January Monthly Recap

~*~On The Blog~*~
This month I headed back to school and I'm adjusting to what it's like again. I didn't get a lot of reading done because of this, but I am hoping this will change in February now that I am (hopefully) more adjusted to what it's like being in NYC with my new crazy schedule.

Books Reviewed:
All Fall Down by Ally Carter - 4 stars
Until Midnight by Melissa Landers - 4 stars
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black - 4 stars
Soulprint by Megan Miranda - 3.5 stars
The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons - 3.5 stars
The Maze Runner by James Dashner - 2 stars

Books Read This Month:
I have challenged myself to read 100 books this year, let's see if I can! I'll be keeping track in this section.
  1. The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (ARC: 311 pages)
  2. The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (ARC: 332 pages)
  3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (ARC: 400 pages) 
  4. Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Hardcover: 256 pages)
  5. The Last Good Day of the Year by Jessica Warman (ARC: 278 pages) 
DNF's of the month 
  1. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (85 pages in)
Total Pages Read This Month:1,662 pages
Total Books Read This Year: 5
Total Books DNF'd This Year: 1
The Broadway Review:
  • I introduced this new feature here if you want to check it out! This feature is dependent upon audience interest, so please comment on any of the reviews if you still want me to keep it! 
  • I have a Broadway review going up next month!
Giveaways:
  • None this month aside from a Twitter giveaway, but I have at least 2 planned for February so stay tuned ;)
Discussion Posts:
  • What got you reading? For some, it is a loaded question. This is a very personal post, but I would love to know your story.
  • Introducing The Intern Diaries! This is a post series about my experiences interning to give curious people a peek on the other side and people who want to one day be in my shoes more knowledge. I hope you guys like it! The first post is on social media!
  • I did my first Waiting on Wednesday in 4 months for this hilarious-looking Wizard of Oz retelling! 
  • My 2014 end of the year book survey was posted in the beginning of the month. This thing is so time consuming!
  • Epic Recs for January was not that successful. Bekka gave my book 3 stars and I DNFed my first book of 2015 with her rec. February is looking bright, though!
Guest Posts and Bonus Content: 
  • My Tuck Everlasting 40th anniversary blog tour post went up. What would you do if you could live forever?
~*~What I've Been Watching~*~

Broadway Shows:
  • I saw Cabaret for my birthday. Thank you, Tanta, for taking me. Emma Stone and Alan Cumming absolutely rocked my socks off.
TV:
  • Breaking Bad is over for me and I am in love with that ending. This was such a great long-term binge and I highly recommend it.
  • The Bachelor is airing again and I love me some crappy reality television. However, most of the girls suck this season, ESPECIALLY ASHLEY I WHO IS REPPING A TOWN ABOUT 40 MINUTES AWAY FROM MY HOMETOWN. I am cringing! Anyway, I really like Whitney and Jade, so fingers crossed for them. Chris is great, though, even if he's blinded by the women right now. AND I AM SO HAPPY JILLIAN IS FINALLY GONE. WHEW.
  • I saw the premier of Agent Carter, but I've unfortunately missed all later episodes. I'm going to binge it upon its completion.
  • The Challenge has broken my heart with how they are handling the Diem situation, but this season is turning out to be a decent one so far. CT & DIEM FOREVER! <3
  • I have officially started my Friends re-watch. I am only about 4 or 5 episodes in, but I am so ready for this!
Movies: 
  • I've watched Guardians of the Galaxy a few times. Okay...more then a few times.
Youtube:
  • People's Choice did the ultimate Throwback Thursday with the 6 music videos for 90 songs that everyone knows and forgot about and I die every time I listen to them.
  • The third trailer for THE DUFF has been released and I just love it so much!
~*~Reading Challenges~*~

Fairytale Retelling Challenge:
  • None so far! D:
Flights of Fantasy Challenge:
  • The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
  • The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Contemporary Reading Challenge:
  1. Does The Last Good Day of the Year count?
TBR Pile Challenge:
  • I suck. Ignore me. This is why I typically don't do challenges.
    Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3

    Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt 40th Anniversary Blog Tour


    What if you could live forever?

    This is literally one of the most daunting questions ever. Immediately, my mind says no. I'm a really emotional and sentimental person. While I adapt to change in the physical sense, I do not like emotional change. I don't like losing those close to me...a sentiment I am sure is echoed among many other people. So I would only want to live forever if others would, undoubtedly, come along for the ride and want to experience it with me. I would need my immediate family, maybe some best friends, and definitely the pets. An infinite amount of pets! Yes! I do not welcome a future without cats. No way.

    As a current college student, I genuinely feel how short the days are. It's kind of shocking to me, actually. I intern nine to five (or maybe have classes at this time) and then I commute back to my dorm. I'm all relaxed by six, and then I start cooking myself dinner. Then I do homework, maybe work a 3 hour 8-11 shift at one of my on campus jobs, and, boom, it's time to sleep. There's simply not enough time in the day to enjoy the little things I love, like walking through the streets of New York City people watching for hours. Or marathoning Disney movies with my best friends, or even binging an amazing book series.

    There's not enough time in the day to travel. Getting to Europe and dealing with jetlag it's as if you waste an entire two days only to cut your already short vacation in half because flying is incredibly energy-draining and time-consuming.

    There's not enough time in the day to do absolutely nothing and not have it negatively impact you the next day somehow. I just want to be a couch potato and not have repercussions from my potato-ing. Is that too much to ask?!

    If my days were infinite I could pursue all of my desires and watch them change with the ages while my present becomes my past and my far past becomes part of history. But I would only want to do it with the people I love. I know that in the next few years--even in my entire lifetime--new people I love will come in and out of my life. This would happen undoubtedly if I live forever, but what's a girl to do without her Dad? Or her first true best friend? Or her little sister that annoys her to no end but they're stuck together forever? Or even her Mom because, hello, she's your Mom? And the cats because awwwwwwwwwww.

    For now, I guess I'll just have to stop sleeping. That's all I can manage in order to live life to the fullest. ;)

    ~*~*~*~

    This post was part of the 40 Days in 40 Years tour honoring this amazing novel...the first book I finished in a single day (against my teacher's wishes) all those years ago.

    Blessed with—or doomed to—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

    A brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials make this special edition of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting a must-have for lovers of the book and a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic.

    Thank you for allowing me to be part of such an awesome tour!

    Top Ten Books For My Book Club

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

    I love this option because I do have an amazing book club with Alexa, Christina, Jen, and Kristin. So, in no particular order, ten books I think would be awesome to read in my book club! I think all of these will be interesting to read for a book club!


    1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- I have never read this book and I feel like I should. However, I also feel like I may not read it unless I am forced to read it, so maybe this is an ideal situation for that? haha

    2. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson- I want to read this book so badly! I feel like I'm one of the few people in the world who hasn't, so I am going to read this eventually. I promise!

    3. Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas- This book won't be out for months but I plan on forcing it on my entire book club because IT IS SO DANG GOOD!


    4. Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen-I feel like this is a fantasy book that flew under the radar, but everyone I know that read it adored it and books that fly under the radar are always amazing conversation starters!

    5. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay- I have heard this book is really amazing, and I want to check it out! It's being pushed on me from bloggers, regular readers, librarians, etc. It may be time to pick it up and because of what I have heard about it, I am tempted to discuss it with a ton of people!


    6. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson- I have a confession...I have never read any of Morgan Matson's books, and I must remedy that! I think this would be a solid contemporary choice for a book club because of what I have heard about it.

    7. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta- I am now in love with Melina Marchetta and it's a goal of mine to make it through all of her books. I really want to start her fantasy series once I own books two and three! Plus, she's such an amazing author that any of her books are good to talk about.


    8. Heist Society by Ally Carter- This is such an intense and fun and entertaining read, as is anything that Ally Carter published with Disney, so this would be an awesome book club book since people tend to forget them in favor of her Gallagher Girls series. I have to say, though, that I think this series is better and I am praying she chooses to write a fourth book! We all have to talk about what we think the W.W. in W.W. Hale means!!!!!

    9. Vicious by V.E. Schwab- Victoria Schwab is my favorite author and I will forever push her works on everyone. I think this would make a good book club book because it is super polarizing. You are either going to love its darkness or you will hate it. It would make for an amazing discussion!

    10. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen- I didn't put a reimaginig or retelling on here and that must be remedied! This is one of those universes that can be talked about forever, so really any of the books in this trilogy would be an awesome book club read!

