Book “Buying” Guide

IMG_2386.jpgBooks are expensive and keeping up with new releases, photos on bookstagram, and the never ending TBR is hard when you’re trying to save money for other things. And then there are those pre-order incentives when you get amazing swag and the shiny book itself. I’ve burned through a lot of my bank account on books and bookish merch. It’s terrible, but not really. I’ve mostly quieted my bookish merch since all I do with it is decorate my shelves and photos, but I am trying to do better at resisting the urge to splurge on books. So I thought I’d share some of my tips for obtaining books on a budget. Continue reading “Book “Buying” Guide”

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In Tune Out of Sync – Kate Forest

In Tune Out of Sync was a really fun NA book. It merges music and traveling and romance, three things that I really love. As a musician, I love reading books where music plays a role, especially classical music, but I also am always hesitant about it. Music and our connection to it, whether we are musicians or not, is something that is unique to each person, which is part of why I love music so much and why it’s sometimes hard for me to read about musicians, but I will say that I enjoyed this book, especially since I was in need of a contemporary and it was just loads of fun to read during my recent travels! And thank you to the author Kate Forest for providing me a copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review! Continue reading “In Tune Out of Sync – Kate Forest”

The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

I first heard about The Cruel Prince from Leigh Bardugo at one of her events where she raved about it. Her blurb on the book says it’s “lush, dangerous, a dark jewel of a book” and it totally is lush and dangerous and a dark jewel of a book! But I will be honest and say I never really intended to read this book until the ARC* showed up in my mailbox and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read it early, because I loved it! And I also need the sequel immediately!! The Cruel Prince is the first book I’ve read by Holly Black and I can definitely see why she’s the Queen of Faeries. Continue reading “The Cruel Prince – Holly Black”

Books for Writing 2: World Building

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World Building

As a person writing a fantasy novel, coming up with a developed and unique world has been both really fun and a challenge. When it comes to my weakest point in writing, I would have to say description and that follows to world building. I also have no idea really what I want my world to physically look like so it’s kind of vague at this point in my first draft.

One thing I have done to help me envision my world is make maps. Continue reading “Books for Writing 2: World Building”

Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein – Lita Judge (Guest Reviewer)

Hey everyone! It turns out one of my new friends I met this year absolutely loves Frankenstein and Mary Shelly. So when I received an ARC of Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review, I asked her if she was interested in reading and reviewing it for the blog (whether it be positive or negative) and she said yes! Continue reading “Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein – Lita Judge (Guest Reviewer)”

Akata Warrior Book Tour + Giveaway!

AkataWarrior_BlogBanner“To learn is to live.” – Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

You know a book is amazing when days later, you’re still living in it. I love it when the book I’m reading becomes a part of my life, when the world is so immersive and the characters are so incredible and the story refuses to let you go. I truly feel like I’m living another life and for that space of time that book becomes my other reality. And now I am lost, having finished Akata Witch and Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor.

Continue reading “Akata Warrior Book Tour + Giveaway!”

Favorite Alex Rider Gadgets – Never Say Die Blog Tour

fullsizeoutput_1b22.jpegWhen I was in middle school (and some of high school), I used to be absolutely obsessed with spy / heist books. I loved them so much! Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and of course the British teenage spy Alex Rider. I think he was actually one of my first book boyfriends. Lol. So you can imagine how sad I was when the Alex Rider series ended in 2011 with Scorpia Rising . . . and you can also imagine how I died when I found our Anthony Horowitz would be releasing a new Alex Rider book this year on October 10th! Then I got invited by Penguin Teen to participate in this blog tour for Never Say Die and read the book, got to the end, and died again!

