The Book Life Tag

Leaf semi-circle

Hello everyone! Today’s post is going to be a tag, because I love them and I always try to space them out so I don’t bore you guys. So without further ado… here is the Book Life Tag:

Who would your parents be?

There’s really not a lot of parents in YA series, and that makes me a little sad because parents are great. I’d probably have to choose Sirius as my dad, even though he’s only Harry’s godfather, and Percy Jackson’s mom. They’re both really caring and do everything to protect their kids. I would feel bad because they both technically sacrificed their lives for me, but I would love them. I really love my parents though… so if I could, I would choose them.

Who would be your sister?

Celaena Sardothien. How awesome would that be? She could teach me her assassin skills and stuff and I wouldn’t, hopefully, have to worry about her killing me.

Who would be your brother?

Probably Four from Divergent. He’s really protective and sweet and he’d probably look like my brother in a way since I have dirty blonde hair… that’s really the only similarity…

Who would be your pet?

Definitely Ignatius from the Novice! He’s a demon, so that’s scary, but he’s sooo cute and he’d be really helpful with his fire powers and stuff.

Where would you live?
     It’s a tie between Camp Half-Blood and Prythian. I think I’m leaning more toward Camp Half-Blood because I’d more than likely die in Prythian. I have enough Greek mythology knowledge to probably last me long enough.
Where would you go to school?
     Hogwarts. Done. Of course, like what else would I choose?
 
Who would be your best friend?
     Hermione, all the way. She has been my idol since I was like five, I was her for Halloween one year if anyone remembers that blog post. I would love doing research on the magical world and discussing it with her and hanging out with Harry and Ron with her. That’s been my life’s dream for forever.
 
Who would be your significant other?
     I really love my boyfriend, so much, but I’d have to say FRED WEASLEY. HE IS STILL ALIVE. Or Elias from An Ember in the Ashes or Leo from the Heroes of Olympus series.
UPDATE: I’m finally reading ACOMAF and I 1000000% choose Rhysand😍😍
     Let me know if you’ve completed this tag and link it down below! Thanks for reading!
                          -Tayor

The Novice || Review

novice.jpgPages: 350

Format: Paperback

Author: Taran Matharu

Publisher: Square Fish

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

~ GoodReads Synopsis ~

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

~ ~ ~ ~

     Wow. Applause for Taran Matharu.

It has been forever and my search is completed. I have found a book that brings me back to those Harry Potter feels. At first the theme started to bug me a little, honestly, because it was just so much like Harry Potter, but the story really came into itself about halfway through. The school setting resembled Hogwarts, at least how I imagined it. The teachers even reminded me of Hogwarts; Arcturus was definitely Lupin, Rook was an even worse version of Snape, and Othello was Ron in certain aspects.

Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what I saw.

But don’t get me started on Rook that little… I don’t think I have ever blatantly hated a character from the very beginning like I hated Rook. Matharu crafted him so well as a villain. The reader usually, at some point, feels sympathetic toward the villain, but I felt none of that for Rook. As soon as he opened his mouth, I knew I wanted to kick him in the crotch, to be completely honest. He just has such a crappy personality, and he’s such a classist prick. Just thinking about him makes me angry, so I’m going to move on.

As for the demon summoning, it was fairly realistic. It did seem really real at times, like I forgot it wasn’t a thing when I stopped reading and I kind of wish it was. Other times it seemed a little far fetched, or even just too much of a hassle which bugged me a little, although I’m not sure why. I just didn’t like all the different tools they needed, specifically the leather they used to summon them and infuse. I like simplicity in a book. It didn’t seem real that the summoners infused the demons into the leather and needed it to summon it back. I think that’s just me, though, and it doesn’t hinder the story in any way. The history behind all of the summoning, as well as the history of the people and different character types, like the dwarves, elves, nobles, and commoners, is very in-depth. You can tell a lot of world building was done, and it is appreciated very much.

