Thursday, November 24, 2016

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (149)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and Lunar Rainbows Reviews. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/films/J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! A list of upcoming topics can be found here.

This week's topic is:
Would You Rather Break into Gringotts or the Ministry of Magic?

To everyone who's celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving! The long holiday weekend means I get to write a blog post or two, lol.

Ah, this is a tough question. I mean, imagine all of the treasures lying within the vaults of Gringotts. But the Ministry of Magic is . . . the Ministry of Magic! As much as I'd like to check out all of the priceless items stashed in Gringotts, I'd opt for some unauthorized exploration of the Ministry. I'd consult with the trio first before attempting this; after all, they successfully broke into both places! XD

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Adventures at YALLFest 2016

Oh, hello there! It's been very quiet around here for almost 2 weeks, but I think I'm back? I'm still feeling a bit meh and it's been hard to find the motivation (and time) to read and blog, but here goes with jumping back into blogging.

Ally, Melissa, and I had so much fun attending YALLFest for the first time last year that we absolutely wanted to go back. The logistics involved in pulling off this year's trip were much trickier with everyone's insanely busy schedules, but, fueled by our love of books (and lots and lots and lots of coffee), we were determined to return to Charleston.

Once again, a small group of authors had signings on Friday, the day before the actual event. We made really good time driving up to Charleston and arrived early enough to walk around for a while and do some shopping before the Alexandra Bracken signing in the afternoon. Both her Friday and Saturday signings were limited to a certain number of people, so Ally and I figured that Friday was our best shot. We also went to her signing last year, and she was incredibly sweet both times. She actually asked me if we'd met before, and I told her yes, at last year's event. It was very flattering to be recognized, and I swear I'm not a stalker or anything, lol. I got my copy of Passenger signed:

After grabbing an early-ish dinner, we checked into our hotel and worked out our strategy for Saturday. The signings, panels, and events at the publisher booths all go on simultaneously, so prioritizing is a must. This year, we spent more time checking out the publisher booths; several of them had hourly giveaways and/or contests. We did attend the opening keynote featuring Sabaa Tahir and Victoria Aveyard, and while we were waiting outside the Charleston Music Hall for the doors to open, we spotted Veronica Roth, Margaret Stohl, Leigh Bardugo, Susan Dennard, Justine Larbalestier, and Scott Westerfeld. Maggie Stiefvater also passed by on the way to her signing, which unfortunately was at the same time as the keynote. We weren't terribly disappointed we didn't get to go, though, because we got to meet her back in June during one of her tour stops promoting The Raven King.

While the three of us spent most of the day checking out the publisher events, I went to the Victoria Schwab signing in the afternoon. I thought it best to get in line pretty early, and I did not regret my decision. Not only was there already quite a bit of a line when I got there, but there was a hiccup when it got closer to the signing time. She was supposed to sign in the bookstore, but the room wasn't ready for her at the start time, so she stood outside the bookstore for a while and started signing books to keep to the schedule. How AWESOME was that of her?! By the time it my was my turn, we had moved inside the bookstore, where they were playing the Hamilton soundtrack. :D Victoria was so, so, so lovely, and I love what she wrote in my copies of Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic:

The last event of the day that we checked out was Riveted's YA trivia contest, which featured free yummy cupcakes (yay!) and the chance to have your name picked from the "Chalice of Flames" to compete on teams with authors Jenny Han, Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds, Scott Westerfeld, and Suzanne Young. Alas, none of us were chosen, but it was still a lot of fun to be in the audience and watch. We also received ARCs of Cristin Terrill's Here Lies Daniel Tate.

After the trivia contest, the three of us were more than ready to call it a day, so we headed back to the hotel to munch on leftover pizza and snacks from the stash we'd brought for the trip and to check out our goodies. Here are a few pics of my haul:

The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron
Denton Little's Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix

Not pictured: the cookie that was also handed out to everyone who received an ARC of The Valiant. When you received your book, they asked you to pick your weapon: swords, bow and arrow, or trident. You then received a cookie decorated with your weapon of choice on it. The cookie looked so tasty, I ate mine before I had a chance to take a photo of it, LOLOL. Mmmmm . . . cookies.

Everyone who was at the Scholastic booth for the Just Another Girl ARC giveaway got to meet David Levithan! I was also super, super excited about the ARC of Frogkisser! They also gave out lip balm, which you can see in the photo below and which I thought was some very clever marketing!

The New York City postcard is actually a cool promo piece for Brandon Sanderson's Firefight. I got the NYC mug while we were out and about on Friday browsing the local stores. So basically I went to Charleston, South Carolina to buy an NYC mug, lol.

Riveted gave out excerpts of the upcoming Shadowhunters novel, Lord of Shadows, along with these awesome posters:

After a whirlwind two days, it was time to pack up the car again and head home. We went to this awesome bagel place for breakfast one more time, where I got to eat my second garlic bagel of the weekend. Mmmmm . . . garlic bagels. I've rarely found them here in Florida, and as an NYC native, bagels are practically their own food group to me. XD

For the second year in a row, YALLFest was an amazing experience, and I absolutely recommend checking it out to anyone who's thinking about going, We definitely hope to make a third trip there in 2017!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

October 2016 Recap

Ah, yes, today is already the 8th of November, isn't it? And here I am, just getting around to posting the October recap. Oops. XD

Without sugarcoating it, real life has been kicking my ass lately, hurling quite a few unexpected curveballs, or maybe beanballs would be more apt if you're a baseball fan. I've barely been getting the real life necessities done, so reading and blogging have pretty much been tossed aside for the past few weeks. Adulting is hard!

I'm slowly trying to get back on track and hope that heading back to YALLFest later this week will help kick-start my motivation to pick up a book and read it. I also hope to get back to regular commenting soon; I know I've been spotty at best with it.

October was such a blur that I was surprised to find that I actually did read some books and post some reviews, lol. I really enjoyed the 2 books I read last month, so I'm just choosing both as my October faves:

And here's one of my favorite quotes from the ARC of Cloudwish:

But maybe life couldn't be kept incubating indefinitely. Maybe it was ready to hatch a bit earlier, like right now, if only she'd play along.

Reviews Posted: