I am so pleased that 5 Fandom Friday is still alive and kicking and we’re starting off 2015 with a new post about our fandom resolutions! I feel like I’ve been writing best of and resolution lists for days now but this one was a lot of fun to think about. Megan and I also have a special treat at the end of our posts today, which is the 5 Fandom Friday topics for February and March!! I hope everyone is enjoying our topics and will continue to participate through 2015.
1) Re-read all of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings – I briefly touched upon my intention to re-read more books I enjoy in my 2015 resolutions post but more specifically, this is going to be the year I re-read Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I have re-read Harry Potter more times than I can count as a child and it was always so enjoyable to do so that I want to make the time to experience them again this year. In April, Andrew and I are going to Lincoln Center to see all three Lord of the Rings films with the music performed by a live orchestra so I think a re-read is the perfect way to get excited for it!
2) Play more Board Games – I have always been interested in learning and playing board games but I never had anyone who wanted to play with me. Luckily, my boyfriend is rather into games and he and his friends love planning board game nights. I’ve already learned and played more games in the past year than I have, well, ever, but I want to continue to see what else is out there and working on my strategic skills.
3) Go to more Conventions – I went to SO many conventions between 2012-2013 and in 2014 I was a huge con slacker. It was partially because of moving and starting a new job (read: moving costs and no vacation time), but now that I’m settled I’m really looking forward to planning a trip. Even though I’ve been to Orlando a ton of times, I would love to go back with Andrew so we can see the new Diagon Alley expansion at Universal and enjoy fireworks at Disney together and such (and visit Kristin!). So maybe we’ll plan for a MegaCon/Harry Potter World/Disney trip in the near future? I would also love to attend ECCC, C2E2 (for the second time), and Baltimore Comic Con (because it’s my FAVORITE).
4) Cosplay – There are two characters that I am dying to cosplay and both will involve A LOT of work and preparation. I hate revealing my cosplays until right before the convention or the actual day of, so I’m not going to list them here but man I am really hoping I can make these two happen. My favorite cosplay of 2014 was the Kiki’s Delivery Service characters that Andrew and I did together at NYCC.
5) Hang my art prints – Another side effect of moving is that I haven’t had the chance to determine which art prints I want to hang on my walls yet. I loved my old setup at my parents house, but I think want to be more adult and get some of the really special ones framed before I hang them. I’ve acquired quite the collection of prints throughout the years and for the pieces I don’t choose to hang, I’ve been meaning to buy these portfolios that Amy suggested to me one Skype date ago so I can browse through and appreciate what I own instead of having it all sit in a plastic sleeve in my closet.
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
I decided to split my top books of 2014 into two categories as well. I think it would be a shame to leave out some of my favorite things this year just because they hadn’t been published in 2014. For a more in depth look into my reading habits and tastes this year, you can view my end of year book survey! And Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Comics, and Top 10 TV Shows, Top 7 Movies, & Top 5 Broadway/Off Broadway Shows of 2014! What were your favorite books this year? Is there anything your particularly looking forward to reading in 2015, new or otherwise?
Top 5 Books Published in 2014
1) Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
5) Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Top 5 Books (I Read) in 2014
1) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
3) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
4) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
5) The Diviners by Libba Bray
Stephanie Perkins has mastered the modern YA love story. I read Perkins’ first book in the series, Anna and the French Kiss and I LOVED it to pieces which is why it took me a few months until I felt ready to pick up Lola and the Boy Next Door. After falling in love with Etienne and Anna, I didn’t think I could feel anywhere near as emotional toward a new pair of characters but boy was I wrong on all accounts! (And, a MAJOR added bonus for Anna fans is that Perkins incorporated them into the story in a way that totally works!) The story takes place in San Francisco which is a place I’ve never been but have had an intense desire to visit ever since I started reading the book.