Initially, I imagined the main character being older, like 17 or 18, but he was actually 15. I kind of liked this because sometimes a little juvenile feel to a story is really nice, like the first few Harry Potter books and Percy Jackson. This doesn’t make it a middle grade though, it is definitely a YA fantasy, and I believe he gets older as the series progresses. Because of the ages of the characters, there isn’t really any romance, which I do hope appears in the next few books. Since I think Fletcher and Sylva will end up together. I would say Sylva and Othello, but Fletcher is the main character, so he has to get a love interest by the end.

ALSO the ending is great and the tournament they have to fight in is really well written. I was so tense while reading I actually got a little sore. So, if it’s slow in the very beginning, just wait it out, it’s worth it.

Will I be finishing the rest of the series? Heck yeah! By the ending I was so invested in the story, I was ready to read the sequel right then.

Would I recommend it you guys? Heck yeah! If you can, definitely give this book a read, especially if you’re not a muggle.

Thanks for reading!

-Taylor

 

Why I Don’t Read A Lot of Contemporary Romance

Contemporary.jpg
     Don’t think I’ve written off the entire genre, that’s not what this post is about. This post is just a little rant about some of the YA contemporary out there, and more specifically, YA contemporary romance. I would never just assume that I hate a book because it’s a genre I don’t like. I am, however, not likely to pick up a more contemporary novel when there are other fantasy, sci-fi, ect. books that I really want. The only one I’ve wanted to buy recently is Fangirl because I want to read it before I read Carry On, and that’s what I really want to read.
      Dont’ get me wrong, there are plenty of things to rant about for YA fantasy, and a lot of the complaints are along the same lines, but I don’t really get into contemporary and I wanted to answer why I don’t. If you have any book recommendations that you think could change my mind about the genre, please comment them down below! I do want to get into the books, I just really can’t with the ones I’ve tried.
     The romance tales follow the same premise. There are some really good YA romance novels, like The Fault in Our Stars, that break from the commonalities, but for the most part, they follow the same plot. This can be seen in a lot of romance in fantasy novels, but there’s usually something that sets it apart, like a zombie apocalypse, or wizardry. In most contemporary romance novels, there’s a bad boy or a boy that stands out because he’s an extremely obnoxious football player or a super quiet good boy, and he goes for the shy quiet girl that was either infatuated with him or completely hated him. From there the guy usually does something wrong or the girl feels intimidated and leaves him, but they always come right back together without a problem.
     I understand that all books have a sort of template that sets up a traditional plot line for whatever genre, but there’s very little to set each book apart, especially when the novels come from the same author.
     They take place in present time on Earth. I don’t know about you guys, but when I read, I want to be transported. I want to be enveloped in another land or another time or some place that doesn’t exist. I, sadly, don’t travel, like at all, and when I have it was because I was moving, but I have never left the United States. So for me, books are my form of travel. It’s like I can pick up a novel and go on a round trip to whatever place I read about that day.
     The girls are sometimes dull. They’re always the same and they don’t usually have any real parts to them. Yeah, they’re relatable because they’re just an average girl, but they’re not usually strong or empowering in the romance novels, they’re just extremely average. And if the guy is extroverted or a bad boy, he usually runs all over her. I love relationships in novels, but I like when the girl takes some control, no matter how difficult the guy may be. There was one random novel I bought for like four dollars at BAM called The Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly, and I got like one hundred pages into it. It was a decent story, it was set in the fifties, which I love, but there was just no substance and nothing to keep the story moving. I had no idea what the story was even leading to because there was no plot in sight, just a girl falling for a guy who ran all over her.
     Someone always does something wrong. It’s either one person cheats or it’s something they said, or didn’t say, and that’s always the twist of the story. Why can’t someone get kidnapped? Where’s the brutal fight scenes? There are a lot of great contemporary books that are like that, such as Looking for Alaska (again John Green is great).
     John Green is great at adding that twist that sets his stories apart from the others, and I love his books. It’s just the books like Sarah Dessen’s that get to me because there’s really little substance. I went through a whole Sarah Dessen binge my freshman year of high school, and I devoured those books, but thinking about them now, they’re just not my thing. Every book is pretty much the same by Sarah Dessen, there’s just a few things that differentiate them, like ones on the beach, in one the guy is a druggie, in one there’s a baby that won’t stop crying. Those are really just the highlights that stand out to me because the plots all blurred together.
     I didn’t mean to offend anyone in any way, I just wanted to put my thoughts out there. I don’t read a lot of contemporary, so if there are some great books that you think will sway me, leave them down below and I’ll check them out!
     Thanks for reading!
                      -Taylor

