A girl with a mouth almost as big as her TBR list

Monthly Archives: July 2015

Today I am featuring the lovely Carlisa from Confessions of Carlisa, who is sharing with us some of her favourite quotes from books. Let’s begin!

I love quotes and words and everything in between. Seriously, they’re my favorite just because of their power. Words are literally just ink on a page or perhaps pixels on a screen. They are arbitrary. The different letters have no significance by themselves…but strung together in words and sentences and paragraphs and books…they can do amazing things. They can evoke very real emotions and move people to action. They bring about images in your head. And that’s amazing. So here are some of my favorite quotes from books. Enjoy them…because I do.

  • “Verily, that way lies our hope, where sits our greatest fear.” -Tolkien in The Two Towers
  • “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” -J.K. Rowling from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • “Belief isn’t simply a thing for fair times and bright days, I think. What is belief–what is faith–if you don’t continue in it after failure?” -Brandon Sanderson in Mistborn
  • “There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” -Victor Hugo in Les Misérables
  • “Her heart did whisper, that he had done it for her.” -Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice (This one isn’t so inspiring as it just warms my heart and makes me anxiously wait for the day I will fall in love)
  • “Nothing’s ever the same. Be it a second or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. And people change as much as oceans.” -Neil Gaiman in The Ocean at the End of the Lake
  • “They’re the reason I love to tell stories. It doesn’t matter how often they’ve heard it, or that they already know what will happen next. A story is a story. It takes you away from what you’re doing and how you’re living right then, and whisks you away into someone else’s world.” -Shari Arnold in Neverland 
  • “Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.” -Laini Taylor in Days of Blood and Starlight
  • “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.” -Elizabeth Wein in Code Name Verity 
  • “There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” -Sarah Dessen in Just Listen

About Her

I am currently nineteen years of age and studying at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I am studying my favorite thing: words. Aka, English. I’m also minoring in Editing and Digital Humanities. I am from the corny state of Indiana, and before that, the cheesy state of Wisconsin. Haha, I’m cheesy and corny. I like that.

I love to do all things creative: write, read (a lot), finger paint, play piano, sing in the shower, chase butterflies, long walks at sunset, dance around the kitchen, pin crafts that maybe I’ll actually do someday, dream, Just Dance 2015, sled, make sandcastles, bake, obstacle courses in my bedroom (aka never clean my room), play with my puppy, sew (surprisingly, I have a gross story with that one), tickle fights, watch funny YouTube videos, play with kids, card/board games, creatively find ways to avoid doing homework/chores, write book reviews, try to make a list of creative things to do (…). Basically, I do it all. Just kidding. But being creative is what motivates me. I find inspiration in it and I find happiness in it.

Welcome to my wrap up of my first day at YALC!

So, my friend and I arrived at YALC fairly promptly at around quarter past nine, after under 20 minutes of queuing, which was a relief as we’d been worrying about the queues, but it was all relatively pain-free and simply gave us time to admire some of the great cosplay going on for Comic Con and YALC.

Once we arrived inside, we immediately went to the welcome desk and picked up our free YALC goodie bag which consisted of an awesome tote bag, the schedule, a pen and a few samplers. We then headed straight over to the freebies table where we picked up all manner of bookish goodies, including badges, postcards, samplers, wristbands and bookmarks. We were super excited by all of these goodies, as we weren’t expecting them at all and meant we could add loads of new books to our TBR lists.

We then had a little look around the various stalls, admiring all the piles of books and creative displays set up before adding our bucket list post it note to the All the Bright Places display board.bucket list 2 yalcThen we sat down in a quiet corner and sorted out our plan for the day – we had a lot of things we wanted to do. First off we went to the YA: The next generation panel, which was really inspiring and interesting. I couldn’t believe one of the published authors was only 15! I particularly enjoyed hearing about each of their different routes to publishing and how they felt being a young author both positively and negatively impacted their career. After this I quickly popped to get my copy of Solitaire signed by Alice Oseman and my copy of The Bone Season signed by Samantha Shannon, before quickly rushing off to the Getting Started with Creative Writing Workshop which was really useful. It mainly talked about getting ideas flowing, before Paul Magrs and Julia Bell shared their top tips. Two different ways to start thinking of ideas that they shared with us was to think about the senses for abstract nouns, for example what fear smells like or love tastes like to your character, which is a really good way to get to know your character and also thinking of the first answer that comes to your head when finishing sentences such as someone says one sentence which changes your life, who are they and what did they say. These activities were super quick, but good fun and useful to remember in future.

After the workshop we went to the Being a girl: Feminism in YA panel, which was my most eagerly anticipated panel as I am a firm and keen feminist and was really interested to see what these authors had to say about feminism in relation to YA novels. This panel did not disappoint, the women were witty, smart and engaging. If you want a more in-depth look at either of these panels I suggest you check out Rants of a Bitter Northerner where the entire panel has been recapped here.

