My First Book Haul Video!

I roped myself into Booktube. If you haven’t seen it yet, I posted my first video on YouTube of my April OwlCrate box opening. I had so much fun with it that I recorded another video (like two minutes after the first).

This time, I open up my book mail with you!

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To watch the video, click here!


Writing Wednesday – Week 5


Happy Writing Wednesday! Thanks to Spring Break, I have come quite a long way from last week. In last week’s post, I said I was at CH. 10. In one week, I have been able to edit 7 whole chapters, which means I’m going at an ideal pace. I’d like to go faster and get this out to my beta readers, but at least I’m more than halfway through the book now! (It’s Passover and I had a lot of family distractions, which is why I wasn’t able to do more. Everyone cross your fingers that come Monday, I will NOT be called in to substitute all that week so that I can continue in full-time author mode.)

I have had a lot of chocolate and other assorted sweets to accompany me through this journey.

Let’s talk about problems in editing this week.

So. Many. Words. With all the words, everything is blending together. I misspelled–RIGHT NOW. OMG. JUST TYPED OUT “mispelled”…–discretion as “discression” and I  wrote “canon” over and over again until I realized I was using the wrong word and needed the double-n cannon.

Another thing that ended up bothering me. Because I know exactly everything about my story, I see more details in my head from one sentence than anyone else normally would. So I noticed I mentioned a new character, but there were zero physical traits listed. And I thought, Oh, I must have mentioned something later. Nope. Never. That was very silly of me, because that character is important and readers should be able to see him.

Now let’s talk about the domino effect. Many things in my story are connected, so if one thing is off, other things are indirectly affected. So, for instance, I decided to change the timing of something. I wanted it to happen immediately, not in a week. But other things revolved around this event, and I have to go back to make sure everything flows with the time, then I have to go forward in future chapters to see if I mentioned time so that everything makes sense. (Does that make sense?)

But enough about problems! I did some “research” this week as well by starting and finishing Sarah J. Maas’s Crown of Midnight (review to come) and then all that action was too much for me so I read Kiera Cass’s The Heir this week as well and tried to focus on social dynamics, but gosh darn it was so cute, and just what needed, that I probably didn’t learn much.

How’s everyone else’s week been? Sound off in the comments below!

Writing Wednesday – Week 4


It seems that I keep getting worse at posting these on time, so let’s pretend that it’s not Friday. Since it’s “Wednesday,” happy Writing Wednesday, everyone! I have a new picture to go along with this segment above–isn’t that a pretty notebook? I love it!

So here’s what’s been going on with my writing. It’s been pretty slow this week because my grandparents are in town for Passover, and my Abuela (my grandmother) has been asking me for a lot of help cleaning up the house. I did get to edit a couple of chapters this week though, so WOO! I finished editing CH. 10 (out of 27), so at least I’m making a dent in the book.

Since my research is always so ridiculous, I thought I’d share a few things I needed:

  • Sunset over ocean
  • Cedar tree locations
  • Dolphin anatomy–>which led to dolphin genital slit (I SWEAR IT’S RELEVANT! I’m comparing dolphins to mermaids and wanted to draw some comparisons.)

I also heard back from a friend who I’d sent my first couple of chapters to. She let me know that she read them and took some notes, so I’m looking forward to getting that feedback.

I’m hoping that all next week I’ll be able to be on a #amediting roll since the Passover holiday means the school I sub at is on Spring Break, which means I can be an author all week. I’m excited to sit in my backyard in the shade and write with the butterflies like I did earlier in the week.

Anyone else celebrating Passover getting the week off? Will you be writing and reading?

April OwlCrate Reviewed


When I saw the theme for the April OwlCrate was “dystopia,” I subscribed to it immediately. The first books that got me into reading—well more like devouring—YA were pretty much all dystopian. I started off with Warm Bodies and then found the Eve trilogy, followed by the Delirium trilogy, and then the Shatter Me trilogy. I fell in love with the YA genre, and the dystopian subgenre.

This box included goodies from Shatter Me, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and 1984, in addition to a new dystopian book that came out earlier this month.

I decided to film myself opening my box instead of writing out what I thought of everything, so you can actually see my reactions. (I figured/hoped it would be more fun that way for you.)

Check out my video here:

Anyone else subscribe to this month’s box? What did you think?

“Throne of Glass” Wins as Champion of Fantasy

Since December, Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass has been sitting on my shelf. Screenshot 2016-04-01 18.32.51Due to my insane schedule, I have only just recently read it. I wish I read it sooner because it was so amazing!

Synopsis: Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s infamous assassin. She has also been imprisoned in the Endovier work camp for a year. But all that changes when the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall, pulls her out to speak with the Crown Prince, Dorian Havilliard. Prince Dorian has chosen her to be his Champion in a competition the king is having, and in return for her service if she wins, he will grant her her freedom. Though Celaena is hesitant, she won’t pass up an offer to be free. She might think she has the competition in the bag, but there is an evil lurking about the castle. One that she must confront.