Books I NEED To Buy

Books I NEED
     Have you ever gotten halfway through a series, but never continued it because you just don’t have the rest of the series and never think about it while book shopping? That’s my constant struggle. I always seem to start a new series and forget that I already had like twelve others I need to finish first.
     The next few book buying crazes I get into, I plan to buy at least most of these before I pick up another series, and don’t let me get anything else! Some of these are seriously killing me that I don’t have them.
    Here are all the books I absolutely need to get before I combust:

winterWinter by Marissa Meyer
Yes, I have not started Cress, but I will at some point so what’s so wrong about buying this one? Right? I’m just a collector.
torchagainstthenightA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I have been counting down the days until this book comes out in paperback this August, on the 29th to be exact. The first book blew my mind!

 

 
ACOMAFA Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
I have been looking for ACOMAF in paperback for sooo long it’s not even funny! I don’t think Books-A-Million even has the second book at all because evey time I go in there’s only the third in hardcover and the first book.

empire of stormsEmpire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
I may actually die without this book. I’ve been waiting for it to come out in paperback since I have the rest of the series in paperback, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper, but I don’t know if I can make it.

 

 
Tthe elitehe Elite by Kiera Cass
It has been so long since I first started The Selection, like it was maybe two years ago. I really liked the story, and it was so light and easy, it’s just that there’s so many other great series that I keep finding or that keep coming out.
blood of olympusThe House of Hades & Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I JUST BOUGHT HOUSE OF HADES. I’m so happy with myself. I might have to do some rearranging of my TBR…

 

 

 
ruin and risingRuin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Ok, so I haven’t exactly even started the second book, but I kind of loved the first book and they’re all so pretty, so why not have the whole series? Am I right or am I right?

geminaGemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
If you have any doubt about reading Illuminae, please don’t. I doubted liking this book so hard until I saw it in the BAM bargain
books section for six US dollars and impulse bought it. It’s an amazing story!

 

 

 

      Tell me down below any of the books you absolutely have to have, whether it’s a stand alone or part of a series!
Thanks for reading!
-Taylor

 

2 Year Blogiversary!

2year

Thank you everyone!!

I really cannot thank you all enough! I know I just switched to WordPress from Blogger, but on Blogger I had over 3,500 views and that makes me so incredibly happy that so many people have come back to read my posts! I’ve also just hit 850 followers on my bookish twitter account! As of today, there are also 25 followers of my blog on here and it’s only been a couple days!

You guys are absolutely amazing! I wish I could meet everyone in person, but getting to talk to everyone about books and life online is just as cool! I’ve earned so many new friends through the bookish community and learned so many new things. I was so scared to start this blog two years ago as a sophomore in high school, but now I’m going to be a college freshman in just over a month and I’m so glad I just did it!

Please comment down below your blog links so I can follow you if you’re reading this!

Thank you all so so much! This has been the greatest experience!

Thanks for reading!

-Taylor

Liebster Award #2

Liebster Award     Hello everybody!

As you can see, I was nominated for another Liebster award! The first one was two years ago (that’s so crazy) and you can check it out here.

I would like to thank IcthusBookCorner for nominating and you can check out her Liebster award by clicking on her name. Her blog is really nice and I follow her, so make sure you check out her blog! Also, thank you for choosing me IcthusBookCorner!