Lola is a fashionably ostentatious teenager with overprotective parents who disapprove of her much-older-and-in-a-rock-band boyfriend who decided not to go to college. Part of the reason Lola and the Boy Next Door is different than other YA novels is because Lola’s parents play such a huge role in the story. They make her check in hourly when she’s with Max and they have invoked a standing Sunday brunch date with the pair to keep closer parental watch over them. I’ll admit, it’s difficult not to like Max initially when learning about his character traits through Lola’s eyes but the feeling QUICKLY fades. Within the first few pages we find out that her previous neighbors who she’s always DREADED seeing again are moving back into their old house right next door to her. It doesn’t take long to fall in love with the boy next door despite Lola fighting the feeling for the majority of the book.
And now, the boy. Cricket Bell is the teenage heartthrob that girls should be swooning over instead of the stereotypical bad boy. Cricket is kind. He genuinely cares about Lola, he would never pressure her into anything, and he’s even willing to talk to her about her issues with Max despite how difficult it is for him to hear. Cricket gets along with Lindsay (Lola’s Nancy Drew obsessed BFF), AND her parents, and he’s a super intelligent guy that’s passionate about inventing things.
I’ve always geared away from stories that felt purely romantic but Stephanie Perkins has completely changed my mind with her first two books. Recently, Isla and the Happily Ever After debuted and I’m going to pick it up a lot sooner than I did with Lola. If you’re looking for a book to devour with a very realistic story and a romance that’ll really pull at your heartstrings, Lola and the Boy Next Door is definitely the way to go.
Hi everyone! I’m super late on my 5 Fandom Friday post this week due to the holidays. Since traveling back and forth to my parents, grandparents and Andrew’s parents houses already constituted carrying gifts, Christmas cookies, clothes, etc., the addition of a laptop to that list did not sound appealing to me in the slightest so I decided to give myself a short break and resume blogging when I returned to NYC. I’m really excited about this weeks topic because my blog was just redesigned by the amazing 801red and ever since my new layout has debuted I’ve been feeling really enthusiastic about posting and sharing more on my personal site. Here are the things I want to focus on in 2015:
1) Connect More With Other Bloggers – I’ve made so many new friends and I’ve started reading SO many more blogs since Megan and I debuted 5 Fandom Friday and it’s made me love this ever expanding community to pieces. I really look forward to seeing what other people post and while I don’t get to comment on everything (especially if I’m reading at work), I want to make more of an effort to email myself a reminder to comment later on posts I really enjoyed so other people know that I appreciate what they’re putting out there.
2) Take Better Photos – I must’ve been a good girl this year because Santa blew my mind when he brought me the Canon Rebel that I’ve been DYING to own (I even wrote about it on a previous 5 Fandom Friday post!). I feel like I’ve come such a long way with photographs (I actually cringe when I look at some of the first things I posted on this site), and photography has become an activity that I really enjoy. It’s almost therapeutic in a sense. I want to continue improving my skills and I may even look into some courses on my camera so I’m getting the most out of it that I possibly can.
3) More Bookish Posts – One of the reasons I’ve been more absent from social media in the past few months is because I cannot stop reading! I’ve been really into as much YA lit as I can get my hands on and I’m really looking forward to sharing more recommendations, book hauls, and just generally bookish posts on this space. I may even add in a YouTube component for reviewing things since Andrew and I have acquired some fancy lighting equipment and microphone recently. Here’s the end of the year book survey I recently filled out!
4) Host More Giveaways – I’ve hosted quite a number of giveaways over on Wear Pink Wednesdays, but I really want to offer more to my readers here and I think one of the best ways to do that is by hosting giveaways. I’ve worked with companies such as WeLoveFine, QuirkBooks, Sideshow Collectibles, Big Honcho Media, and several comic book publishers in the past and I’m really looking forward to branching out and partnering with more companies in the future!
5) Utilize Editorial Calendar – I always feel like I can’t post more than one thing per day and I have no idea why I’ve mentally set this restriction for myself. It’s led to me not getting to post about certain events until much later, or even at all in some cases, and then I feel bad that I’ve already put in the effort for an unpublished post. I’m going to start utilizing my Flashback Adventures tag much more so I can catch up on some missed events.
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
This is the first year that I’m participating in Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner’s annual end of year survey and I couldn’t be more excited to have another excuse to write about books and my reading habits throughout 2014!
2014 Reading Stats
Number of Books You Read: currently 88 (which is sadly almost 100 books shy of my 184 from last year… I’ve been SO busy this year!)