    This is posted late due to the wonky Internet from the blizzard last night. With that in mind, what do you think of my picks and don't forget to link me to your picks!

    The Intern Diaries: What Do You Want From this Post Series?


    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 6 months under my belt and several more to go, I think now's a good time to start recording my thoughts!

    ~*~*~*~

    Last week I launched my new series called The Intern Diaries and it was a resounding success thanks to its first post on social media. A lot of people showed interest and curiosity and some people on Twitter already sent me questions they'd like to know. So, to make it easier for all of us, I am giving you a bit of say and will begin posting these posts regular on Sundays starting next week!

    What's awesome about this meme is that I can answer your burning questions (to the best of my ability) for those that are curious and also answer the questions of those that want to one day intern as well. So, please take advantage of this form below! You may get a post on a topic you really want a post on! This is for me to help you! (:



    I am so excited that many of you expressed as much interest in this new series as I did, and I can't wait to see your thoughts through this form and the comment section below! I look forward to bringing the most requested topic to your attention next Sunday!

    Stacking the Shelves #95

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


    From Edelweiss and Harper (Thank you!)
    Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

    From Macmillan (thank you!) 
    Sweet by Emmy Laybourne 
    Joyride by Anna Banks

    I am super curious about all of these titles, especially the new Robyn Schneider since THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING means so much to me!

    Review: Soulprint by Megan Miranda

    Publication Date: February 3, 2015
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
    Reading Level: Young Adult
    Pages: 368 (ARC)
    Source: From Publisher For Review
    From the author of FRACTURE, a riveting new thriller which draws on cutting-edge science.

    Alina Chase has been contained on an island for the last 17 years—whether that’s for the crimes of her past life, or for her own protection, well, that depends on whom you ask. With soul-fingerprinting a reality, science can now screen for the soul, and everyone knows that Alina’s soul had once belonged to notorious criminal, June Calahan, though that information is supposed to be private. June had accomplished the impossible: hacking into the soul-database, ruining countless lives in the process.

    Now, there are whispers that June has left something behind for her next life—something that would allow Alina to access the information in the soul-database again. A way to finish the crimes she started.

    Aided by three people with their own secret motivations, Alina escapes, only to discover that she may have just traded one prison for another. And there are clues. Clues only Alina can see and decipher, clues that make it apparent that June is leading her to something. While everyone believes Alina is trying to continue in June’s footsteps, Alina believes June is trying to show her something more. Something bigger. Something that gets at the heart of who they all are—about the past and the present. Something about the nature of their souls.

    Alina doesn’t know who to trust, or what June intends for her to know, and the closer she gets to the answers, the more she wonders who June was, who she is, whether she’s destined to repeat the past, whether there are truths best kept hidden—and what one life is really worth.
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    I have never read a novel by Megan Miranda before, but after reading this one I am definitely curious. SOULPRINT was an amazing sci-fi thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters and plot are so dynamic that I literally sped through this novel at the speed of light (meaning in a single day in mostly one sitting).

    The plot of this book is absolutely insane. The government essentially created a soul database because they discovered (how, I'm not entirely sure) that souls leave a fingerprint behind on all past, present, and future lives--soulprints, if you will. Souls can leave money to their future selves and they even pass on whether they're left or right handed. However, such studies led to some really disturbing discoveries that state violent criminals from a past life are extremely likely to continue to be violent in the present life. It's this finding that, seventeen years ago, made June Calahan begin to release name of said violent criminals to help save the world. And it is that action that put Alina Chase, June's reincarnated soul, in a solitary jail on an island where her only comrades are guards that lie to her about their names while keeping 24/7 watch over her during their allotted month long assignment. However, when she escapes, she's determined to figure out why June did what she did since she is serving the sentence for actions that were never truly her own. Super riveting, right?

    On the contrary, I have to say that certain aspects of the plot were predictable. Three huge revelations immediately come to mind. However, despite their predictability, the story continued. Such instances didn't take away from the plot progression or the emotions Miranda was instilling in me at the time, they only made me roll my eyes at the characters that were lacking in a bit of common sense at certain moments.