The rules:

-Thank the person who nominated you.
-Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
-Nominate 11 blogs.
-Give them 11 questions to answer.

Here are the eleven questions that IcthusBookCorner gave to me:

  1. What is your favourite place on Earth?

My favorite place on Earth is wherever my family is, to be honest, but as a physical destination probably England or Ireland. I’ve never been to either, but I’ve always loved those two countries. I have a book that highlights places all around those two countries and a map of them up on my wall over my book stacks.

2. What is your favouritre fictional character?

Hermione Granger. That’s so stereotypical of me because everyone knows Hermione is my ideal form of myself. Like if I could be anyone besides myself, I would be her in a heartbeat.
3. What is your favourite genre to read?

100% YA fantasy and fiction. I love all of the creativity and world building; those books always inspire me to write and get me all hyped about books.
4. Why book blogging?

When I started writing my latest novel and the first I started for publication, I started a twitter account as a writer, and from there I just kind of fell into book blogging since I loved reading. I had other blogs before this one when I was young that were laughably unsuccessful (I didn’t understand that Blogger tracked my own page views unless I turned it off and I had accounted for pretty much all the views) so I had already had experience with setting up blogs and all that.
5. Do you have any pets?

YES. My furbabies. I have a 16, soon-to-be 17-year old cat that I got when I was 2-years old. We don’t know what breed she is or her birthday or anything, as we bought her from a barn, but I love her to pieces and she’s still crazy. I also have a 9-year old Jack Russell named Cookie that is literally my little sister. She is so incredibly spoiled and even has one of those doggie strollers.


6. If you could have dinner with anyone on earth you would you choose and why?

I’d choose J.K. Rowling. I’ve said this so many times, but it’d be amazing to just pick her brain about all things Harry Potter and writing.
7. What is your favourite book?

Besides the Harry Potter series, it would be Throne of Glass, book one specifically because that one will always be my favorite, then A Court of Thornes and Roses, An Ember in the Ashes, and the Percy Jackson series.
8. What is your Hogwarts’s House?

I am an extremely proud Ravenclaw! Comment down below if you’re a Ravenclaw. At first, not going to lie, I was disappointed that my house wasn’t Gryffindor, although I got that answer the first time I took it while in middle school. However, as I learned more about Ravenclaw, it definitely became my favorite house.
9. Is there a book you know you will never want to read?

I will never want to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I saw the movie and it was so boring and the sex room was terrifying. I hated how aggressive and brutal he was. I understand he had a bad past and all he wanted was sex, but the girl was still a human who did not deserve to whipped like a tortured animal.
10. Do you prefer the country or the city?

I lived in the more countryside of Michigan until I was five, then moved to the suburbs of Pennsylvania near Philadelphia where I spent a lot of time in the city, and now I am in the extreme suburbs of Florida, so I guess I’ve seen all walks of life. There are perks to all three ways of life and although the cities are so amazing and always alive, the country is so quiet and peaceful and sometimes incredibly beautiful with woods or rolling greenspaces.
11. Who do you consider to be your heroe?

I have three, technically four, but they are my parents, J.K. Rowling, and Hermione. Yeah, she’s fictional, but I always looked up to her as a kid.

The blogs I nominate are:

The 11 questions I have for you all to answer are:

  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. Where is your favorite place to read?
  3. Do you prefer to buy books or use library books?
  4. What is your favorite book series ever?
  5. Favorite stand alone?
  6. Do you also write? Do you plan to go into, or are already in the book industry in some way besides blogging?
  7. What is your least favorite book?
  8. What was your first blog post about?
  9. Who is your favorite author, and why?
  10. What got you into blogging?
  11. Was there ever a time you didn’t like reading?

Thank you all so much for reading and happy blogging nominees!