After this panel, we had no great plans, so after pausing to have something to eat, we wondered around the stalls once again and picked up even more freebies and my friend bought a couple of books.

Then, approximately half an hour before Patrick Ness was due to start signing, we decided to join the queue as we knew we wanted our books signed by him. Unfortunately we ended up waiting for over an hour and a half, due to his panel overrunning and him being unable to get back upstairs. Luckily the staff were really helpful and kept us updated so we knew what was happening, as well as very generously offering three girls in front of us who had a train to catch the opportunity to move to the front of the line, so they could still get their books signed after waiting so long. I would like to send a particular thank you to the people who managed that queue – they did it fantastically.

So that is all for my first day. It was really fun and I especially liked the Feminism panel and the clear love of books that was radiating from everyone there.

Keep an eye out for the Sunday wrap up post and my YALC haul coming soon!

Sorry guys, this was supposed to go up yesterday but due to a technical glitch I’m posting today now I have returned from YALC. I hope you enjoy regardless!

Welcome to the third week of SBPT where I am featuring Patrick who has written another Playlist becuase I think they are just so much fun. I have definitely been inspired by this to create my own playlists for some of my favourite novels

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Today is the second week of the Summer Blogger Promo Tour and today I am lucky to be featuring Andrew, who has created a playlist for one of the books on my TBR list, Red Queen. From the sounds of this playlist this novel is very exciting and should be on everyone’s TBR list if they haven’t already read it.
Now, for Andrew’s Post:

I created a playlist for one of my favorite books i’ve read this year, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Having had such a wonderful experience reading and having all the feels afterword, i still after months of reading it, cannot stop thinking about it. I’ve done everything from dreamed to created fancasts and listened to music that reminded me of all it’s glory.
    To me, this song perfectly resembles the opening scene. First Friday is a warning to the Reds, demonstrating Silver Power, dividing the Reds from the Silvers.
    This song definitely embodies the intensity that struck during Queenstrial. Take a listen and i’m sure you’ll feel everything Mare did during the impossible.
    Read this quote:
“You are pretending to be raised Red, but you’re Silver by blood. You are now Red in the head, Silver in the heart. From now until the end of your days, you must lie. Your life depends on it, little lightning girl.”
                                – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (pg. 95)
    This song just reminds me of The Scarlet Guard and all the secretive meetings (i promise, NO SPOILERS)
    A certain scene that made me set free yet another ship. It was completely swoonworthy and i just.. i couldn’t leave this out.
 Here’s a non-spoilery quote: 
“Anyone can betray anyone… One day he’ll realize i’m his enemy, and all this will be a far-gone memory. But not yet.”
                            -Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (pg. 228)
    As the blood began to shed. Some sacrifices needed to be made. I had trouble picking a song for this particular moment, but i chose this because i feel like the lyrics speak for Mare. Also, to me it heightens the intensity in the novel.
7.  Hounds – Birds of Tokyo
    Listening to the lyrics, if really reminded me of certain scenes where everything began to fall apart for Mare.
8. Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
Thank you for having me on your blog Emily! I really enjoyed making a playlist for Red Queen and i hope all my fellow Scarlet Guardians can agree with some of the songs i picked 🙂
–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
Hi, I’m Andrew your fellow southern californian book nerd, book blogger, random flailer, YA writer and big dreamer. I’m a sophomore in high school and i’m currently plotting/word-buildining my first Fantasy novel/potential series. I love all things books and PUNNY-haha get it, no okay bye-. I’m awkward and some people actually think i’m funny. One day i’ll be living in New York and working in a publishing house… or at least that is my plan.
Find Him: 








Check out the discussions we’ve had during the past week:

Sport in Books

What makes a Classic classic?

What makes a book a favourite?

Do books need romance?

Have a look at the Blog Olympics Giveaways:

Half Bad by Sally Green

Fia Essen eBook

Tremor By Ryan Mark

Prodigal By Rektok Ross

Chasing Mermaids By Sarah Ockler

The giveaways are all open for a week after their start date and all you have to do is go to the original post and click on the link.

And our competitions:

Kid’s Lit Quiz to win a Cathy Cassidy Book

Science Quiz to win Sapient

Biker Nicknames Competition to win Nowhere But Here By Katie McGarry

Fantasy Quiz to win Paladin By Sally Slater

Just a reminder, our competitions are open for 2 weeks after their start date and all have amazing prizes. You can use Google to help you with the quizzes, just comment your answers on the original post or email us them at blogolympics15@gmail.com

We also hosted four awesome Twitter chats, where we talked about sport in books, book soundtracks and stereotypes in genres as well as a general Blog Olympics 2015 chat.

