Well Hello 2016 and Farewell 2015

So like… It’s been awhile. Like a year. Things had gotten crazy (like starting college crazy) and I lost touch with this blog. Being a science major it can be nearly impossible to read books, but recently I’ve felt like a piece of myself has been lost. And I think it’s this blog and books.

Books have always played an important role in my life. Whenever I felt alone I could just pick up a book and everything just… felt better. My stress levels decreased and whatever sadness I felt was just gone. I had started my sophomore year of college this year and let me tell you, it had made me realize just how much I needed books in my life. And what goes with books? Writing. See I had started this blog as a way to incorporate both my loves. Sadly, college is evil and likes to make doing the fun things difficult.

So now we are moving into a new year. One more year gone. More memories, whether good or bad, made. And I’m hoping to grow from all I’ve been through. If there’s anything 2015 has taught me it is to let go of the past. You can’t grow otherwise.

I hope to see more of you next year! And yes, expect my newest review very soon… What book is it? Well you’ll just have to wait and find out 🙂

Have a wonderful New Year!

– Lauren

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Summer Book TAG

I love doing little book things, but suck at finding them. One of my favorite blogs () just did this Summer Book TAG. I was completely bummed because I knew I wasn’t tagged, but then I saw she tagged anyone and I just had to do it. So here it is: summer-book-tag

 

Number  ONE:

  What book cover makes you think of SUMMER?

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Fallen too Far by Abbi Glines –  I adore Abbi Glines, especially this series. For one thing the book takes place in a beach town and the two people on the cover are on the beach. Beach = summer. That’s the way it goes. Once I look at this cover I just picture myself on the beach enjoying the sun. Even the bright pink screams summer to  me. As you can probably tell by the cover (if not, there are two people making-out. Like really making out), this book is heavy in the intimate way. There are numerous sex scenes throughout these books (Abbi Glines books in general)  as it is a New Adult novel. I would only really recommend this series for 17+. Many would say 18+ but I started Abbi Glines my Junior year of high school.

 

Number TWO:

What book has BRIGHTENED your day?

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Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry – PTL has held a special place in my heart since my Junior year of high school. I lost half my house during Hurricane Sandy. It was a scary time, something I don’t like to think back on. To this day I panic at the sound of car alarms. I remember picking up PTL though. I was going crazy in my house and needed something. This book was that something. I read it until the sun went away, by candle light, then by flashlight. Over and over again I read it. It’s not a book that’s full of cuteness like Fangirl by Ranbow Rowell. There are tough issues in PTL and maybe that’s why I gravitated towards it. Ever since then I’ve been hooked to Katie McGarry and each book holds some importance to me. I really don’t know what I would do without her. Meeting her was the best day, my brightest day.

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Number THREE:

Find a book with YELLOW on it.

7740225Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton – I had no books with yellow. This was the only one that I could really find that had some hello on it. Tyger, Tyger was an okay book. I still haven’t picked up the sequel because I don’t know if I’m going to continue it. But I do love the cover. I find it beautiful and I love the way it looks like a painting.

 

Number FOUR:

What is your favorite Summer BEACH read?992206

Tropical Kiss by Jan Coffey– This book has to be THE cutest book of all time. Back when my older sister was my age, these summer romance books would come out and Tropical Kiss was one of them. It takes place in Bermuda and there are many beach scenes. It’s the perfect book to lay and relax to in the sun.

 

Number FIVE:

What action book had you running for the ICE CREAM man?

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Angelfall series by Susan Ee – This series is such a known one yet not at the same time. Basically the premises is that it’s been about a month or so since Angels have caused the apocalypse and now society has fallen. That’s right, ANGELS. There’s a lot of political factors that actually go on in this book. I’ve definitely sat at the edge of my seat while reading both Angelfall and World After. There are so many different reveals and basically you never know who to trust. I’ve also stuffed my face with food while reading these books because GOSH DARN IT THE FEELS ARE REAL IN ANGELFALL. It is a beautiful yet grotesque book.

 

Number SIX:

SUNBURN! What book has left you with a bad/painful ending?

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Allegiant by the Destroyer of all Good Things (or more commonly known as Veronica Roth)- I mean, do I even have to explain why I still feel pain? Miss Destroyer here used to be my favorite author. Now her books are thrown in the back of my bookcase never to see the light of day again. I could also refer you to this lovely POST. If you have read this series, then proceeded to click that like all-caps link and it will send you to a long rant about my hatred for Allegiant. If you plan on reading this series (which you shouldn’t) then do not click said link. Also, here’s a gif that explains my reaction:

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Number SEVEN:

What book gave you a HAPPY feeling when it ended?