    But, oh, the characters! This is such an amazing cast of characters. I wouldn't say this story is character driven because it isn't. The plot definitely holds its own, but having characters like these thrown into the mix only makes the book more awesome.

    Alina is incredibly intelligent. She's stubborn and determined to live her own life. By punishing her for crimes she never committed, the world has instilled a bit of a rebellious streak in her that I absolutely adore. She handles obstacles as they are thrown at her without complaints and sticks to her guns. This girl is super respectable and easy to get behind as a female protagonist. Connecting to her so quickly definitely helped me out. The book itself got off to a slightly slow start, but the second she was broken out of isolation and her thoughts didn't seem as insane because the puzzle was slowly beginning to form, it picked up.

    Then there are Cameron and Casey. These are two of the three people that helped her escape. As for the identity of the third, you'll have to read the book to find out! Cameron and Casey want to discover what happened to their sister, Ava, who disappeared about a year ago. Their only hope in finding answers was breaking Alina out and hoping she can find some clues that June left only for her. Throughout this novel the three of them become unlikely allies, friends, and there may even be some romance in the air.

    The romance in this was great. While, in the end, this book didn't span a lot of time, the romance didn't seem rushed. It seemed natural, like these two simply fit together and it was fated. In times of great stress people tend to bond much faster than normal. There was no true declarations of love thrown around, there was a stage of "like" that then began to grow. To put it simply, this romance was done right and I squealed my heart out whenever there was kissing because I was rooting so hard for these two.

    The ending of the book is both satisfying and dissatisfying. I understand why Miranda chose to end the book the way she did, but I wish that I was left with a few less questions and more closure on one or two topics. With that in mind, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this one. The plot is awesome and the cast of characters was even more amazing. While it isn't perfect, I finished this novel with a smile on my face. What more could you ask for from a book?

    ~*~Links~*~

    FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for this honest review.
    Personal Disclaimer: My internship at Bloomsbury publishing has in no way affected my opinions expressed in my reviews. I received this book not as an intern, but as a blogger/reviewer, thus I will review it as I would any other novel. Waiting to post such reviews until the completion of my internship would not be good because most thoughts would be irrelevant by the time of completion of said internship.

    Waiting on Wednesday #51

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.

    I rarely ever do these posts unless there's a book I'm really looking forward to that I haven't seen around the blogosphere, and I think it's time to bring some attention to this week's pick...

    Spelled by Betsy Schow

    Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

    Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

    Talk about unhappily ever after.

    Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.
    ~*~Why I Am Waiting~*~
    I am a fairytale retelling nut and I haven't found a Wizard of Oz retelling that I have absolutely loved. I'm hoping this can be the one! This story looks like it's going to be sarcastic and funny and that's right up my alley. 

    ~*~*~*~

    Has anyone else heard of this book? What are your thoughts? Do you know of any good Wizard of Oz retellings?

    Top Ten 2015 Releases I've Already Read and Highly Recommend

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

    Today's topic is a freebie so I am going to talk about the top ten 2015 releases I have already read and loved so that hopefully you'll read them, too! This is just a way to make you guys even more excited for them! In no particular order...

    1. Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
    Rating: 4.5 stars

    This is the last book in the Scarlet trilogy which is a Robin Hood reiminagining and it is everything I wanted it to be. I cannot wait to see what A.C. Gaughen writes next, but I am so sad to say goodbye to Scarlet, Rob, Much, and the rest of the crew.
    2. The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
     Rating: 4 stars

    I fell in love with this cover and immediately fell in love with the story inside. I know it's not for everyone. There's some info-dumping and it's very fast paced, but I happened to have enjoyed it immensely.
    3. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
    Rating: 4.25 stars

    I think I speak for all of us when I say that the world is looking forward to this book after waiting 3 years for it. Was it worth the wait? Yes. But is the actual ending fully satisfying? To some it will be and to some it won't. Either way, Rachel Hartman is an amazing storyteller!
    4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
     Rating: 5 stars

    This book...Wow, guys, this book. There's just no way to describe this book. Victoria Schwab's adult books are always immensely dark and atmospheric and all around wonderful and this book is worth the wait I can't even begin to describe it.
    5. Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
    Rating: 4.5 stars

    I didn't think I would love this book half as much as I do, but I read it at my internship and absolutely fell in love with it. This book is so surprising and different, and despite it's letter format it is a legitimate page turner. The character development is whoa!
    6. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
     Rating: 5 stars