-Taylor

 

The Looking Glass Wars || Review

Pages: 358
Book type: Paperback
Author: Frank Beddor
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: September 26, 2006
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
 

When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story – and he’s searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

 
~ ~ ~ ~
 

     To be honest, I really only bought this book because I like Alice in Wonderland and it was only ten US dollars.*By no means do you have to read the original stories first, although it is a great story.* The premise sounded interesting, but I didn’t have very high expectations and I put off reading it for sooo long.
This book, on all occasions, exceeded any of the slightest expectations I might have had. I sped through it in two days and couldn’t put it down.
The story started really strong and with action in the first couple chapters, which are, in general, very short, which also speeds along the story. Somewhere in the middle, though, it got pretty slow, but the late middle and end really picked up. In the beginning, Alyss is a child, which is really sweet in a way, but it also gets a little dull after so long since she is only seven, but a little after halfway she becomes an adult. At that point things get really interesting.
As the first book of the trilogy, there is still plenty of room for the characters to develop, and I really hope Alyss comes into herself a little more if I continue on with the series. Although she inevitably finished her task at hand and ended strong, she still felt a little dry as an adult. I honestly kind of preferred her more as a child for some parts since she lacks a little meaningful spirit at twenty-one. I understand why her time on Earth changed her in the ways that it did, but I really wish she would’ve fell back into herself upon her return to Wonderland a little better.
Hatter Madigan, although I loved his character in the story, bugged me a little just because I was thinking he’d be a little more whimsical than a cut and dry military man. His relation to Alyss as her kind of “guard” is cute at times, but I really wish there was more of a fathery or uncle kind of presence in him. BUT he’s totally badass. Apparently he has his whole own side series of his travels trying to find Alyss and they sound pretty intriguing as I want to dig deeper into his personal life.
As for romance, there really isn’t much, which was kind of disappointing due to the budding childish romance she has as a child that I LOVED. I feel like it will definitely grow back in the next two books once the two reconnect a little more upon her return.
As for the retelling side of the story, it was really different, but in a good way. I liked the different take on the world and it really felt like its own. I didn’t like how Lewis Carroll was blatantly bashed because Alice in Wonderland is such a beautiful classic, although it’s understandable in the story as to why he is bashed by Alyss. I do wish some things were more like the original so that it was a better connection, but it was just so good as it was. Besides, Rick Riordan liked it, so it has to be good.

The story has a few shortcomings that I hope are resolved throughout the other two books, but in all, I feel like the story was pretty satisfying and could even kind of be a stand alone. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a darker whimsical tale, or just like Alice in Wonderland. If you’ve read it, tell me what you think of it!
Thanks for reading!
-Taylor

July TBR

     It’s already July!! 2017 is going by so quickly! All the school supplies is already out in all the stores, which of course isn’t a problem because cute discounted stationary is always a good thing. With this being my last full month of summer before I go off to my freshman year of college in August, I hope to get a LOT of reading and writing done. With that, here’s my June TBR:

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

     This book I have already started, and probably finished by the time this post goes up since I’m on page 239 out of 358 and it’s Friday th 7th lol. I’ve had this book for soo long and I’m so glad I’m finally getting to it. After reading Mark of Athena, I was in the mood for some really whimsical stuff so I thought this book would be perfect, and it really is. It’s written beautifully, with a voice much like the original Alice In Wonderland, but I love the twists to the story that you’ll have to read to see. Honestly, I love the violence in it too, it makes a lot more realistic in a sense and also adds a lot of intensity.








King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
     I started this book sometime last month before I picked up Mark of Athena, but it put me in such a reading slump to be honest. There just wasn’t enough meaningful action in the beginning to keep my interest, so I picked up a different book to come out of the slump and now I think I can get back into it since I hopefully got through the more quiet parts.
     The other two books in the series I absolutely loved, so I have really high expectations for this book, especially with the ending of the Glass Sword, oh my goodness. Also, without having any spoilers, I really hated the new evil person at first because I just couldn’t see him as evil, but… I still hate him as evil. Like he’s too much of a baby, why is he the position that he is? What?







