Posts By: Vlora

The Hottest Blog Post You’ll Ever Read

May 12, 2017 fun, miscellaneous 12

As I was contemplating what kind of blog post to write, I found myself drafting and redrafting several ideas. I haven’t blogged in a while, so obviously the pressure is on. Not someone too proud to accept help, I Googled “blog post ideas” and stumbled upon a lot of sites telling you how to write posts that will instantly turn your blog viral. This post promising 101 blog post ideas that will make your blog “HOT” specifically inspired me. I mean how could I turn that down?

But why stop at only one of these ideas? If my blog will be “HOT” if I post about these subjects, won’t it be literally on fire if I just combine them all into one post, I logically questioned. Since writing about all 101 of them in one post would contradict the necessity to cater to readers’ short attention spans online, I decided to take the first 5 for now. So without further ado: the HOTTEST post around!

#1 Run a contest

Oh fun, I’ve always wanted to run a contest! I considered giving away a book or something, but I mean I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. Everyone’s doing that, you must be so bored of it. Hmmm how about this: If you’re amongst the first three people to comment, I will EXCLUSIVELY come up with a motivational saying for you. That’s right, a BRAND NEW motivational quote tailored specially to YOUR needs! I mean, who could resist?

#2 Review books/products/films

Well, that doesn’t seem very useful, but they do say try everything at least once… Alright, let’s go with this hallway I’m sitting in. I have to say it’s one of the better hallways I’ve seen. There are two reasonably comfortable sofas for people to sit on while they wait for their seminars to start. There are even a few places to charge your electronic device of choice. However, some people are left standing, so you have to be there quite early to enjoy the benefits of this particular hallway.

In terms of architectural qualities, I’m a little torn. The hallway is situated in a historically relevant building used by a university, which is quite nice. However, a part of the hardwood floor has been replaced with an unattractive gray substance, the likes of which you could probably find in any institution across the country. Additionally it is interesting to note that this hallway fulfills some of the qualities of a waiting room or perhaps a small lounge.

Overall, I would give this hallway 3/5 stars. I enjoyed the open space and the fact that I was able to watch an episode of a good TV show while charging my netbook and waiting for my seminar, but I have also left the hallway to wait somewhere else in previous weeks when I arrived later and there was no more room to sit down. With some improvements, this could be a great hallway.

#3 Make comprehensive guide/tutorial

The writer of the blog post I am basing this on said to focus on something you are good at for this point. After careful consideration, I have identified one of my key strengths: procrastination. Below is a short but comprehensive guide on how to best achieve the same level of pofessionality in this particular area that I am already capable of. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

1. Identify the thing you are procrastinating. You can easily do this by doing something that seems fun to you. After a few moments, you will start to feel guilty. Use this guilt. Consider which aspect(s) of your life you are neglecting by doing the thing that seems fun to you. This is the thing you’re aiming to procrastinate.

2. Make a to do list. To do lists are great for procrastination purposes, because you feel like you are being productive even though you are most likely going to ignore your new list entirely.

3. Consider starting to work on your project. Start up your computer and open up your internet browser of choice to look up something vital. Now be careful – don’t actually look up whatever it was you came for. Instead tour all your favorite social media sites and watch some youtube videos.

4. Complain. Complain to your friends, complain to your family In fact, while you’re at it contact some old acquaintances and complain to them as well. Tell all of them how busy you are with your project and that you don’t possibly have time for anything else. Then get back to watching youtube videos.

5. Tell yourself you will definitely start tomorrow.

6. Go to bed and stress about how little time you have left to accomplish your goals and finish your assignments.

7. Repeat endlessly.

I hope that was helpful! :)

#4 Interview someone

Here, the article advises to get an interview with someone who rarely speaks in public. I thought about people who are usually hard to get a hold of and finally had the perfect idea – a telephone company employee! I called the o2 customer service, but I was on hold for so long that I finally had to go to the bathroom. When I got back someone had hung up on me. I tried again, but after an hour or so I had to run out.

#5 Post a cool infographic

An infographic is used to visualize complex relationships. So I thought what’s more complex than global warming? I hope this sheds some light on the issue; it certainly took me long enough to make.