Number of Re-Reads: 0… Which I’m planning on changing next year
Genre You Read the Most From: YA, without a shadow of a doubt
Best in Books
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
The Archived and The Unbound by Victoria Schwab – I’m counting both of these as the best book because I read them back to back and they’re part of a series. I LOVED both so much! There’s even a Librarian character based on the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who!
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger – It was the first book that Melissa, Cassie and I choose to read for our book club and all three of us felt the same way. The book is more juvenile and the main character is only 13 so she’s challenging to relate to.
3. Most Surprising (Good or Bad) Book You Read in 2014?
The Magicians by Lev Grossman – I have tried to read The Magicians about 4 times so far but this is the year that I FINALLY powered through until the end. After I got over the initial hump in the beginning, I found myself flying through the pages. I thought I was going to be begrudgingly finishing the book because I hated that I started and stopped so many times but I ended up being completely wrong!
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I immediately fell SO deeply in love with Kvothe and his story in The Name of the Wind and I have literally tried to get everyone I love in my life to read it! I had avoided the book for a while because I didn’t love that the cover seemed TOO fantasy-esque, but Rothfuss’s writing and story were ENCHANTING. You should probably read it too :-)
5. Best Series You Started in 2014?
Nana by Ai Yazawa – Since Paradise Kiss is my favorite manga of all time, I decided to read Ai Yazawa’s other and much longer series. I’ve just finished book 18 yesterday so I’m getting dangerously close to the end and I’m devastated that the series ends unfinished at book 21. I know I’m going to be tortured wondering what happens to all of the characters but I’m glad that I’m putting myself through this emotional hardship anyway.
6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2014?
Ava Dellaira – Dellaira wrote Love Letters to the Dead and OMG if you haven’t read it YOU MUST. I pre-ordered the book based on the goodreads email recommendation I received which included an endorsement from Stephen Chbosky, so insta-buy.
7. Best Book From a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone?
The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham – I don’t typically read novels based on TV shows or movies, but since this is a Veronica Mars mystery, I made an exception and boy am I glad I did!
8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/
The Girl Who Circumvented Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – This book is a very fantastical and action packed fairytale of sorts about a girl named September who’s tasked with saving Fairyland from the evil Marquess. It’s complex and beautifully written and each chapter was action packed.
9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors – I love love love reading holiday stories and the recently released collection of short stories by a ton of my favorite YA authors is no exception. Last Christmas I read Let It Snow which I’ve wanted to re-read ever since, but re-reading short stories is much more realistic, especially during the busy month of December!
10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2014?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – It’s SO pretty! I love the colors, the artwork, Cath sitting at her computer with Levi over her shoulder, everything!
11. Most Memorable Character of 2014?
Kvothe from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – Kvothe is unforgettable. He’s clever, he can be kind of a jerk, he’s vengeful, and after reading his story it’s completely understandable why he does the things he does.
12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2014?
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – Seriously, so so gorgeous. The way the main character thinks about like is just beautiful.
13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-
Looking For Alaska by John Green – I can’t believe that I hadn’t read any John Green books until this year, but Looking for Alaska really got me thinking. Alaska is such a fascinating character and she makes you want to live your life to the fullest and seek your great perhaps.
14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2014 to Finally Read?
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman – I know! I have no idea how I haven’t read His Dark Materials yet, but I’m slowly correcting that!
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?
From The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss:
“It was one of those perfect autumn days so common in stories and so rare in the real world.”
From Looking for Alaska by John Green:
“If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest – Nana by Ai Yazawa (Sort of. Each volume of the manga is short, but I’ve read 18 volumes so far), Longest – The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
17. Book That Shocked You The Most?
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – I so did not see that ending coming and I still want to go back and re-read the story to see if I’ll see things differently.
18. OTP of the Year?
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Cricket Bell) – No explanation needed. Swoon.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?
Lira & Pan (The Golden Compass) or Lissa & Rose (Vampire Academy)
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
Nana by Ai Yazawa – It’s just so good! And the artwork is gorgeous.
21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based Solely On A Recommendation From Somebody Else?