The Novice by Taran Matharu
     Another book I’ve had on my shelf for quite a while that I’ve been silently dying to read. It’s about more olden, fictional times (which I love) and I believe demon hunting of some sort (which I also love) and I think the main character is going to be pretty hot and if he’s not, I’m still going to picture him as this hot blacksmith apprentice with dark shaggy hair. From the cover, I have no idea why, but he kind of reminds me of Chaol, like does anyone else get that vibe? Chaol is my favorite so this is ok.
     ALSO, LOOK AT THIS COVER.











Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
     Ah! The series everyone has raged about and I really want to get in the hype before it’s completely gone! I really didn’t get into the first book, Shadow and Bone, until the middle-ish but really more toward the end, but when I got into it, I. got. into. it.
     I really hope this sequel starts off with some action because where the story left of… we need some action. I read a couple lines a few pages in (oops) and it sounds like it’s going to be crazy exciting, so I’m crazy excited.













Cress by Marissa Meyer
     I don’t know if I’ll be able to get this book by th end of July, but I really hope so. If not, it’ll probably be the first book I read in August.
     Scarlet, to me, was even better than Cinder. It was so action-packed and had so many twists to the story, and I really hope this third installment lives up to the hype I’ve built up for it. Plus, I LOVE Rapunzel, so that just makes this book a winner by default.

      So that is my July TBR! It looks like a pretty busy, but awesome, reading month, and I’m so ready for it! Comment down below any books you’re really looking forward to in July!
     Thanks for reading!
                       -Taylor

Mark of Athena || Review

Pages: 574
Book Type: Paperback
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 2, 2012
~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Half-blood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six—who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land—Greece itself—to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery…

With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.


~       ~      ~

     I didn’t realize how badly I missed this series until I started reading it. I had finished the initial Percy Jackson series in sixth grade and read The Lost Hero when it came out, then finally picked up The Son of Neptune sometime in freshman or sophomore year. Now, as a high school graduate, I’m finally continuing the series.
     After so much time between books, it was a little hard to remember everything from the previous novels, but as soon as I started reading it all just came rushing back to me- especially the book from the first series that had the all the dam jokes when they went to the Hoover Dam, I don’t know why. This is probably the easiest series to get sucked into just because it feels so real and magical, and even now I still wish that all of this existed, or at least that I was part of it.
     Even at eighteen, I still really appreciate Riordan’s writing because he makes so many comments that in any other book (The Young World) would sound like an adult trying to relate to a young audience, but he does it so flawlessly and in a way brings the story to life. Like in this novel he talks about how Leo redesigns a trireme to be flown by using a Wii controller. If I read that in any other book I’d be holding down vomit, to be honest, but I love it in this series. Because of all the modern references, it feels like all of this could actually be happening around the world today (seriously, I wish it was).
     SPEAKING OF LEO. I love him, I really do. *heart eyes*
     He developed so well in this book. In the past two, I remember not really liking him as much as the others, which now I feel bad for, but in this book I feel like he really comes into himself. At first he started out with his usual goofy yet lovable personality and causes a little mayhem like always, but he comes to realize his part in the prophecy and the group of seven. Honestly, I think he played the biggest part in the quest, behind Annabeth of course.
     Behind Percy and Annabeth who will always be my otp, I think Leo is actually my next favorite character in here now.
     Other than Leo, all the characters developed really well, except Coach Hedge who even eventually started to grow on me. I really like how the characters are noticeably growing and becoming more mature while staying youthful, like the scenes of Piper and Jason discussing her jealousy and figuring out how to grow through it. Percy and Annabeth have grown into each other so well, by the end of the novel, when Annabeth comes out of the hole and Percy goes to her and tells her “it’s ok, we’re together,” I was ready to burst.

     Also, in this book, I truly realized Riordan’s knowledge of Greek mythology. He connected each god to one another and included so many tales and myths, it’s like getting a Greek lesson in the most entertaining way possible because you do really learn so much. How he keeps all theses facts straight and adds his own twist to each god is amazing! He adds so much depth to the series with all the history he includes. I’ve grown a love for Greek mythology because of this series.

