourself up and put yourself in positions to make your resume awesome for what you want to do in the future. Also, experiment with layouts and everything of the sort. It's nice when it is visually appealing and professional. I have distinct memories of sending 30 different resume formats to my parents before we decided on my current one.

As for cover letters, I spent hours upon hours scouring the Internet and comparing a ton of different kinds of letters and pieces of advice before I did my own. It took me 2 days to write the first draft and by the time I finalized it to send off for my internship at a literary agency this past summer, only two sentences from my original draft remained. So cover letters still elude me. I'm sure that as time goes by I will get better at them, but I've only ever sent a cover letter twice. I am sorry I am no help in this regard! :(

But the best advice is that your resume has to be good enough for you to land that interview and once you're in that interview than be you and rock it!

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7. You've told us about the perfect request e-mail, but what about the "after" of the request e-mail? Do you want the review e-mailed to you? What if it is negative? -@laurayjames
I love this question! Maybe I should do a post about this...Anyway, in regards to the "after" the request e-mail sending in reviews will only ever help you. We have databases to note reviews because they are important and if we see your name on it often, we are more likely to continue you working with you then, say, someone who never turns their reviews in. We don't go tracking you down looking for them, you know? There's barely enough time in the day to go through our inboxes! Negative reviews are up to your discretion. I tend to submit negative reviews more in Netgalley than I do via actual e-mail. They should also never be tweeted at the author or publisher. If you choose to send them in than that is totally okay. You'll only be viewed differently if literally every review you send in is not only negative, but also very mean and feeling like an attack.

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8. When is the best time to post reviews for review books? -@jesellev
Good question! The best time is about a month before the release date or right after it. If you post the review too early, it may fly under the radar. If you are posting it within a month of publication you are really helping to spread the word right before the title is published, which is always a help. Typically a lot of other bloggers are posting at this time, too, so more reviews will be common to keep the book fresh in people's minds. Posting right after it is published also keeps the hype up for the title when people realize that they can actually buy it now, too.

If you have any questions that you want answered or perhaps something you think will be a great post topic, fill out this form!


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This is the first round of Q&A for my Intern Diaries feature! If you have a question about publishing, internships, my experiences, my thoughts, or anything of the sort, please comment below and I will do my best to include it as a future post topic or in a future Q&A! I hope you guys like this and choose to keep it around because I think this would be something awesome to do once a month. <3