Alright, that’s it! The first five out of a list of 101 ways to make my blog relevant. I hope you were able to handle the HOTNESS (unlike the earth haha – no? too soon? not soon enough?). Here’s some ice cubes. Let me know if you liked it, and I might make a series out of it.

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International Women’s Day: My Favorite Books by Female Authors

March 8, 2017 books, recs 14

Happy Women’s Day! In celebration of the many women shaping literature as we know and love it, I thought I’d celebrate some of my favorite female authors with this list today. Obviously, it’s hard to narrow it down, because so many of my favorite authors are women, but I can recommend all of these books from the bottom of my heart. I will be focusing on books that I’m not currently seeing everywhere, which is why you won’t find series like Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab or The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer on this list, but know that I love those just as much. Hope you find something you like!

The Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor



Nnedi Okorafor is one of the most imaginative authors I’ve read. I originally found this, because it was recommended by John Green in a video. I think he pitched it as something like “girl who travels through space to attend university” (paraphrased), which sounded pretty awesome to me. Now I think his description is underselling the work, but I also find it hard to come up with a good one myself, because you really just have to read this one for yourself. As far as I can tell, it’s a trilogy of novellas (according to goodreads, the last one is set to be released this September), so it’s not a great time commitment, but there’s enough worldbuilding for longer books. I feel like this book is more relevant to my Cross-Cultural Communications degree than most of the academic texts I read (don’t tell my lecturers). I’ve seen a few authors mention these novellas, but I haven’t seen them on many book blogs, so get reading, people!
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Essay Writing: Online Resources for University Research

March 7, 2017 miscellaneous, recs, reviews 2

This post is probably completely irrelevant to anyone who reads my blog on any sort of regular basis, but maybe someone will be redirected here by a random Google search. As you may know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while (which you probably haven’t for the aforementioned reason), I’m a student. Having to Write an Essay is a constant state of anxiety for me. I’m not saying my essays are perfect (I feel like they would be much more entertaining if I could use my authentic writing style, but apparently informal writing and mediocre jokes are frowned upon in the academic world), but I did manage to get my B.A. last summer, so I must be doing something right. Obviously this qualifies me to share my wise knowledge with you.

Disclaimer: I am not actually any sort of expert or authority on this, so if you mess up your essay don’t point to me.


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Book Review: Passenger

February 17, 2017 books, reviews 4

passenger cover alexandra bracken review on reviews and cake blog

I ordered this book way back when it first came out – in hardcover no less – because I liked The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. I only just got around to reading it, and I’m not quite as enthusiastic about this series debut as I was about her other work.
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Conventions and an Avalanche of Books

January 14, 2017 books, miscellaneous, psa 18

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What’s New?

Aloha blogglings,

I’m in a summery mood, because I can actually see the sun today. From inside my room, I mean, let’s not get crazy. I went to visit my family over Christmas and New Year, but now I’m back in England. So far I’ve spent all of my time holed up in my room writing essays, but I can see the light on the horizon. Sort of. In a few weeks. In more exciting news, I have decided that I’ll go to YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) in London this year! It’s at the end of July, and I don’t know anyone, so if you’re a fellow blogger who’s thinking about going, and you’d like to meet up, let me know! I’ve never been before, so if you’re an experienced YALCer, any information is welcome. :D I’m always jealous about all the US folks, who get to meet up at conventions, so I figured I have to make use of my time in an English-speaking country!



The answer is I shouldn’t. Trust me. I keep struggling with random words that are different in British English and American English. Like the time I ordered a flapjack expecting a pancake and got a muesli bar thing instead. Or last week, when I asked someone where I could find the zucchini, and he looked at me all confused and asked whether I meant aubergine, which I didn’t because I call aubergines aubergines (turns out zucchini=American English and courgette=British English, but aubergine=British English and eggplant=American English). It’s a constant surprise, living here. :D
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Review: Illuminae

January 5, 2017 books, reviews 12

Illuminae book cover

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

– from goodreads

I had high expectations in this book, and they were not disappointed. I’m so late to the party that the sequel is already out (which is a plus, because this way I don’t have to wait to read it), but that only means that I’ve read about how great and unique this book is ever since it’s been published. I’m often wary of books that are hyped this much, but I had a good feeling with this one. YA scifi? Megalomaniac AIs? Invasions? What could go wrong.
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2016 in Books I Read

December 30, 2016 books, miscellaneous 15

One more day of 2016! I usually do the End of the Year book survey everyone does, but I need something short and sweet this year, so I’m making up my own questions that totally aren’t fitted to the books I read this year at all. Feel free to steal and link back if you haven’t done yours. My goodreads challenge says I finished 58 books this year, which I’m quite happy with. Some of those I skimmed and DNF’d and there were a lot of audiobooks, but with everything else going on this year, I think that’s a good number. Let’s take a look at the selection!