    This is the only flat-out contemporary on this list and one of only two five star books. Emery Lord's sophomore novel absolutely kicks literary butt. This novel is just so powerful...no words to describe it.
    7. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    Rating: 4 stars

    This was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 and it did not disappoint. Maas's new series promises to be absolutely amazing! <3 While it wasn't perfect, I think my main issue with this book has to do with the fact that she had to set up this complicated world.
    8. The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
    Rating: 3.5 stars

    I put this book on here because it's very polarizing. I happened to really enjoy it, but I can see why others will not. It's very dark and unique, but I think it's worth a shot if you enjoy such atmospheres like myself.
    9. All Fall Down by Ally Carter
    Rating: 4 stars

    I adore Ally Carter and I am so excited to have read this book! I can't wait to see what comes next in this series. My main issue with book one was a little bit of strange romance that I think will be resolved in book two!
    10. Invaded by Melissa Landers
    Rating: I'm reading it now, but it's looking like a 4 star read

    I just love Melissa Landers. Her characters are easy to support and super smart. She is absolutely hilarious and her kissing scenes are always hot. I cannot wait for all of her future works. <3

    Have you read any of the books on my TTT? What did you think of them? Don't forget to share your TTT posts below!

    Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

    Publication Date: February 10, 2015
    Publisher: Tor Teen
    Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
    Pages: 336 (ARC)
    Source: Borrowed From Friend
    The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

    In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    I've been sitting on this review for a while. Mostly because this book is incredibly polarizing. Aspects of it are going to make people really uncomfortable. I mean...men pretty much bid on the right to own these women and their breeding rights to control population since there is a shortage of women in the world. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a scene or two that really made my skin crawl. But, overall, I did enjoy this book.

    It wasn't the world-building that did it for me like in Simmons's other books because, honestly, I was getting some Capitol vibes from this book at times combined with the fact that I can never really imagine our world coming to this one day. What made me love this book so much was the heroine. Aya is the type of girl that you respect and stand behind, even if she is doing something stupid that you disagree with. You still love her and root for her to get out of everything because she absolutely never gives up. She fights constantly to survive, to free herself, and to return to her family that she left behind in the mountains when she was taken. There are young children that rely on her there and she would never let them suffer if she has anything to say about it. She's just such a strong character and there's nothing I love more than a strong, respectable character.

    It doesn't hurt that Kiran is also a very interesting character. A Driver boy that oversteps his bounds, he is full of surprises and a large capacity for love despite his inability to talk. When Aya was in solitary confinement, he was instrumental to her sanity and I found myself warming up to him immediately despite their unique first meeting. Him and Brax are two incredibly strong secondary characters that hold their own.

    I found that I loved life on the outside way more than I did on the inside of the gates. Not only is it freer, but Aya was so much more fierce. She was in her element. Watching the women getting hunted was terrible, but a little exhilarating and watching how she was so proud of a strong, lean, muscled body and her calloused feet was something that I loved immensely. Seeing the Driver people, the weird trader Lorcan, her fellow travelers in her camp, the horses and animals and usage of herbs. It's hard, but it's so much safer than the fate that may meet you inside the gates. I felt like the book was a lot simpler when outside, and the weight of the world was weighing down on my shoulders during Aya's time on the inside. While this was done well, I can honestly say I wish we get more of her life outside. The ending wraps up nicely and makes me happy, but if there were to be a novella of some sort to check up on these characters, I would also be extremely satisfied.

    All in all, I have to say that this was a me book. I recognize the fact that a lot of people won't like this one. It's a tough read, it's disturbing, it's very dark and a lot of readers won't like the places that Simmons takes us as readers. But some of us will and for those of us who embrace darkness and craziness, this is going to be one heck of a read. Simmons knows what she is doing when it comes to taking us to dark, unexplored places, and I am curious as to what she will bring us next.

    3.5 stars
     
    ~*~Links~*~

    Introducing: The Intern Diaries!

    Thank you, Dana, for this lovely banner!

    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.

    Future posts include: Netgalley, requesting etiquette (from the other side!), galley letters and press releases, blog tours (from the other side!), and perhaps some Q&A if any of you have a lot of questions!