So in honor of the 11th Alex Rider book, I thought I’d talk about 11 of my favorite Alex Rider gadgets, because how can you be a spy without the coolest gear ever? (Review at the end) Continue reading “Favorite Alex Rider Gadgets – Never Say Die Blog Tour”

Diversify the Verse

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 4.33.18 PMWe are now going into our fifth month of Diversify the Verse and I’m now just getting into talking about it on the blog because I’m terrible. Some of the material is recycled from our Instagram, but I wanted to also talk about my perspective and experiences on reading diversely. I know diversity in literature is also a very sensitive topic so if you have differing opinions, I encourage you to engage in a conversation with me if you’re inclined, but please be kind.

What is Diversify the Verse?

Diversify the Verse is a book club created by me and Alex  (@TheBooksBuzz) based on both Instagram and YouTube. Each month we read a diverse book, so a book with diverse characters (POC, disabilities, mental illness, LGBTQIA+, etc.), or a book written by an author who would identify as diverse, or an own voices book. On Instagram we give book recommendations for whatever diverse theme our book fits into all month. Then at the end of the month we host a live show on YouTube and discuss!

This whole idea came about because Alex and I are both booktubers and we were inspired by the Booksplosion book club run by Christine, Jesse, and Kat on YouTube and the idea of doing a live stream discussion about our monthly book. We wanted to do something different from them and we are both such huge advocates for diverse books, so we thought we’d combine the two and out came Diversify the Verse.

There are so many different kinds of books out there because there are so many different kinds of people. We hope that through this book group, we can inspire readers to pick up a book they wouldn’t normally lean to and learn something new whether it’s about their own culture/background or someone else’s.

Why should we read diverse books?

Diversity in books, movies, tv, and everything, just embracing diversity in life, is really important to me. As an Asian-American growing up, it was always really tough to find books with Continue reading “Diversify the Verse”

A Day in the Life of a Music Major


I love being a music major. I love music and it’s incredible ability to bring people together and to tell stories. I love that music allows me to be creative and expressive. I love performing and being on stage. I love the community music fosters. But I’m not going to lie, people don’t give music majors enough credit. My fellow classmates are some of the smartest, dedicated, hardworking, loving, and open people I know. When they say STEM majors require a lot of work, I could bet you that music majors are putting in even more time into their practice and studying. As a computer science double major, I, myself, would say I put in more time into music than anything else. So I just wanted to write a post about what my daily life was like this past spring semester and specifically, I’m a Bachelor of Music: Performance Major studying piano.

The thing about college is that you don’t usually have the same classes and schedule everyday. At my school we mainly have Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and then Tuesday, Thursday classes. With my insane 20 credit load (16 is average), my schedule was all over the place, but I’m going to give an example of my average Wednesday (my busiest day) and my average Thursday.

Wednesday

6:30 AM – Wake up

6:50 AM – Eat breakfast while making lunch

7:15 AM – Leave the house and drive to school Continue reading “A Day in the Life of a Music Major”

Spring Reading Wrap-Up!

20 books, not bad. This spring semester of university was absolutely insane for me and I was in a reading slump and a life slump, so I’m actually surprised I got 20 books in between the months of February and May and I loved all of them. Most of the books I actually read during May, which is kind of funny since that’s when finals are, but I did a lot of binge and marathon reading.  A lot of these books are actually rereads and I’ve reviewed them in the past either in a blog post or in a YouTube wrap-up so I’ll add the link for those. And also, you can find more information about how I review on my about page.

(RR) = reread

Fantasy / Dystopian:

Winter – Marissa Meyer img_7614

Review in February Wrap-Up Video (7:10)

Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones 4

I think my favorite part of this book is the world it’s set in. It’s so alluring and enchanting and immensely dark, which I guess is why it’s so alluring and enchanting. The story and the characters on the other hand . . . there were many parts that kind of confused me and parts where I was like “why?” and Liesl really annoyed me because she just kept measuring her self-worth based on others opinions of her, which I guess was part of her arc, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a struggle whenever she’d start talking about it again. But in the end this book really broke my heart and I did enjoy it and I’m really looking forward to the sequel.

Continue reading “Spring Reading Wrap-Up!”