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Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson –  Oh Edenbrooke, Edenbrooke, Edenbrooke… 

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No, but it really is. It doesn’t matter how many times I have read this book, I will ALWAYS be filled with this happiness that I don’t get with every book. It takes place during the 1800s (either middle or late, I can’t remember) and is about a young girl who falls in love with this man, but there is also some action and a mystery. I can’t even begin to explain my love for Edenbrooke. 

 

Number EIGHT:

What book cover reminds you of a SUNSET?

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Ask the Passengers by A.S. King – I thought of this book immediately when I saw this question. It also looks like she’s raising her hand to pick the book. I can always feel the heat of the sun on my skin when I see this cover. I think it really captures the sunset to me. Ask the Passengers is about a young girl named Astrid who struggles to break free of societies definitions. She starts questioning many aspects of her life, especially when she starts falling in love with a girl. It’s a beautifully written book and one of my favorites. More people need to read it.

 

Number NINE:

What is one BOOK SERIES you hope to read this summer?

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Beautiful and the Cursed series by Page Morgan – I’ve had The Beautiful and the Cursed sitting on my nightstand for over a month now. But every time I go to pick it up I’m either drawn to another book or an author I like just released a new one. They just sound so interesting. I mean there are gargoyles in the story. That sounds pretty cool. It’s definitely coming with me on vacation this Friday.

 

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So there you go! I TAG anyone too who feels like doing this challenge. It really is a lot of fun. Go ahead and try it!

 

~ Lauren

 

The Dark World (Dark World, #1) by Cara Lynn Shultz


18513759  Paige Kelly is used to weird–in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn’t fazed by Paige’s propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she’ll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that’s overrun by demons-and she might never make it home. (Goodreads)

 

Rating: Don’t even hesitate to buy this book.

Review:

If I was to ever meet Cara Lynn Shultz, there would be two words I’d have to tell her:

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It’s true. Cara Lynn Shultz is seriously an amazing author. I’ve loved the Spellbound series ever since my sophomore year of high school. I’m also still holding a little hope for a third book. I know what you’re thinking. “Lauren, you need to get over it.” I won’t. I’m stubborn that way. For two years people, (Two. Freaking. Years.) I thought she wouldn’t be making anymore books and all I did was this:

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I didn’t know what to do. I needed more. Then I read about The Dark World and I felt like a kid on Christmas Day.

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       Guys, this book is amazing. I was hooked from the start and didn’t put it down until 2 AM. And that was because I finished it. Books have become this hunting game recently. Either you pick up a gem. That diamond in the rough and you hold that book close and love it. Or you pick up serious garbage (see pervious post) and want to destroy it. Maybe even erase it from your memory.The Dark World was that beautiful diamond. That mind eraser to forget bad books.

What was great about TDW would be Paige’s voice. The one thing that I love about Cara Lynn Shultz is that she’s amazing at capturing the voice of a teenager. There would be these small things that Paige would say and I would think, “Yes, very teenagery.” If there’s such a word. A quote that sticks out would be right from the beginning:

I’d started picking at the chipping paint in September… with the intention of peeling it away and returning it to its original cheery color. Instead, I’d just made a mess. 

    Story of my life.

I’m pretty sure almost every teenager has thought something along those lines. Basically any mess as a teen, whether something as simple as a messy folder to something big like dropping food, somehow correlates to your life being a disaster. Of course Paige’s problems are much different from mine or yours. Speaking to ghosts being one of them.  Paige is also a badass character. When faced with the challenge of, you know, demons, she didn’t just back down. Yes, she freaked. I’m pretty sure anyone in her shoes would, but Paige wanted to learn to defend herself. She didn’t want to just rely on Logan and let him do all the work.

No- I mean, teach me. Teach me how to defend myself against them. Please.

She wanted to do something for herself. To make herself strong and not defenseless when she faced these demons. That’s something you see more and more in YA books today and it’s great. It teaches teens that you don’t need to be defenseless.

Of course there’s also the lovely Logan. The Logan that makes me forget about every other fictional guy out there. Logan cares for Paige. He would do anything for her. When she asked for someone to teach her how to defend herself, Logan didn’t sit in the corner brooding or fight against Paige, he looked right at her and basically said, “How about Saturday?” He saw the strength in her and didn’t ignore it. Logan helped Paige embrace who she is, and she even did the same to me. I mean, he also happened to say the perfect quote to describe every New Yorker.

