My 5 Most Recent YA Reads

I haven’t read much this year, or last semester. Why? Stress and being busy./. I keep forgetting/ putting off reading, even though I know it’s a major stress reliever and it’s incredible. I put off things that are good for me, okay? It’s inexplicable and stupid.

So here we are. I’m going to talk about the last five YA books I read and what I thought about them, to shake things up from my recent rambling/complaining/wrap up posts that I’ve been writing.

Everless-

4 stars.

I originally rated this like 3.5 stars but I can’t stop thinking about it. So that’s something.

Pros: This was a really cool story and like I said, I can’t stop thinking about it. Probably because it ends very… at odds and in a cliff hanger. It’s SUCH an interesting concept, turning blood into coins and those coins are currency and people can melt that currency down to add to tea and extend their lives… Whether or not that’s a new idea, it was a really cool plot concept and it was executed well.

Cons: There are a lot of tropes in this book but I was kinda able to look past them. Lots of things felt… convenient or contrived. There is of, course, the chosen one trope, and the whole “lost princess” sort of thing. (but not literally a lost princess. XD) There were also a lot of talk of blood and hearts, so if that’s not your thing or you’re squeamish… then this book probably isn’t for you.

Eliza and her Monsters-

4 Stars

Pros: this book is so dang good. It tells the story of Eliza and her wildy popular web comic and how it’s destroying her life. It’s fascinating to look into this side of the internet and culture… and it’s done really, really well. It also deals quite well with anxiety and depression and what it feels like to pull away from most all social interaction with IRL people.

Cons: some cursing and edginess if you’re not into that, though. It was a while back that I read this, but I feel as if I recall her parents getting on my nerves They were so inexplicably naive and clueless and *sigh-shrugh-groan*

 

Warcross-

4 stars.

Pros: SO SO GOOD but edgy. It takes place in the future but it’s not quite a dystopian and there’s really cool video game tech and gahhh it was really cool. I desperately need.

Cons: a little… flat in places, but the main story is v good. The world building felt a little empty, but that maybe have been because I was speeding through because the pLoT was so good and I needed more.

 

The Pearl Thief-

5 stars. or like, 4.5.

Pros: UHM QUE TEARS AND AMAZEMENT GO READ THIS SERIES RIGHT NOW WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Then come back and we can squeal cry about Julia Beaufort Stewart, who in this book is just 15 and come home for the summer in Scotland… but her grandad’s estate, is being auctioned off and THERES A MYSTERY AND SOCIAL ISSUES AND SO MANY GOOD CHARACTERS.

This book creeped me out and perplexed me and delighted me and made me cry and man, it’s a whole rollercoaster of emotions. You should read Code Name Verity first, of course, and then this one will hurt EVEN MORE. *cries*

Cons: Literally hardly anything. I mean… there was some edginess and a minor plot rabbit trail that didn’t feel all that necessary. But I can over look that.

 

The Girl From Everywhere

3 stars.

Pros: This book had a crazy cool plot concept, a set of diverse characters, and was written pretty well. It was basically time traveling pirates and Hawaii and wondering if the MC would disappear into nothing if a certain time traveling event took place.

Cons: I just don’t like time-travel books. It messes with my head. I’m a wimp, alright? I wasn’t the hugest fan of this book. Sometimes YA books feel like they’re trying to hard? And it’s evident? And little old me sees that and frowns. I dunno man. I dunno. It was still a really cool book.

 

 

So those are my most recent YA reads! I think it’s clear which is my favorite, hah.

What are some of your more recent YA reads? Have you read any of the above books? What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

2018 Goals (like two weeks into the new year)

GOAL POSTS ARE SO MUCH FUN. They sound so productive and orderly and like you know what you’re doing and that you!have!a!plan!

Which feels really nice. Even if you don’t get to all your goals or God decides you need to have other goals.

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A goals post. It’s a starting place and physical (digital??) place to put my hopes and dreams. 

If you read my last post, my 2017 wrap up (also, hello, this is the first time we’ve spoke since last year! *another gasp* you’ll know how my goals went. Honestly, they went pretty well. Then again, I didn’t really set *that* much for myself to do. It was just the sheer base of what I wanted to accomplish.

Last year was also a pretty busy/cruddy year (aren’t they all, to some extent? this one just felt…. more so) so I’m glad I didn’t heave too many expectations onto myself.

I’m still unsure about what this year is going to look like. I know I’ll be doing drama again like I did last year with Alice. (this year is Pride and Prejudice, if you were wondering) and I also know that…. I’m going to graduate.

 

Let’s just move onto these goals before I give them all away, shall we?

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why did I include this picture? because I’m reading that copy of Sparrow Singing I printed out.

 

  1. Query agents for Sparrow Singing

Last year, my goal was to prepare all the necessities for querying Sparrow. While I did, that’s only half-true. I got the gumption to query, and I wrote a query letter.