Favorite Books I read in 2016

a gathering of shadows book cover on reviews and cake

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I loved all of these books for various reasons, and I’m really excited to read the next book in the Shades of Magic series!
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A 2016 Review (Not the Dumpster Fire-y Parts) & Goals for 2017

December 25, 2016 miscellaneous, psa 8

Hello-ho-ho-ho and Merry Christmas, blogglings!

If you come back after weeks of absence, come back with a bad pun, I say. I haven’t been around much due to both my laptop and my netbook breaking and being swamped with essays I should be writing (but why am I even mentioning that? Procrastinating an essay is a permanent state of being for me at this point). Nevertheless, now that my laptop is repaired, and I can use it again (fingers crossed it’ll stay that way), I’m continuing the great tradition of setting goals for the new year. I did this last year as well (and the year before that), so let’s see how I did first. I also noticed some of you wrote down your goals in the comments of last year’s post, so if that’s you feel free to go ahead and see how you did along with me. :D

My goals for 2016 were

I want to get good grades and finish my Bachelor’s

Hey, I actually did that! What a good start. I got my BA this summer, and I was pretty satisfied with the grade as well, so I’ll count this one as a win.

…so I can apply to university in Glasgow (I might not get in and if I do it’s going to be one hell of an organisational and financial challenge to move to Scotland for a year, but I think this is an excellent idea, so wish me luck!)

HA! Another one I accomplished. I have a good feeling for this year. So I’m not studying in Glasgow, but that was kind of random, because someone told me there are no student fees in Scotland (or at least that they’ll be payed back by the government), but it turned out that that’s not true for postgraduate degrees, so instead I applied to universities all over the UK and ended up in Newcastle, where I’m currently living and studying. (And you were right, Vlora of the past, it was one hell of an organisational and financial challenge, but it was worth it so far!)
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#writingstruggles

November 8, 2016 writing 4

Welcome to November! Wow, that went fast, didn’t it? Then again a lot of people seem to be comparing 2016 to a dumpster fire, so maybe you’re looking forward to next year already. Either way, November means it’s time for my favorite holiday of the year: National Novel Writing Month! If you’re not familiar with the concept, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50.000 words in one month. You don’t really win anything at the end, other than bragging rights, so all it proves is that writers are masochists. Seriously though, it’s great for inspiration and motivation.

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I figured what would be a better way to cheerlead than talking about all the various struggles writers and by writers I mean mostly me face. I already wrote a sarcastic post on writing struggles, so I decided it was time for a real one. I am nothing if not an optimist.


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The Glittering Court

October 30, 2016 books, reviews 4

the glittering court by richelle mead cover

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

– from goodreads (shortened)

This book’s been on my radar for a while, because I’ve read almost all of Richelle Mead’s books, but I only now got around to reading it. I was a little put off at first, because something about the writing style seemed fairly different to other Richelle Mead books (more… simplistic maybe?), but part of it may have been that I’m more used to third person than first. I gave it a chance though, and I ended up really enjoying the book!
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Failsafe Method to Convince Yourself You Should Buy More Books (Also, I Moved)

October 20, 2016 books, miscellaneous 20

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What’s New?