Have you ever met a New Yorker who doesn’t think the world begins and ends with this city?

This really is true. We can’t help it. The amount of times someone will be talking about America and I’d have to remind myself that there are other states besides mine.

TDW is a definite step away from Spellbound. Cara Lynn Shultz grew as an author. There’s a lot more darkness to this series, the demons definitely added to it. Spellbound wasn’t dark. It had elements to it that made it creepy sometimes, but it was nothing like TDW. And I love that there is such a distinction between the two works. It’s the world building in TDW that amazes me. I loved the idea of another world, this parallel word really, called the Dark World. A creepy universe filled with monsters and mayhem. It’s brilliant.

Apart from characters and the world, TDW has a good amount of holy-crap-did-that-just-happen moments. Things that even I didn’t see coming. I don’t want to spoil more about this book with its very dark and twisted world, so you’ll have to read it to find out more.

Now it’s just a waiting game for the sequel. And I’ll be waiting rather impatiently I might add. Because, as I stated before, THAT ENDING. I need more.

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I want to wrap up this post with my favorite quote from this book (I know I included a lot), but this one stands out:

They don’t know you. their small opinions don’t define you. Being different doesn’t make worthy of scorn.

– Logan, pg. 156

~ Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excuse My Rant: When You’re Disappointed

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I’m at the book signing excited and looking forward to meeting Rainbow Rowell. Now, if you’ve been to an author meeting you know they sign books. All the time. Right? Oh no, not this time. They decided to tell us AT THE PLACE that we can’t have books signed. Which doesn’t make sense because they’ve always allowed your books to be signed. I’m sorry guys. I really wanted to give you guys a copy of Fangirl signed but it seems like that won’t be happening. And it really upsets me.

I don’t understand why they never posted anything on Facebook and why they waited till we were all at the library to say, “Hey guys but it seems like there was a misunderstanding. Yeah, we’re not signing your books. Maybe next time!” Okay, so maybe it wasn’t said exactly like that, but it sounded that way. I love meeting authors. Love getting my books signed and speaking to them. Not looking from the back of a room and then leaving. It wasn’t fair of them to not say anything until people were there. I’m sorry once again that I have nothing to give you guys. Maybe my next signing.

~ Lauren

Alienated by Melissa Landers

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.
But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet. (Goodreads)

My Rating: 5 million stars yes

My Review:

Now, I guess you can say I have an alien obsession… which I’ve probably stated about a million times. I grew up around The X-Files, alien documentaries, and more. Until Sophomore year of high school I could never find any YA books with aliens in them. Then I read Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout and my life become whole. I feel that ever since J. Lynn’s Lux Series, aliens have frown in popularity and more books have been made. Not all of them are good. Some of them are out right boring. But no. Not this little gem.

*stares fondly at cover* I love you Alienated. *crushes to chest*

First off that cover drew me in. It’s so beautiful and amazing. Simple too. I know how we all say we never judge a book by its cover but, come one, we all do. This is far from being a boring cover. It’s out of this world. Get it? Because aliens? No? Okay I’ll stop now.

The one thing that I love most about Alienated is that there really isn’t any war against another alien race. If you watch Star-Crossed on the CW then it’s basically like that. There are protesters and a radical group; people trying to pass laws that don’t give L’eihr’s their rights. In this book it’s politics that matters. That’s refreshing. What I love is how Melissa Landers also mentions past history, like the 1960s civil rights movement. Alienated is basically the civil rights movement, but with a twist.

Besides the plot, I also love Cara. I read that some people didn’t and I don’t get how. At first I thought I was really going to hate her. That she would be this stuck-up girl towards Aelyx, but instead she was actually extremely welcoming. Cara went out of her to make Aelyx feel comfortable and I love that she stood by him, even when her boyfriend didn’t want her to. Cara is also one of the strongest characters I’ve read. No, she’s not brandishing a weapon like she’s in Dauntless. What makes her strong is the fact that she stood by her decisions, stood by Aelyx, even though so many people turned their backs on her. Cara always kept her head held high. That’s true courage to me. So often we find ourselves changing our beliefs based on others opinions. We need people like Cara in this world. I loved when she said, “This is how discriminatory legislation gets passed- people know it’s wrong. but they’re too lazy or too scared to take action.” That last part has to be my favorite. Cara is so opinionated but doesn’t care what people have to think.