     I didn’t want this book to end. I really wish I had gotten the fourth and fifth books when I got this one because I’m so sad to be coming back out of this series to read a different book. I would HIGHLY recommend this series to anyone who hasn’t read it, and let me know down below what you’ve thought of it if you have read it.
     The next book I will be reading, and probably reviewing, is The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, so stay tuned!
     Thanks for reading!
                       -Taylor

My Short Story Writing Technique

     Hello everyone!
     In the past I’ve done a couple posts abot how I write for novels, but I decided since I’ve been writing a lot of short stories for scholarship and magazine submissions that I’d share with you all how I write all my short stories. To let you know, it is an extremely different process.

Here are the posts I’ve done so far about my novel-writing adventure:
     Re-Reading My Work
     Making Your Writing Worth Reading
     The First Ten Chapters
     How I Character Plot
     Things I’ve Learned So Far

     So, I haven’t been published in anything yet for a short story, but this last school year, my senior year, I won a scholarship for a short story I wrote to my region’s branch of the National League of American Pen Women. That was amazing for me, but I had to read the story at a brunch so that was a little nerve wrecking, although it was a great experience.
     A little bit of advice on this subject: please don’t be afraid to submit work to any scholarship, contest, or what not. Yeah, it’s completely embarrassing for a lot of people to share their personal work, including me, like my parents and grandma were the only ones that have read some of my work until then. However, it is totally worth it in the end, so if you’re waiting for the right time to submit something, take this as your push to do it, whether it’s a scholarship or a magazine submission or even a whole manuscript to a publisher. Just do it. The possibility out weighs any rejection.
     Also, the only other thing I’ve submitted was a short story to a literary magazine for teens earlier this month and I’m still waiting for a reply. *fingers crossed*
    
     Without boring you with any more personal information, here’s how I write my short stories:

     Just write.

     Bye.

     Ok, so that’s not entirely all there is to it, but that’s the gist. Really all it is picking up a pencil or putting your hands on a keyboard.
     I do not outline short stories. This really different to how I do novels because for those I have the entire story mapped out, like I’ll literally draw a map. For short stories, I’ll just start writing, find the flow of the story, and give myself a rough estimate as to how I would like the story to end, but nothing more.
     For my work in progress, a piece I plan to submit to this huge, nation-wide writing contest for sci-fi and fantasy (I’m a little terrified, even if I win because I may have to give a speech in front of a HUGE audience) I know nothing. This story is one I completely pulled out of nowhere, and I have two different directions I would want to take the story in, so I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen.
     Why? Because It’s so much fun. I love being surprised where my characters are going to take me and what is going to happen every time I sit down to write. I feel like it adds a little more to the story because it’s so action packed and something different is always happened, though in a logical pattern. I find this best for short stories as you only have so many words to tell the story in and it needs to be concise, but still have depth and dimension.
     I also think that this path for writing keeps me far more interested and invested in the story, especially while writing because there’s so much anticipation as to what’s coming next. It’s almost like reading a book for the first time that you knew nothing about, but it’s yours. I love it.
     The story I am writing right now cannot be any longer than 17,000 words and has to be sci-fi or fantasy. I went down the sci-fi route this time to shake things up as I rely more on fantasy. It involves war and aliens and made up planets and I’m really loving it. For the contest, the authors retain all publication rights, so I may fix it up even more, lengthen it, and attempt to find a publisher… I’m not entirely sure. There were two different characters with different backgrounds in completely different tellings of the main story that I wanted to write, so I might just combine them both in the future now that I think about it.
     So my main piece of advice, just sit down, write the dang story, and send it off somewhere, anywhere. Why not, right?
    
     Let me know down below any techniques you have, or just anything about anything, I love to hear from you guys! Thanks for reading!
                         -Taylor