There is so much to gush about that I hardly know where to get started!

While reading this book, I kept thinking of a couple of lines of poetry (when taken out of context of the poem) that were PERFECT for Celaena. By Dylan Thomas, they go a little something like this:

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I mean this girl does not give up. She is a fighter. Tough on the inside and tough on the outside, Celaena is a force to be reckoned with. I LOVE HER. Not only is she a super cool assassin, but she’s also brilliant. She’s witty and a booknerd. Can I be best friends with her, please?

Speaking of friends, I would like to be friends with Dorian and Chaol. (Maybe more than friends with Dorian. I was extreme swooning over him.) They’re both very complex characters that are written so wonderfully. Both loyal, hardworking, and intelligent, and Dorian makes me giggle with his flirtations.

The world building of Erilea was great. It was incorporated so well that I wasn’t nodding off whenever some history backstory was mentioned (unlike some books that just dump so much onto you at once). And then there’s this other world apart from Erilea, which I’m sure we’ll see/hear more of in the next books of the series. As per my cup of tea, these worlds aren’t without their share of magical qualities. Even if magic wasn’t involved, I think this book would have still been fantastic for readers, just watching Celaena kick butt and talk back to everyone.

I’m trying so hard to think of something negative to say, but I really can’t find any faults with this book. (I didn’t like Princess Nehemia’s name? That’s not really something to complain about though.) Sarah gets 5 out of 5 stars!

Writing Wednesday – Week 3

When I looked at my calendar today and saw it was Wednesday, I got so excited. Because today is another Writing Wednesday, and–guess what–I was actually working on my book! I did not get called in to work for substituting and I had a quick editing assignment that only took me an hour, which left plenty of writing time. [Insert screaming excitedly GIF here that I’m too lazy to find myself.]

I edited two chapters today– CH. 4 and CH. 5. That might not seem like a lot, and I agree it isn’t a lot, but it’s something. I had to stop and confirm some things with more research, such as:

  • What did male Mojave Native Americans wear?
  • What color were the Mojave tattoos?
  • Glowing mushrooms.
  • How did Indians communicate with Settlers?
  • Origins of archery.
  • Can animals fly backwards?

Unfortunately, looking this up took much more time than necessary because I got distracted with other related information.

I also had to keep going back to fix certain things. Sometimes I would mention something casually that I forgot to introduce earlier. Other times I had to confirm a change I had made earlier/later in the story.

Either way, I knew it was going to be a long process when I got into it, so this is to be expected. Luckily, I had Ghirardelli chocolate–with caramel!–to keep my spirits up. I’m hoping to get more editing time in tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers that I finish editing the book for beta readers by the end of this month.

Is anyone else in their editing process or about to be? Anyone planning to write/edit for Camp NaNoWriMo? If so, happy writing!

“The Lie Tree” ARC Reviewed

About a month ago, I got an email announcing my approval for imageThe Lie Tree ARC, by Francis Hardinge, on NetGalley. So big thank you to ABRAMS Kids for deeming me worthy enough to view the book before its release out into the wild. Here’s my honest review!

Synopsis: Faith’s family moves to the island of Vane from London. She soon learns it is because her father’s reputation has been sullied. Unfortunately, the news spreads to Vane, and everyone begins to dislike and shun the family. Soon after, Faith’s father is found dead and she doesn’t believe it was an accident. Faith goes through her father’s belongings to uncover the truth and finds a peculiar tree that grows with lies. Its fruit shares truths and could be the key to uncovering who killed Faith’s father.

First off, I just need to say that I tend to have a thing for books that take place in the 1800s. I think it’s because I’m so grateful that I don’t have to live in that time period. I mean, the whole you-can’t-be-a-lefty thing was crazy, and as a lefty I’m glad I can use my dominant hand without being judged. This book emphasizes men’s belief that women were inferior (at this time) and how a woman’s life goal was marriage. Can you believe we used to live like that? Crazy stuff, I’m telling you.

I liked the fact that Faith wanted to push through these limits. (And the other women in this book had strong personalities as well.) It just sucks that it took Faith so long to realize she could be more than her label as a meek, domestic lady. Plus, it was only towards the end of the story that she decided she wanted to follow her dreams and everything else she did before was hidden from the public, which only started to happen once her father was out of the picture. I understand his death is a huge part of the story, but the patriarchy was so strong that I wish she broke out of her shell sooner to go against the patriarchal theme.

The plot itself was neat. I enjoyed the concept of a tree that grows with lies. The description of the tree was wonderful. It was interesting to see the fantastical woven with science. The mystery kept me immersed, which involved help from the tree, and I did not expect that ending! Talk about a plot twist.

All in all, Frances’s book was a fast-paced read that kept me wanting to learn more and earns 3 out of 5 stars from me.