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Aelyx. Dear lord I love him. I loved seeing him grow as a character, seeing all those human qualities he picked up. Oh my god, and the best scene had to be when Aelyx googled kissing. He reminded of a little kid. A whole new world indeed…

Alienated isn’t full of action, but it’s full of choices. It’s about standing by your beliefs no matter what. There’s no race against an evil alien race, but instead a fight against humanity. It’s about overcoming prejudices. See, the problem isn’t just the humans, but also the L’eihr’s. I want to see them work together. I love Cara’s relationship with her parents, with Aelyx. Forget fighting with hands, we need more characters like Cara: characters who fight with words. Melissa Lander’s writing is beautiful. I could feel the characters emotions. I swear, after reading this book and wanted to have a debate with everything. I’m always hesitant about a sequel where the characters are split up. It frustrates me to no end when that happens (which is why I haven’t read Never Fade). I’m also a person who loves cliff-hangers because they make waiting that much more fun. I just hope Cara and Aelyx aren’t split up for that long. And that there is no, I repeat NO LOVE TRIANGLE. NONE. IT’S NOT NEEDED.

 What I think people should take away from the book is this: People are people. No matter who they are (even if they’re an alien from another world).

~ Lauren

Answers: The Heart Kind

I know I stated in my last post why I haven’t been updating, but I feel like I should make a post too. Just to tell you guys (you amazing followers who actually read my terrible posts) why I sometimes disappear for months. See my sophomore of high school my body decided to have a major freak out. While playing gym one day my heart rate got up to 240. Since then I’ve been suffering a heart condition only doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong. Every time I went to another doctor I only found out more problems, not answers. 

I’ve recently gone to a new doctor who is an arrhythmia specialist. Basically he understands what could cause the heart to get all funky better than say a regular cardiologist. One of the problems with having an arrhythmia is that it causes extreme fatigue. I fall asleep at 5:00 sometimes, leaving no time for reading or reviews. Add the fact that my heart medicine also makes you tired and I’m basically a Walker from The Walking Dead. I also found out the heart surgery I had done that came back as negative (which was this very strange study to test from an arrhythmia) isn’t always right. So basically like any scientific findings, sometimes things come back false when really it means positive. So I’ve been in this rut between anger and sadness. 

I’ve been missing doing reviews so much and I’ve decided to not let this heart problem run my life. Yeah, maybe I will disappear for an extended period of time, but I’ll always come back. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I promise to have two new reviews up on Alienated by Melissa Landers and Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. 

~ Lauren 

Blog Award – Liebster Award!

I am honored to be nominated for the Liebster Blog Award! This is an award where you recognize fellow bloggers and help people discover new blogs. I was nominated by Aubrey Joy! I am super delayed on this, but due to something personal in my life, I haven’t been able to come on my blog. Which sucks. But here I am!

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Rules:

  • You must link back to the person who linked you
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers and come up with 11 new questions to ask
  • You cannot nominate the person who nominated you
  • You must let the person you nominated know you nominated them

I was asked:

1) When did you start blogging and why?

Well I first started going into my Sophomore year of high school on a different website. I had one follower, felt like a failure, and quite. Come my junior year my BF told me start it again because I was going through a bad time. So I did. I went on that same website and for months I updated but never got any followers. No one looked at my blog and I kind of felt like a failure again. I was stuck in a rut and actually really depressed about it. Then I decided to join WordPress and I literally got followers in a day. For that I’m thankful. I love everyone that checks out my blog. I love showing people new books and fangirling with them.

2) What is your favorite quote?

That’s difficult considering I have an obsession with quotes. My wall used to be covered in post-its with quotes all over them. But I think one of my all time favorites would have to be:

“We all fall but that’s not what matters. What matters is picking yourself up again.”

― Patrick NessThe Ask and the Answer

I have this obsession with Chaos Walking and I’ve always loved this quote. If you on my Goodreads by following this link you’ll find a bunch of quotes I love.

3) What is your dream job?

So this is cliché but my dream job is to be a writer. I remember being in second grade and writing this story about two dogs racing and just loving every moment of writing it. I love writing because it’s a means of escape for me.I also want to just introduce a new world to someone, maybe even become that saving grace for them, just like numerous of authors have been for me.

4) Best book you’ve read this year?

I (sadly) have not read many books this year. The ones I do remember are from 2013. But let me think….AHA! Alienated by Melissa Landers. I literally just finished it and it has become one of my favorite books. It has aliens, romance, action, a hot alien boy. I think that last part sells it. It reminds of the TV show Star-Crossed on the CW so that also made me excited. But Alienated definitely lived up to my expectations.