The Diviners by Libba Bray – Cassie recommended that I read The Diviners and oh boy am I glad I did! I devoured that book on some pretty chilly winter nights in the beginning of 2014. I’m really looking forward to the sequel!
22. Newest Fictional Crush From a Book You Read in 2014?
Guyliner from The Archived – Wesley is everything <3
23. Best 2014 Debut You Read?
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – (See above)
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I can’t wait to dive into the next book, but it’s going to be a huge undertaking. It’s over 1,000 pages and the third book which concludes the series hasn’t been written yet.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas – I read all of the lines in the characters voices and it was so easy to visualize everything that was happening because I’m so familiar with the Veronica Mars TV show. It felt like I was reading about old friends since there was no introductory period with the characters.
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – Beautiful AND sad.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
The Woods by James Tynion IV – I read the first volume of The Woods and I really enjoyed it!
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Magicians by Lev Grossman – First I was bored, then I was enthralled, then I was really sad! I still haven’t started the second book just yet.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This book is gorgeous in every aspect. The characters are compelling, the circus is magical and the descriptions are a pleasure to read.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but if I go into details of why, there WILL be spoilers.
1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2014?
2. Favorite Review You Wrote in 2014?
I’m going with a non-novel review and saying Peter Pan Live! because Christopher Walken gifs and such.
3. Best Discussion/Non-Review Post You Had on Your Blog?
I can’t help being a total dork here and gushing about how much I enjoyed writing about my 2015 Harry Potter themed Divination planner. I also really loved my post about Central Park in autumn. New York City is such a wonderful place and I feel so lucky to live here!
4. Best Event That You Participated In (Author Signing/Festival/Virtual Event/Meme)?
5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2014?
My favorite bookish/blogging moments in 2014 were 1) hosting the book club at Midtown Comics in NYC for Eric Smith’s The Geeks Guide To Dating, 2) Being thanked in the acknowledgements of his book, 3) Writing two pieces for a QuirkBooks e-book which were published earlier this year! And 4) Meeting Neil Gaiman and Lemony Snicket as part of The Great Book Giveaway.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog?
My most popular posts this year are Authors I Would Invite To My Thanksgiving Feast and my review of the Sideshow Collectibles Mary Jane Watson statue. It was so much fun to write and I’m so happy Sideshow sent one to me for review since I had been eying it anyway!
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
My NYCC recap of the Bee & Puppycat event at YouTube Studios. It’s such a great show and it was SO exciting to meet Natasha Allegri and Fred of Frederator as well as view the first three episodes of the season before anyone else!
9. Best Bookish Discovery?
So. Many. Etsy. Things. For instance, this Lord of the Rings firepit, this stamp which allows you to stamp your books as part of your personal library, and this beautiful Hogwarts envelope leather wallet.
10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals?
I challenged myself to read 100 novels this year, but I have not yet made my goal :-(
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?
Winter by Marissa Meyer – I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles so much and I NEED to know what’s going to happen next.
3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
My friend Melissa Grey is coming out with her first novel, The Girl at Midnight and I can’t wait to read a copy!
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?
This Shattered World: A Starbound Novel by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
I hope that I’ll be able to reach people and recommend things to them that they’ll love. I’m also hoping to be more interactive on my blog as opposed to other forms of social media since it’s the place that means the most to me.
6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone?
I haven’t read any yet! *hangs head in shame* I’ve been playing catch up on too many things I missed this year (ie His Dark Materials and The Chronicles of Narnia) to start any 2015 debuts just yet.
1. Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman
2. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater
3. Nana Volume 10 by Ai Yazawa
4. Nana Volume 11 by Ai Yazawa
5. Nana Volume 12 by Ai Yazawa
6. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
7. Nana Volume 13 by Ai Yazawa
8. Nana Volume 14 by Ai Yazawa
9. Hawkeye Volume 3 by Matt Fraction
10. Teen Titans Earth One Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
11. Nana Volume 15 by Ai Yazawa
12. My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors
13. Nana Volume 16 by Ai Yazawa
2. Twin Peaks
3. The Flash
5. Bob’s Burgers
1. Big Hero 6
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
9. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
2. Adventure Time Munchkin
3. Luigi’s Mansion
4. Tsum Tsum
My how I’ve grown to love Fridays! First things first: For the past few weeks Megan and I have been working hard to figure out a better system for linking all the 5 Fandom Friday bloggers in one place. At first I was adding links as they were sent to me but it ended up being really challenging because everyone posts at different times throughout the day and some people don’t even publish their post on Fridays at all (which is totally fine!). I tend to publish my posts between 6 and 7 am because I have a full time job and it’s not blogging. So, not being able to update my post with links until Friday evening or the next morning while the links kept building was becoming overwhelming pretty quickly. The entire purpose of 5 Fandom Friday is to meet other bloggers, make new friends and find some new sites to read in the process which I’m so happy to have done so far! I’ve added SO many new blogs to my Feedly and made so many new Twitter friends in the process that I’m totally satisfied with the experience so far and I hope you are too! So enter, ~the new system~. At the bottom of this post you’ll find a little blue button which allows you to enter the link to your post if you want to share it here (and I certainly hope you do!). I think this is going to be great and work better for everyone involved. Also, I just want to thank everyone who reached out to Megan and I with kind and supportive words last week when we were being harassed online. We both can’t thank everyone enough for your support<3
Now, to my post intro! This is the first week of 5 Fandom Friday that I’m choosing to use a variation on the topic Megan and I decided upon. The original topic is Characters I Would Invite To My Thanksgiving Feast but I decided to write about the authors I would love to invite. I’ve been on such a huge reading kick for the past 4 years (which I suppose classifies as more of a lifestyle choice now?) and there are so many fascinating authors that I would kill a turkey for a chance to dine with. Plus, I’m really truly thankful for each of the people in this list because each has written something that’s affected me in its own unique way. So, here they are!
1. JK Rowling – If I wouldn’t immediately burst into tears the moment I would be within personal bubble range of JK Rowling, I would have SO many things to tell her I’m thankful for. Harry Potter has and always will be my number one fandom as I’ve stated repeated online and IRL. I have formed strong opinions on every single character in the series whether I want to kiss them or send them infinite death glares but no matter what they each make me FEEL something which is so important for writing to do. Maybe these feelings have stuck with me for so long because I grew up with the characters and my impressions began forming at a young age, but OMG I would be fangirling uncontrollably if JK were sitting at my table.
2. Neil Gaiman – The first time I met Neil Gaiman I babbled incoherently until he interrupted me and asked if I needed a hug. When I met Neil yesterday I immediately went in for a hug and told him how excited I am to see him again and I like to think that the third time is a charm and should I cross paths with him again I would be able to interact like a semi-normal human being. I find it confounding that Neil Gaiman has the exact same words to work with as everyone else does yet he manages to arrange them in such a captivating manner. My only tattoo is a symbol from one of his works, my boyfriend and I began our relationship conversing about our mutual love of him, and I have more copies of the same titles of his books than any other author. Plus, THAT VOICE! So so so many thanks to Neil for existing and creating a better existence for all of us bibliophiles.
PAST & UPCOMING TOPICS
I’ve always been a pen and paper kind of gal when it comes to planners. Anytime I tell someone that I’ve been spending the past few weeks carrying around a 2014 and 2015 planner I’m met with tons of responses about Google calendars. I get it. I know they’re much easier to tote around since all the information is stored in your phone, but for me, a virtual calendar just doesn’t work. I like having the option of flipping freely between weeks and months while I’m planning without having to hit a dot to tell me what’s happening certain days. I love using highlighters to signify different releases (theatrical releases, blu-rays, comics, books, music, etc.), and there is something inherently satisfying about crossing off days when I’m counting down to a big event (CHRISTMAS!). I put a lot of care into choosing my planner each year and I’m super excited about my 2015 pick. It’s a Harry Potter themed Divination planner from Ruskerville’s Etsy shop. Also for sale are really cute Doctor Who and Sherlock planners but being the proud Ravenclaw Potterhead that I am, I couldn’t have picked anything else. The first page has a student profile and there are Deathly Hallows symbols printed atop each day of the week alternating with a Harry Potter glasses and lighting scar icon. The last pages which are designated for notes are printed with the word “Always,” because Snape<3.