Heeeello blogglings,

I’m back! Sort of… I’ll be posting again, just not very often. But once a month is better than never, right? Right, so let’s move on. I’m writing this from my new home in England, where I have recently moved to do my postgrad. One of the reasons for my hiatus was that I was a little burned out from writing my bachelor thesis, working part time, applying to universities and organizing a move to another country, so it’s good to be finally here! I’ve semi-recovered now, and I was missing the blogosphere, so here I am.

afternoon tea deliciousness

Afternoon tea is one touristy thing I won’t get tired of…



I arrived in England with a nasty case of tonsillitis, so thank god (the queen??) there’s good healthcare here. I had to spend the first few days in bed, poppin’ pills like I was part of a very bad, miserable rap video. Thanks to modern drugs, hot water (my house didn’t have a kettle when I moved in, leading me to question whether I accidentally got on a plane to the wrong country) and Netflix, it got better fairly quickly. After some initial hiccups (like missing my bus stop because individual stops aren’t announced here, or desperately trying to understand the local accent), I’ve settled in quite nicely.
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Hiatus

September 17, 2016 psa 7

Hello bloggy friends,

as you may or may not have noticed I haven’t been posting much at all the last few months. I didn’t want to extravagantly proclaim I’m on hiatus, because my posting schedule was always irregular, and I doubt anyone’s frantically refreshing my website, but posting has never been quite this sparse, so I’ll just make it official now:

Reviews and Cake is currently on hiatus

I’m sure I’ll be back eventually, but I can’t say when at this point. All’s fine, but the last few months have been very busy – not in a bad way, but it left me with very little energy for blogging – and the months to come very likely will be quite packed as well. I’m doing some exciting stuff though, so I’ll be sure to share it all eventually (at the latest in my end of the year recap :D).

Hope you all are fine, and I’ll try to stop by some of your blogs every once in a while, because I do miss it. :) I’m also on twitter quite a bit, so find me @vloralia if you feel like it.

Later, gators. I will never stop using this ironically but actually very seriously

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I Am a Certified Intelligent Person, Yay

August 20, 2016 miscellaneous 22

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What’s New?

New? Oh, not that much. Just, you know, GOT MY FRICKING DEGREE, but other than that… Yes, as of two weeks ago, I am the proud owner of a certificate that I can hang on my wall (I mean I probably won’t do that, because it feels douchey, but I gave a copy to family members so THEY can hang it on their walls and brag about how cool I am. I don’t think they have yet, but I’m sure they will do it soon. Any day now). It looks very fancy. Definitely worth the last three and a half years I’ve spent attaining it. Also, I now have an unconditional offer for my MA and will be starting that next month. I’m moving out of my current flat next week, my last day at work is on Tuesday, and basically IT’S THE END OF AN ERA. I’ve been kind of silent here lately, because I was attempting to recover from doing literally all the things (I think my battery recharge is now at about 60%, but apparently you do not get a complimentary holiday with your degree – shocking, I know) and also because I’m trying to spend time with my friends before I move.
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My Reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 18 Gifs (And I Haven’t Even Read It Yet)

July 27, 2016 books, miscellaneous 12

To celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on July 31st, Aentee @ Read at Midnight came up with the idea of Potterhead July, a month-long Harry Potter blog festival. I grew up with Harry Potter, so obviously I had to participate.



I thought about writing a long, heartfelt post for this, I really did. Instead, I give you my reaction to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 18 gifs, because that’s just where I’m at.
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FREEDOM

July 16, 2016 miscellaneous 14

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What’s New?

I handed in my Bachelor thesis this week! I cannot believe it’s finally done. I was more or less satisfied with it by the end – now I only hope I’ll pass and everything will be okay, but it’s out of my hands now. I’m having a weekend right now. An actual weekend, guys! It is the best thing in the history of best things. Personally, I feel like I deserve a fucking holiday, or possibly a small island, but apparently I still have to go to work. BUT DID I MENTION I GET TO HAVE FREE TIME AGAIN.

Also, pokémon go came out literally the day I handed in my thesis, so that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to the past few days. I’m currently at my grandma’s place in the countryside because it was her birthday this weekend and there’s literally nothing here, but I’ve taken walks just to hatch eggs (this app is what would have gotten me to do sports as a kid, not traumatic PE in school). I’ve even started watching pokemon episodes again, because why not I HAVE FREE TIME. I’m technically also doing the fantasy favorites read-a-thon, but I didn’t really have enough energy to read yet. Right now I’m just recharging my batteries and enjoying my free time!

The Shiny

I got two books from netgalley, and they both feature baked goods. I’m sensing a theme with this lately.