    ~*~*~*~*~

    Today's Topic: Social Media

    I think what's really cool about me interning is that I am a blogger and, well, most people who read this post will be bloggers, too. To most of you, I was a friend and fellow book nerd before I was an intern. And, to some of you, I was an intern you communicated with that you then befriended as a blogger. But, for me, it is very important to keep these two aspects of myself separate because one day I will have to leave blogging in favor of continuous internships and a heavy focus on one day getting hired as a full-time employee at a house.

    However, as a blogger that is currently also an intern, social media is suddenly a different animal for me. I obviously still use it to communicate with other bloggers and express my bookish feels that can't help but be let out, but I can't really use it to talk about my internship, per se. Because, as an intern, my internship shouldn't follow me home. There are many, many, many things I experience on a day-to-day basis that I am not allowed to talk about. I can pretty much describe the basics of what I do in office (which I can describe in more detail through this post series), and I can answer basic questions along the lines of where do I send in blogger requests for Bloomsbury? If you're wondering, this is the e-mail address that you send in requests at: teensusa AT bloomsbury DOT com.

    Otherwise, I'm not the one to go to for answering questions via social media because my social media accounts are not that of a professional. You can ask me questions at my work e-mail and if I am allowed to answer them I will, and if I am not they would simply get forwarded to my bosses. But any questions asked via social media are questions that I most likely don't have the right to answer as a blogger because, on Twitter and Instagram, I am not an intern, but a blogger once again. There is a difference between the social media accounts of an intern and a full-time publicist, you know?

     
    This screenshot above absolutely warms my heart. I've had several people e-mail to tell me that they're excited to see what I am doing because they one day want to do it themselves and it makes them feel like this is possible for them. Honestly, that is the coolest freaking thing ever! I constantly get asked questions about internship hunting, for basic advice, etc. and I love giving it! I really want to help, you know? But I can't help by answering questions that I don't have the right to answer via social media. These questions include:
    • When books will be sent out
    • Book requests
    • Blog tour requests
    • Netgalley requests
    • If you will be sent a book
    • Mailing address changes (please e-mail those in or I may forget to change them!)
    • Any kinds of dates for things
    • Whether an author will be visiting your state (honestly, I have no idea! I don't have access to actual author tour information yet I get this question a lot!)
    • Anything else along those lines that is not involving the basic request e-mail
    Again, if you e-mail me those questions at work, I may be able to answer them in a work environment because I'll have all information necessary in front of me instead of when I sit in my dorm on my laptop or am at school in class trying to avoid distractions.

    Many of you have received some form of this message from me:

    I'm really sorry, but I have this rule and it is that if you couldn't ask me a question before I was an intern, then please don't ask me it now.
    I have this message because I felt like people have attempted to take advantage of me in the past, which is why I created that rule above. It's totally weird getting DMed personal questions about how to get things from people who I have never talked to before. It's even weirder when friends ask you for favors and you need to take a step back and breathe. The entire situation for me, at least, is weird. 

    I have sent that message to so many people I have lost count. Dozens of people, most of which are still my friends today because I had to explain to them what I can and cannot do as an intern. And out of all of those people only a single person has gotten mad at me for that message to the point that I blocked her and moved on, so please don't be offended if you do get that message. You're getting it because despite me seeming approachable because I am one of you at the end of the day, the part of me that is an intern is not supposed to be approached about such things when I am not performing my intern duties. 

    Any questions can simply be emailed to us and they can be answered because this is one of those cases where work environment is separate from personal environment. When I one day work full-time in the industry, my twitter is a place for questions and DMs, but until then my twitter is the home of a blogger that cannot talk about such things. 

    Instead of being all stressed about books and what she's doing the next day in the office, @LiliReflects wants to freak out about ALL OF THE BOOKS! <3

    What do you think of this new post series idea? Do you like it, do you not like it, why? Please comment below with anything you may want to know and if I am allowed to talk about it, it may be a future post here!

    Stacking the Shelves #94

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

    This week was conquered by fantasy and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that <3


    From Bloomsbury (Thank you!)
    Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
    The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale

    Borrowed from Alyssa (Thank you!)
    The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (so good!)

    For Review from Macmillan (Thank you!)
    Tuck Everlasting 40th anniversary hardcover by Natalie Babbitt
    Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

    What did you add to your shelves?