Thank you so much to everyone who took part in any aspect of our Blog Olympics, we loved hearing your opinions on our discussions in the comments or in the posts you wrote, as well as during the Twitter chats. Thank you also for everyone who entered the giveaways and competitions.

We will be asking you to fill in an official feedback form soon, but for now please comment below what you liked, what you didn’t, whether you had a good time and if you’d do it again next year.

Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl and An Overthinking Teenager

mixolydian musings

Hiya! Welcome, athletes, to the final (and arguably best) day of this year’s inaugural blog olympics. It’s been awesome! Now, to kick things off, we’re giving you the chance to win a bunch of uncorrected proofs and funky bookish postcards, kindly donated by Chicken House Books. You know the drill by now, be happy to share your address etc…so enter here!

Thank you all for participating, it’s been awesome…look out for more competitions and giveaways today!

An Overthinking Teenager & Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl

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As a big reader of YA, almost every book I read seems to feature romance. Even if it’s not the main focus, most YA books contain romance in one form or another. But why is this?

Sure, YA novels attempt to depict what teenager’s lives are like, especially in contemporary novels, however to be honest, not all teenager’s lives feature romance, particularly eternal, earthshattering ones.

So, I tried to think about some books I love that didn’t contain any romance.

  1. Percy Jackson. I know this is cheating in two ways, first technically it’s MG not YA and secondly later on in the series there is certainly some romance, but at the beginning this novel focuses on friendship and discovering yourself, rather than finding a girlfriend.
  2. The Book Thief Technically I haven’t read this, I’ve only watched the film, but there are so few non romance YA books, I just have to count it. This book is so adorable, the way you see Rudy and Liesel’s friendship grow is just so cute and makes me wish there were more books like this
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why This book really makes you think about the impact of your actions and focuses on all different sort of relationships, rather than the traditional YA romances

I really struggled to think of even three novels that are YA yet do not contain any romance. No, don’t be misled I love a good romance in my books, but I often find books without romance a refreshing change, especially when they focus on the values of friendship instead. I would love to see more novels that focus on a really great girly friendship, which isn’t immediately dropped at the first sign of a boy. I know I am a teenager who doesn’t have a boyfriend but relies so much on my friends and the support they give me everyday. I’d love to see a novel which reflects this.

How do you feel about romance in YA novels?

What YA novels do you like that don’t contain any romance?

mixolydian musings


Two quick things…first, sorry but the Penguin books quiz will have to be delayed until tomorrow…there is plenty of other stuff going on today though, just check out @BlogOlympics and @opinionful on Twitter for proof!

Secondly, another US giveaway, this time to win a copy of ‘A Summer of Chasing Mermaids’ by Sarah Ockler. Standard rules apply – please only enter if you’re happy with your address being passed onto a third party!


Also, many thanks to Tee (@BookssInternet on Twitter) for the book donation 🙂

An Overthinking Teenager and Emily @ Always Opinionated Girl

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So, to win a copy of Sally Slaters’s debut novel, Paladin, which I reviewed here as well as interviewing Sally here we’ve created a  quiz on popular fantasy novels for you to have a go at. You can either post the answers in the comments, on your own blog with a link back to this post, or you can email them to us at blogolympics15@gmail.com. The competition will be open for two weeks, and it’s international. So everyone can enter (unless you’re an alien, in which case, sorry you can’t enter)! . The winner will be the person with the highest score – and if there’s a tie, there will be a random draw for the winner.

Just a heads up, please only participate to win if you’re happy with us sharing your details with Sally so she can send the prize to you. 

Now, let’s get on with the questions, shall we?

1. In Lord of the Rings at the end of Book 1, Chapter 1, what is Frodo’s and Bilbo Baggins’ combined age?

2.In Harry Potter, what number was the World Cup Harry attended in the 4th book? 

3.In Inkheart, what do Capricorn’s men and Dustfinger call Mo? 

4. In Narnia, how many names does Aslan have?

5. How many named character have been killed since the first episode of Game of Thrones? (9th April 2015 – British newspaper recorded it)

Good luck to you all!

mixolydian musings

Hi everybody! We’re well over halfway into the inaugural Blog Olympics now, and it’s time for another discussion post…you can check out our previous ones, on sport in books and what makes a classic classic here and here respectively. You can also see a recap of the Olympics so far on the latter post, where everything is handily summarised by Emily.

Anyway, onto today’s post – discussing what elements of a book make it a favourite. Many of us have favourite books – often, not just one but multiple. But what makes a book stand out from the crowd, and identifies it as that special books, the one destined to live on your bookshelf into old age?

For today’s discussion, I’ve set you a few prompt questions…

What, for you, cements a book as a favourite?

Do you generally only have one favourite book at a time, or a whole…

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