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I hope you’re all having a great week and that you’re enjoying your summer! Oh, and if you have any good adult book recs, leave them below. :) I read a lot of YA, but recently I’ve been feeling the need to switch it up a bit. I usually read classics or contemporary(?) adult books when I feel like that, but I’m in the mood to try something new.

As always, I’m linking up with Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and the Sunday Post hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

stacking the shelvessunday post

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Big Books and Fake Cake

July 1, 2016 books, miscellaneous 21

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What’s New?

First things first, mark your calendars, because Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe and I will be hosting an I Like Big Books (and I cannot lie) read-a-thon in mid-August, more specifically Aug 12th to Aug 21st! We’re still looking for co-hosts, so here’s a quick overview to give you an idea of what’s gonna happen:

The idea started because I decided I finally have to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series after watching the Game of Thrones season finale (how epic was that by the way? I’m still not over it). I thought I’d do a read-a-long, but we decided we’ll just make it about long books in general to give people that extra boost of motivation to tackle them. ASoIaF will be the featured series, and there will be some posts focused on it, but you can read everything you like and set your own goals (heck, you can even start watching the series if that’s what you’d like to do). There will be more announcements about this in the next few weeks, but if you’re interested in co-hosting, please comment below and/or send an email to reviewsandcake@gmail.com :)


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It’s Not Me, It’s You

June 26, 2016 books, reviews 2

cover of it's not me it's you by mhairi mcfarlane

An achingly funny story about how to be your own hero when life pulls the rug out from under your feet. From the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back life nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

– from goodreads

I’ve become very reliant on goodreads and my fellow bloggers’ reviews the past few years. I can usually tell whether I’ll like a book by a combination of my own interest in the blurb and whether the people who have a similar taste in books liked it. Every once in a while, however, I’ll still pop into a bookstore and just buy whatever looks good. This was one of those cases. I absolutely loved the cover and the title and it sounded like a light, fun read.

The weird thing is, it’s been lying around on my shelf for ages and then a few weeks after I decided to move to Newcastle I pick it up – only to realize that it’s (partly) set in Newcastle! I’ve literally never read a book set there. I can’t even remember a book that mentioned the city to be honest. It seemed a good omen, and I did, in fact, really end up liking the book.
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Fantasy Favorites: An Introduction

June 25, 2016 books, fun, miscellaneous 17

Hello everyone!

I’ve participated in the fantasy favorites read-a-thon last year, and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again this year! It’s all about fantasy books and this year there are three series we’re going to focus on – Throne of Glass, Grisha, and Percy Jackson – but you can read anything you’d like to read. There will be lots of fun posts and challenges, and if you’d like to join we’d love to have you!

fantasy favorites read a thon graphic on reviews and cake

Since there may be some new people visiting this blog over the course of the event, it’s time to reintroduce myself!

1. Who are you?

i am iron man gif

What? I could be. You don’t know what I do with my free time.

Starting right with the difficult questions, are we? I feel like someone should write a coming-of-age story about me that I could read, so I can answer this question. Fine, I’ll stop being annoyingly philosophical about this and give it my best shot:

I’m Vlora and I blog about books, TV shows, movies and everything that catches my interest. I’m also currently a student and I work part-time, so I blog between 7 days a week during holidays to one time a month during busy times, but I’m usually around on twitter, because I like shouting my witty (or so I say) 140-character insights at people. I live in Germany, but will probably-hopefully-almost definitely move to England in September to do my postgrad there (and so I can frequent Waterstones, but that was only, like, 49% of the reason). I like writing, drawing, travelling and wearing my pajamas all weekend. And by pajamas I mean sweatpants and a random t-shirt, because I’m not fancy enough to own pajamas.

I’m a professional procrastinator, which is the only reason I have a smidgeon of baking skills, because I like to bake when I should be writing term papers. I also have a horrible sense of direction, but I make up for it by being too socially akward to ask people for directions. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube channel, which I use very sporadically (meaning I haven’t made a video in months, because I forgot how to edit, but I still pay for the Adobe Creative Suit, so I at least feel guilty about it). When I’m obsessed with something I talk about it incessantly on twitter and secretely read fanfiction until I can’t justify neglecting everything else anymore. Currently, I’m loving Hamilton, so let me know if we have that in common. Sometimes I remember this blog is public and potential employers/my friends and family can see it, but most of the time I choose to ignore that fact.

Right, that was probably more than you ever asked for or wanted to know, so let’s move on.

2. Why are you joining the read-a-thon?

I love fantasy, and I really enjoyed taking part last year, so I jumped at the chance to participate again. There also haven’t been too many posts on this blog lately, because I’ve been busy, so this is a good opportunity to come back with a bang. Or at least quietly sneak back in and pretend I’ve been there all along.

3. Which books do you intend to read?

I’ve read the original Percy Jackson series and I’m listening to the Heroes of Olympus audiobooks at the moment, so I’m good on that front. I’ve read Throne of Glass, but I didn’t love it (I actually named it as my least favorite fantasy in last years introduction post – oops?), so I never moved on to the sequels, and I don’t plan to, which leaves the Grisha series. I’ve heard of the books before and they sounded like I might enjoy them, but I never got around to reading them. When I looked them up on amazon a few weeks ago, I saw they were all 99c on Kindle, so I bought all three books in preparation for the read-a-thon. I am a terrible mood reader though, so we’ll see what I’ll actually end up reading!

4. How many pages do you think you’ll manage?

No clue! I’m writing my Bachelor thesis at the moment, but I’m hoping to hand it in at the beginning of the read-a-thon, so I should hopefully have some time to read. I’d like to read the first book of the Grisha series at the very least, but I may end up reading more. My goal last year was 10 pages and I read 240, so I’d say let’s meet in the middle and go for 11 pages this year. (Unrelatedly, here’s another fact about me: I suck at math.)

5. What’s your favourite thing about the fantasy genre?

I love delving into new magical worlds and reading about high stakes adventures. It’s not that I don’t like contemporary books, but I feel like there’s always an extra sprinkle of awesome when there’s magic involved. I mean an argument may be interesting to read about, but an argument where people may end up throwing fireballs at each other? Much more exciting, you have to admit.

6. Which fantasy books do you always recommend?

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows! Seriously, go read those books!!!!! If you don’t know me, you may not know that this excessive use of exclamation marks is out of character for me, but it IS and you can trust my excitement about this series. I love the writing and the world is just magical AND THE CHARACTERS OH MY GOD THE CHARACTERS (capslock on the other hand is NOT out of character for me, so get used to it). And like last year, I can’t believe I have to say this but: if you haven’t read Harry Potter, read Harry Potter. Seriously. Just do it, jeez.

7. Which fantasy books are you dying to read?

A CONJURING OF LIGHT. It doesn’t come out until next February.


8. If you could travel to one fantasy world, which one would it be? (I know it’s hard, but try not to say Hogwarts.)

The Harry Potter world. There, I didn’t say Hogwarts, you’re welcome.



And that’s it for introductions! I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and I hope everyone who isn’t participating will still appreciate that there will be more posts than usually. Later, gators! (obnoxious greetings and good byes are also a trademark of mine, sorry not sorry.)

Why do YOU love fantasy? What do you like to do when you procrastinate? I need to know these things, so I can encourage you in your bad habits.

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This Savage Song

June 22, 2016 books, reviews 4

this savage song cover

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

– from goodreads

It’s time for another V.E. Schwab book! I’m basically counting down the days until A Conjuring of Light comes out (I mean… not actually counting, that would involve math), so I was delighted to have something to tide me over until then. I have to admit, I’m not as enchanted with this world as I am with the Shades of Magic one, but I really like V.E. Schwab’s writing style, so it was still fun to read.
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Here Comes Drama

June 14, 2016 books, reviews 11

Gena/Finn cover

The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

– from Goodreads

I usually try to review without spoilers, but I’m not sure how to talk about what bothered me about this book without giving at least some spoilers, so be warned.

I had high hopes in this book – first of all it’s epistolary and you know I love me some epistolary books (there may actually be an event related to this on this blog at some point this year, but psssht). It’s also about fandom and people said at least the first half of it was feel good. I usually try not to spoiler myself before reading, but I knew that Gena and Finn wouldn’t end up together, so I didn’t have any wrong expectations about that. On paper, I should have loved this book, but I really didn’t. Let me tell you why.
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