    Novella Review: Until Midnight by Melissa Landers

    Series: Alienated #1.5
    Publication Date: December 23, 2014
    Publisher: Disney Hyperion
    Reading Level: Young Adult
    Pages: 112 (iBooks)
    Source: Bought for Free
    Don't miss the *free* romantic holiday story that connects ALIENATED and INVADED!

    Cara and Aelyx only have one day to spend together before he returns to earth and she travels to Aelyx's home planet, L'eihr. Homesick and worried about the upcoming year apart, Cara is desperate to make these final hours count. Worst of all, Cara is missing Christmas, stuck on board an alien spaceship. When Aelyx learns that Cara is forgoing her favorite holiday, he tries to recreate Christmas in space by researching traditional earth customs…but a few things get lost in translation.

    Coming December 23rd, this FREE short story will include multi-chapter excerpts of both ALIENATED and the sequel, INVADED.
    ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

    Before I begin, I have to say that this cover is gorgeous. I wish that this was a physical novella and not just an e-novella because I could pet that cover for days. Dang, is it pretty!

    This book takes place after book one, ALIENATED, ends and before book two, INVADED, begins. It is the perfect way to curb your appetite for book two since it still doesn't come out until the beginning of February. However, with that in mind, please don't read it until after you complete book one because despite its short length there are major spoilers. Also worth noting, you shouldn't continue on with this review without reading book one because there will be spoilers here as well.

    Cara is heading to L'eihr alongside her brother, Troy, as the next part of this foreign exchange program after the craziness that ensued in book two, but before the ship leaves she has twenty four hours to spend with Aelyx. She's already missing him and she's beginning to get slightly homesick. It doesn't help that this will be her first Christmas off Earth. Aelyx picks up on her frustrations and decides to give her a Christmas in space. After extensive googling--we all know this is what he is good at!--he breaks out his best smile and gets to work. Only it seems he may have looked up weird European traditions because everything he's doing for Cara is a bit out of the ordinary. The black army socks as stockings was a cute touch, though.

    As usual, Landers brings the hilarity with Aelyx's inability to fully understand human ways. One of my favorite gems:
    He backed away and told her to dream of speculums. She assumed he meant sugarplums.
    Gosh, I laugh every time I think about it. And our favorite Christmas blunder made an appearance in this one, too, with a mispelled Santa joke as well. Never gets old. Anyway, this is a great novella to get you into the holiday spirit and it's hilarious take on Christmas will certainly be appreciated by readers.

    Despite its short length it also does a solid job at bridging the gap between books one and two. It hints at a lot of what is to come in book two, though I am sensing someone trying to come between Aelyx and Cara and I'm not liking that. With all of this in mind, I have to say this is one of my preferred novellas because it put a smile on my face and had me laughing out loud. If you like sexy aliens and hilarity, this is a series for you! Pick up book one and then experience the greatness that is this (thankfully!) free novella.

    Also, it helps that there's a teaser of book two in the back! Enjoy!

    4 stars

    ~*~Links~*~

    What Got You Reading?


    Obviously anyone who reads this post is an avid reader or a bookish individual that values reading greatly. So, with that in mind, I'm curious! What, exactly, got you reading? What made you the reader you are today?

    I want to know more about my readers, so tell me your story below! I'll share mine...but I feel like I should warn you that it is a little personal.


    Like many other readers, I began reading because books are my way to escape. Fantasy is my favorite genre because I can literally escape into a new world with new ways of life and forget about reality for a while. Not that my reality is necessarily terrible. It really isn't, but growing up my life was, well, complicated to say the least. Unique is a better way to describe it, but that's just heading into cliche.

    When I was in kindergarten both my parents became disabled in two separate accidents roughly nine months apart. This is one of the most defining moments in my life because it altered me in unexplainable ways since this time in my life is among my first solid memories. My father was born with a bubble in his brain and that bubble burst and his brain bled a lot. That's how it was described to me as a child that didn't understand terms like "aneurism" and "multiple strokes" and "questionable survival." Today, he is my absolute best friend, but when I was six years old, watching him struggle after being in the hospital for lengthy periods of time, having to learn how to walk again and remember things, re-take his drivers exam after learning he could no longer be an attorney, was slightly traumatizing. It didn't dawn on me how miraculous it was to still even have him around until years later when I could understand the fact that those long hospital stays when I was younger was because my Dad would have died if he got to the hospital even two minutes later.

