Review: Orange, The Complete Collection Volume 1 by Ichigo Takano

General Information

orange: The Complete Collection 1
Page Count: 384 pages
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Orange, The Complete Collection Volume 1

TW: suicide, depression


Official Summary

“A Plea From the Future

On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she recieves a letter from herself ten years in the future. At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter’s predictions come true one by one Naho realizes that the letter might be the real deal. Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class. The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future. Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny?” (Source)Read More »


Interrupting Your Usual Programming for a Brief Life Update

So I dropped off the face of the planet there for a minute.

A brief, non-reading non-writing related update on my life:

  • I started my first ever full-time job (yay!!!)
  • I’ve had no time to do basically any reading or writing (boo)
  • I took a mini long-weekend vacation to Michigan (yay!!!)
  • Which meant a weekend full of reading/writing was off-limits (boo)

I’ve also been having so mad trouble sleeping (this has been an ongoing issue since at least May, maybe earlier but it’s been progressively worse) so around 2pm and then again around 8pm I hit a wall and can barely concentrate on anything for longer than two minutes at a time.

I managed to adapt my reading habits to fit into a full-time schedule that I haven’t really figured out a routine for yet. I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels (which you can read about in my monthly wrap-up next Monday) in order to bulk up on my Goodreads reading challenge. I used to read a ton of graphic novels as a teenager, so I’m enjoying catching up on some titles I’ve seen floating around but haven’t really read yet.

I’ve written unfortunately very little (blog wise and fiction wise). I cranked out about three upcoming blog posts today which I’m happy about. One morning at 4am when I couldn’t sleep I wrote a whole chapter. Aside from that, it’s been a slow month.

I still don’t have characters names picked out for NaNoWriMo. Which starts in approximately two days. I’m pretending I’m okay with it.

I planned out a writing routine for November including how many words to write each day to get to 50,000 words. There’s a few weekends and weeknights coming up where it’s unrealistic for me to make time for writing, so I’m trying to plan around it. Hopefully, I can stay awake until midnight on Tuesday night and just start writing right away and crank out at least a few scenes (lol I still don’t have any resemblance of an outline).

I’ll be updating my NaNoWriMo progress (most likely freak-outs) every Friday starting on November 10, to give myself a few days to get somewhere.

NaNoWriMo Prep #2: Help Me I’m Lost ft. Link Round-Up

So originally I had a whole blog post planned out about what steps we should be taking now in order to gear up for NaNoWriMo (a continuation of my first post here) but I realized that I haven’t done any prep work myself! I’m not in the mood to be hypocritical today. 👋✌️

Instead of doling out instructions and advice I’d figure I’m just going to ramble on about NaNoWriMo and I’m hoping some people can give me some instruction and advice. I’ve been scouring the Internet (aka Pinterest) looking up some really great writing advice articles blog posts videos etc and there are definitely some great ideas out there but there’s a point where taking in too much information just isn’t helpful.

All right, so, here’s what I’m struggling with:

1. Everything.

Tee hee. This isn’t a lie. Or a joke. My nano idea is large and messy and sloppy and I don’t even know where to begin to start fleshing it out. I feel like I’m about to tackle cleaning out my attic. It’s filled with winter clothes and holiday decorations and fancy china and old vinyl records and some camping gear and toys from my youth but how to you to decide what section to clean first! What if I get so caught up looking through old baby photos that I loose track of time!Read More »

Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

General Information

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love StoriesPage Count: 388 pages
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Summer Days and Summer Nights


Official Summary

“Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.” (Source)


[I’m setting up this review a little differently than previous ones. I’m going to start by reviewing the collection as a whole, then move onto mini reviews for each piece.]Read More »

Movies I’ve Seen But Haven’t Read the Book

Confession: My movie knowledge repertoire is shallow. I don’t watch a ton a movies (or tv shows) and when I do get around to watching something, I generally am very picky about what I enjoy, and all of these have surprised me. Typically I refuse to go see a movie without reading the book first, but these sneaky ones have crept in under my radar.

Obviously, I’m sure there are tons more movies out there I’ve seen that have a book tied to it that I haven’t read. These are my top five movies I’ve seen and enjoyed and that have inspired me to consider reading the book that goes along with it.

I dread the day I get tired of watching this movie. What a CLASSIC. Bridget Jones is one of the best rom-com heroines and I really feel like I’m missing out by not reading the books. I’m already a huge fan of the movies (I recently watched the third and newest one and was BLOWN AWAY by how good it was. I was literally cracking up.) so I imagine the books have to hold some weight as well, especially since typically speaking, books are usually better than the movies.Read More »

Down the TBR Hole #02: Books 11-20

This is my second attempt at Lost in a Story’s “Down the TBR Hole,” which makes you question your most intimate life decisions from the past four years.