Turns out that every agent kinda wants something different: some want the query letter only, some want a cover letter for a bigger proposal, others want a one page synopsis, and still others want it to be three pages! So, while this goal is mostly to actually query agents, it’s also to write a gazillon more cover letters and synopsi. (or synopsises? synapse?? o-o)

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2. Finish Draft 2 of Ember Burning.

Ember Burning is the third in my YA Christian Dystopian trilogy… I wrote it last year (2016 mind you) for NaNo. It has since been neglected and as I worked on getting my first book, Sparrow, out into the world. That needs to change.

 

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3. Expand/do better at having a platform!

This is an odd one, sure, but it’s a goal none the less. As I was researching agents over Christmas break, I realized a lot of them want numbers and results and want to know if you have a good grounding of people surrounding you. They want to know how many email newsletter subscribers you have, etc etc.

They want to you know have a platform.

I agree with this. (for the most part… I think the industry’s vision ‘platform,’ or what it should look like to build an audience is a leetle misguided…) But I also know this. You. You person reading this post are not a number. You’re a person, a dear person who cares enough to come read my blog! You’re a friend.

So basically, this year, I want to do a better job at serving my friends and expanding my platform. I want to encourage you, because you encourage me.

…and, shameless plug, if you haven’t already, I’m on twitter. 😉 This is where I do a lot of talking to people and I love it. It’s so easy to connect, find others with similar interests, and cheer each other on! I’d love to grow my platform over there as well as on here… which leads me to my next goal:

 

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also if you’re wondering, this is a planner from @frannerd. she’s an illustrator and I love her work.

4. Start a youtube.

I’ll be honest: it’s been a long time since I’ve had a youtube. I made videos long, long ago when I was a small bean. They were awful.

So I’m trying it again, because I love youtubers. There are so many that inspire me and entertain me with their life and what they do everyday, be it playing video games, studio vlogs, rambles about life…

I wanted to give it a try myself. We’ll see how it goes, and if I’m able to keep it up throughout the semester. I’d love to do at least one video a week, maybe once every two weeks, or go back and forth between a blog post one week, and then a video the next.

There’s so many possibilities and things I’m excited to share with you! Studio/life vlogs! Sketchbook tours! Random speedpaints! Talking about writing and querying struggles!

It’ll be fun. Hopefully next post I’ll be able to announce my channel… stay tuned. o-o

 

5. Graduate.

I’m kinda already set up for this goal: most likely, God willing, I’m going to graduate this May.

That’s… scary. I mean, sure, I’ll be nearly 19… but graduating.

If I’m being honest, I never imagined that I’d get this far. When I was little, I was too busy reading books and drawing pictures and crying about math (cough cough, this may or may not still apply to today) to be thinking about college or the rest of my life.

Understandably.

Because I was a kid.

And I still am, I guess, but I’m also not.

Because I’m transitioning into adulthood?? Which sounds really weird to type?? But like… within four months I’m going to be graduated and headed to college in the fall (I need to write a post on that… or a rambly vlog… because I have lots and lots to say about that lol)

 

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6. GET A JOB.

Okay. Okay. We’re being honest here. I’m laying it all on the table.

I’ve… never had a job? Okay, I mean, a real job.

When I was fourteen, I ran an etsy shop selling American Girl doll clothes, but like, hip teen doll clothes. That was definitely a job. I made cash. I bought myself camera equipment with it.

But… I was self-employed, accountable only to myself and my demanding costumers via Instagram.

I’ve also done lots of selling on ebay of homeschool curriculum. But again, self employment.

This past year, I sold my art at a farmers market. I also have picked photography back up and have been doing senior and family portrait photography.

But it’s all been self employment. Freelance. I love it. Only problem is that freelance, with my skill level, isn’t very steady. (not that freelancing is very steady anyway, but when you’re an 18 year old highschool senior, it’s definitely not steady, hah >.<)

 

So my last goal is going to be to get a job. I know, it’ll probably be minimum wage. But that’s fine, we all start somewhere. I need to start focusing in on saving if I want to go to college… And maybe I’ll be able to get something nice, like working in Starbucks or something. I’ve wanted to work in a coffee shop for a looong time now.

 

 

But anyway, those are my six goals. Perhaps I’ll add some more later in the year when I do my goal check up post. But for now: that is it. I don’t want to pressure myself into doing more than I have time. I don’t want to go about doing everything and anything I have the whim to do.

I may add more writerly things later this year. Truth Remaining, the second book in my trilogy, is in its second draft, but it needs help, too. If I land an agent, every other book-writing-goal I have will probably slam to a screeching halt so I can work on editing her again and getting ready for publication (it’s crazy to even type that out… guys, t h a t s  a n  a c t u a l   p o s s i b i l i t y.)

But overall, I really want to step back and ask God, “Okay… what is is that you want me to do?”

Anyway. This was a really, really long post. cookies and chocolate to you if you read it. Thank you for sticking around, I really appreciate you! ❤

 

TELL ME: What are some of your goals for the new year? Anything your super excitied about? Soemthing you’re not-so-excited about?