    Nine months later, my mother took his car out for a drive to keep it running after playing at being his bedside nurse for all hours of the day. She fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a telephone pole while going around a turn. Her entire spine is pretty much metal rods and screws now and she's forced to be nearly stationary because of the intense pain she constantly experiences. If you know me at all, you'll know that I will do nearly anything to avoid having to drive a car myself, and I think this accident is the basis of my phobia combined with an accident that happened many many years later where I was actually in the car. But that's a story for another time...

    Between these events, reading became my lifeline and it continued to be after their respective accidents. Having grown up at an incredibly young age, I quickly began to read above my age level and once I started I never stopped.


    Well, that's a lie. I did stop for a bit in elementary school after it became apparent to me that my home life wasn't what you would exactly call normal. Returning home to two disabled parents was an experience in itself and the mindset that it gave me was drastically different and more mature than most of my peers. I just realized the world wasn't the perfect, happy, safe place we all think it is when we are young at an age where I should have still been blissfully naive to certain evils. Instead of reading, I often spent time with friends noticing differences between our families.

    And then a divorce came along and I started reading again and that's when it really never stopped. It's not even like the divorce hurt me, because it didn't. The most traumatizing aspect of their divorce for me was watching my Dad take my cat to his house and knowing I could only see him half a week instead of everyday. To late-elementary school me, this was like my world was ending because that crazy black cat and I are still on best friend status today.

    After their accidents, it became increasingly obvious to me that my parents are two very different kinds of people because of their outlook on the world after facing death and somehow, miraculously, winning. For that, I'm really thankful. And it's that epiphany that made me realize that I am a happier person with a book in my hand, even if that book makes me cry sometimes. It gives me a way to channel my emotions into 400 pages without them going haywire because I don't know where else to channel them. Reading was my coping mechanism through every hard part of my life and I became so reliant on the ability to read my worries away, so to speak, that I don't know what to do without reading.

    Reading literally keeps me sane today and I've learned to rely on it so much that I can't imagine a world without books. I mean, I love them so much that I'm pursuing a career where I am surrounded by books to help others realize how life-changing reading can be!


    And, as personal and complicated as that was, that's what got me reading.

    This post was inspired by a casual conversation I had with a friend near the end of the school year who asked me why I am the reader I am today. I thought about it a lot, and realized that this is why. I'm curious about other people's reasons for being the readers they are today. So, tell me below, what got you reading? (:

    Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

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

    For some reason I left this post as a draft instead of scheduling it to post despite it being done...so I give you my Top Ten Tuesday on a Wednesday!!! Woooo!!! Ahhhh!!!!! The crowd goes wild for my stupidity!!!!!!

    In no particular order...


    1. All Broke Down by Cora Carmack- I loved book one and I am so ready to catch the Silas Virus!

    2. Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley- This one didn't interest me in the beginning, but so many people were pleasantly surprised with it and I feel like I missed out.

    3. The Unbound by Victoria Schwab- I don't want to say goodbye! *sobs*


    4. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner- Okay, this came out at the very end of 2014 so I feel like this one is understandable.

    5. Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas- This one came out at the very end of 2014, too! And I had an eARC and sent it to my Kindle and when I went to read it IT WAS NOT THERE AND MY WORLD FELL APART BECAUSE THE DOWNLOAD EXPIRE ON NETGALLEY. NOOOOOOOOO.


    6. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen- It just looks so cool and I am just so bad at reading books when I am busy!

    7. The Young Elites by Marie Lu- I kept picking this up and putting it down. I am so excited for Marie Lu, but so scared for the fact that she will probably break my heart with book three again.

    8. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley- I am a huge mood reader and the mood for this one never struck me and it devestates me that I still haven't picked this one up yet.


    9. The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen- I REALLY DO NOT WANT TO SAY GOODBYE TO MY FAVORITE FANTASY MG SERIES EVER! D:

    10. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan- I meant to binge this in 2014, but it didn't happen so HELLO 2015 PRIORITY BINGE!

    Feel free to comment below and shame me. I deserve it.