Actually, it just makes you set your Goodreads “to-read” shelf with the oldest books first, and then go through about ten books a time and decide if you’re going to keep it or not. But like, it basically the same thing. We’re cleaning out of hopes and dreams from the past few years.

I’m being dramatic, but it’s justified. At the end of my last attempt I had an even 1,100 books on my “to-read” shelf. Currently, I have 1158. I’ve added a few 😐 Books are being produced faster than I can read!! Slow down!!

I cheated and skimmed ahead at these ten books and idk these are going to be h a r d to narrow down. They’re all classics that I feel more or less obligated to read at some point in my life. It’ll be an emotional adventure. I’m just gonna write off the record here we go.Read More »

Review: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

General Information

Page Count: 245 pages
Publication Date: October 1st, 1995
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Like Water for Chocolate


Official Summary

“Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story. The Spanish language edition of the best-selling “Like Water For Chocolate” is a remarkable success in its own right.” (Source)Read More »

Discussion: What I’m Hoping For in Leigh Bardugo’s New Grishaverse Novel

Leigh Bardugo recently edged herself into my auto-buy author category, so naturally when all of Twitter informed me that her next Grishaverse edition, King of Scars, is expected in winter of 2019, I exploded.

King of Scars is an upcoming duology centered around Nikolai Lantsov, who makes appears in both of Bardugo’s Grishaverse series. Nikolai was first introduced in Siege and Storm as Sturmhond, a pirate/commander who is soon discovered to be the prince of Ravka. Later in the Grishaverse timeline, he makes an appearance in Crooked Kingdom.

While I was underwhelmed with Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone series, Nikolai was probably one of my favorite characters (and I’m definitely not alone). The ending of both Grishaverse series left some loose ends that I’m hoping to be furthered addressed in this new series.


“Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself.  But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.” (Source)

The rest of this post will contain spoilers.

Read More »

NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge 1997-2000

If you’d like to catch up with my shenanigans, you can read my guidelines in this post.

For my September books I chose to read The Bridges of Madison County, Like Water for Chocolate, Politically Correct Bedtimes Stories, and Primary Colors. I read 3 out of the 4; I DNF’ed Primary Colors around 50 pages in. It was confusing, and I couldn’t really get into it. I may pick it up to read again one day, but right now my time is too limited to be focusing on books that I’m just not into. My favorite book of the choices was Like Water for Chocolate.

In October I’ll be reading four books from 1997-2000. I’ve listed each bestsellers list, the four books I’m choosing from, any books I’ve already read, any runner’s up (books I find particularly interesting, or books that I’d prefer to read rather than the ideal four), and my entertaining commentary to keep you from getting bored and clicking on a different post!

NYT Hardcover Bestsellers Week of March 23, 1997


#1: The Partner by John Grisham
26 weeks on list: The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Already read: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


#1: Murder in Brentwood by Mark Fuhrman
50 weeks on list: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Already read: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

I’m super psyched to have already two books off the list this year. Granted, they’re pretty popular books but I’m holding onto this confidence booster and gripping it until my knuckles turn white! The Celestine Prophecy is also still sitting on the NYT Bestsellers a comfy 154 weeks later. Honestly, that gigantic three digit number is urging me to read but I just honestly don’t think I’ll like it and I don’t want to waste my time reading it. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is also still sitting on the Bestsellers List a year later. I’m disappointed to find none of these four books truly interest me this go-round. By process of elimination I’ve chosen The Deep End of the Ocean. It seems like something I might enjoy, but I’m not entirely sold on it.Read More »

Get Graphic Readathon TBR

In middle and high school I went through a “graphic novel phase;” I probably spent literally thousands of dollars on manga (I had a discount card at the local Japanese bookstore–if local is 45 minutes away). Then I got smart and started borrowing manga in stacks from the library, which only fueled the fire.

I put quotes around “phase” because it never really ended; I just went to college and didn’t have easy access to the library anymore and spent less money on books because I had to spend more money on textbooks 😭

SO, I was beyond excited when I came across the Get Graphic readathon!

The Get Graphic readathon (#GetGraphic or @GetGraphicThon for twitter) takes place from October 6, 2017 starting at 5pm (your local time) and lasts until October 8, 2017 at midnight (your local time). It’s hosted by Kristin (@whatskappening), Kayla, (@BOOKadoodles7), Samantha (@thoughtsontomes), and Adriana (@perpetualpages).

There’s 6 reading challenges for the weekend:

  1. A new-to-you series
  2. Two installments from the same series
  3. Read a work over 300 pages
  4. Read black & white art
  5. A recommendation by a friend
  6. Read 5 things

I’m going to try to aim to complete all six, but in between ordering some books off Amazon and waiting for my library holds to come in I’m not entirely sure how successful that will be.Read More »