5) Favorite place to shop…

I hate shopping. I despise going to mall so much I usually have to bargain with my mom. Which means I let her shop for however long she wants then after we go to the bookstore. Books are really the only things I really love shopping for. My favorite bookstore is called The Strand. It’s New York City and sells discounted book. So a book could be originally $20 but you can get it for $7, even less. It’s also an old bookstore from the late 1800s. There are the creaky stairs and tall bookshelves that cramp up my neck all the time. An easy price to pay though because I can by 10 books and get them a low price.

6) Other hobbies…

I stated before that I love writing but I also have this love for photography. In baby photos you’d find me with my dads camera attached to me. I collect old camera too. They range from an old Polaroid to a Super 8. I collect antiques in general. It started because of my middle sister. I’ve always been close to her so I picked it up. I have my great-grandfathers blade from WWI, a spoon from the early 1900s along with early copies of John Keats. Can you count an obsession with history as a hobby? I’m going to say yes. I collect books on the American Revolution, Civil War, and WWII. I now realize that I am a very boring person. I need to fix that…

7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Ireland. I think it has to do with being Irish. I have a fascination with the Irish language and have learned a few things. My sister visited and she said it was one of the best places she’s been to. That is was beautiful with these green hills and people who are extremely nice.

8) If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

I’ve thought about this a lot. The name that I always come back to is Arabella. I fell in love with it and would totally change my name to it. I could have nicknames such as Arie or Bell. Mainly Bell because my favorite princess movie is Beauty and the beast.

9) What is your favorite social media site and why?

I don’t really go on many websites but the one that comes to mind is WattPad. Which has become my addiction… Basically people post their stories and I’ve found AMAZING ones. But people update periodically so I’m usually left reading a 30 chapter book for 6 months or more. But I love the stories people post.

10) What is your favorite movie?

Rebel WIthout a Cause with James Dean. My love for James Dean *stares at poster above bed* I love him. I love that movie. Of course I can’t leave Some Like It Hot out because Marilyn Monroe is my girl. Ever since I did a report on her in 6th grade I’ve been in love. I think I’ve and watched more biographies on her than any other person.

11) If you could be any book character, who would you be?

Tris Prior from Divergent. Why? Well I think here is where I explain my absence from blogging along with my I would be her. I have a heart condition. It started my sophomore year of high school. I’ve been to four cardiologists and each one not knowing what to do with me. Recently I went to an arrhythmia specialist that I’m hoping will help. My heart doesn’t know what its maximum heart rate should be and just likes to beat out of control. This causes extreme fatigue which leads me to coming home and doing my homework then going to bed at 5:00. I have no time to read because I’m always tired. Because of this I’m always scared, afraid to get up and move because I once had a bad experience with my heart getting up to 240 bpm. Tris became this figure of hope and strength for me. I constantly ask myself ‘What Would Tris Do’. She is one of my favorite characters and means the world to me. I started Divergent my sophomore year when everything started and she’s been with me throughout every medical experience I’ve had, Which sadly has been a lot. Within this last year I’ve been diagnosed with medical conditions I never knew existed. I would love to be Tris for her fearlessness, her over-all badassery too. To learn to not be controlled by my fears is something I would love to do.

Thank you Aubrey Joy for this nomination! I hope I wasn’t too late but around the time that this was sent I was going to my new doctor being hooked up to my 5th heart monitor. It’s difficult to much of anything lately. But thank you so much and I truly love that you enjoy my blog and would think of me. Thank you. ‘

I nominate:

1. The In- Between Place

2. Book Worms to the Max

3. Chronicles of Radiya

4. Escaping Reality

5. Interesting Literature 

6. Youth Lit Reviews

7. Time For Reading

8. Knite Writes

9. Project Light to Life

10. whY.A.not?

11. Books for the Young at Heart

My questions:

1. What is you favorite song/band?

2. If you could have any power what would you choose?

3. Who is the one author you want to meet the most?

4. What’s your favorite childhood book(s)?

5. If you could have lunch with on character (from book/TV show/movie etc…) who would you choose?

6. What’s your favorite quote?

7. Where do you want to travel to the most?

8. Favorite book for this year so far?

9. What fandoms are you part of?

10. Do have any OTPs and if so who? (Can be from TV show/book/etc…)

11. Who is your favorite character? Why?

 

~ Lauren