The Cake Book Tag

Hello y’all! Lauren tagged me to do the Cake Book Tag! (I can’t find the creator anywhere…)

Also, I stole the gifs from Lauren’s post because they’re lovely.

Chocolate Cake: A dark book you absolutely love. 

chocolate cake

wp-image-705167026jpg.jpg

Yes, Heartless starts out very light and whimsical… But it gets gradually darker. And the ending is rather depressing, really. Marissa did amazingly with this book and I’m super excited for her next book, Renegades!

Vanilla Cake: A Light Read

vanilla cake

two summers

I absolutely loved Two Summers it was light and adorable and the perfect contemporary summer read. And the French setting made it all the more amazing.

Red Velvet: A Book that Gave you Mixed Emotions

red velvet

wp-1484699506673.jpg

Seeker was good. It was interesting and I liked the characters for the most part, but there were a lot of things I didn’t like, too.

Cheesecake: A Book You’d Recommend to Everyone

cheesecake

wp-1485619895549.jpg

Even if you don’t like reading, this series will not bore you. Honestly, it never stops being amazing. It’s got a tense, gripping plot and some of the most memorable characters to ever grace the world of YA fiction.

Coffee Cake: A Book you Started but Never Finished

coffee cake

red queen 2

I just could not get through Red QueenJust no. It felt like a bad Hunger Games knockoff to me and I found Mare extremely whiny.

Carrot Cake: A Book with Great Writing

(This gif won’t work for me…)

I could rave about Roshani’s writing for ages. It’s just plain gorgeous! She uses the most elegant words. And don’t get me started on the way she describes food…

Tiramisu: A Book that Left You Wanting More

tiramisu

(Now I’m hungry. I adore tiramisu.)

wp-1482445692368.jpg

I really enjoyed this duology (thanks to Khalid, my love), but there were a lot of loose ends in this one that left me needing answers that I didn’t get.

Cupcakes: A Series with 4+ Books

cupcakes

the alcemyst

I don’t talk about this series enough! It’s absolutely fantastic and very hard to put down.

Fruitcake: A Book that wasn’t what you Anticipated

fruit cake

wp-1485204847439.png

Reached, specifically. I was expecting a lot of fighting and suspense, but it really didn’t have it. I did enjoy this series, however, book three just wasn’t what I’d expected it to be.

I tag:
Angelica

Annabeth

What’s a book that left you wanting more? What’s your favorite type of cake? 

-Clara

 

Advertisements

The Timelessness of King Arthur: A Discussion

I’ve adored the King Arthur legends for almost as long as I can remember. There was always something intriguing and fascinating about the stories: the noble, just king and his beautiful queen, the knights of the Round Table who were always on adventures… But I never really realized just what it was that made them so memorable.

I was in my British literature class last week, and the teacher posed the question, “Why have these stories stayed so popular for so long? What makes them so memorable?” And I think I realized just what it is. I’m sure it’s different for everyone who’s ever experienced the famous tales, but for me, it’s because the characters are all so incredibly human.

They all have flaws, and they all sin. None of them are perfect. Neither are we. And no character is ever flawless, but the people who populate Camelot are realistic yet still otherworldly. Each one is so very relatable in one way or another. They go through almost every emotion, and it makes you want to laugh with them, cry with them. It is their undeniable human-ness that makes them so endearing. King Arthur has stood the test of time.

There are countless versions of the legends: books, movies, TV shows, plays. And each one I see only makes me love it more. That beautiful city of Camelot and all the knights of the round table, from Lancelot to Tristan, and the lovely ladies, from Guinevere to Iseult, it’s impossible not to love them all. They all do things that are wrong, but so do we. And it’s nice to know that we’re never alone.

I think I love King Arthur so much for two reasons: I was very young when I started reading it, and now that I’m older, I’ve started to realize its beauty much more than I ever have. I’ve come to respect each and every one of the characters, to understand their motives more and more, and to love them deeper as each day passes. Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere have been with me even longer than Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase. They’re not just characters in a book anymore. They’re friends, dear friends, who won’t ever leave. I know some people just don’t get it when others get so emotionally attached to fictional people. They say “how can you love someone who doesn’t exist?” But here’s the thing: they may not be alive in the real world, but they exist in my heart. It’s no different from a loved one who has passed away. They’re not here anymore, but they still live on in our hearts.

They may be fictional, all the inhabitants of England in the days of King Arthur, but they are alive in my heart. I love each and every one of them, and I don’t think anything will ever change that. I grew up with them continually with me, and even if I wasn’t watching or reading it, it was always there.

So, let’s discuss: have you read King Arthur? Do you love it or hate it? What do you believe makes it so memorable? Is there a character that really sticks out to you? Let’s talk in the comments!

Clara

100 Followers!

THANK YOU GUYS SO SO MUCH!!!

I hit 100 followers on Sunday, I think, and I’ve been meaning to do this post since. 

I just want to say thanks to all of you who have liked, commented, shared, or even just viewed my posts. You’re all amazing and it means so much to me to be part of the wonderful book blogging community. 

Once again, I can’t say thank you enough. But thank you so much for helping me on this journey.

xo,

Clara

The Real Neat Blogger Award

Leona nominated me for the Real Neat Blogger Award! 

The Rules:

Display the award logo on your blog
Thank the folks who nominated you and provide links to their blogs
Answer the 7 questions asked by your nominator(s)
Nominate any number of other bloggers to share the award 
Notify the nominated folk
Ask the nominees 7 questions of your own

real neat blogger award

Leona’s Questions:

How many books do you own?

I am clearing out over 30 of them… I’d say that, aside from my school books, it’s probably around 50 or so. I use my library a lot, so it’s not often I buy books.

Describe your perfect pizza?

Half ham and pineapple, half chicken and bacon. From Papa John’s.

What book/books made you fall in love with reading?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians really got me into it, but also all of the King Arthur legends. I still can’t believe my mom let 7-year-old me read those legends. Honestly, reading them now that I’m older is just… Let’s just say most of it went way over my head.

What type of blogs do you like to read?

Book blogs! Lately I’ve also gotten into a few beauty blogs, since I want to be a makeup artist to supplement my writer’s income.

What type of posts do you like to write?

Tags are always tons of fun, but I really love doing discussion posts (latest one here), because they’ve resulted in some really good thoughts being shared in the comments.

Do you prefer writing or reading or both (not just blogs, in general)?

I think that really depends on my mood. If I’ve got writer’s block, you’re more likely to find me with my nose buried in a book than sitting at my laptop typing. But in the long run, I think I enjoy writing more than reading. I love populating my own world with people I create. It brings me so much joy (and heartache too).

Are you writing a book? Or have written one?

I’m a self-published author, which you probably know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while (if not, welcome!). Captain Guinevere is available here. I’m currently working on the second book in that trilogy, and there are tons of other stories in my head just begging to be written. It’s a blessing and a curse. 😉 Plus, NaNoWriMo is coming up, so I’ll have another project soon enough.

My nominees: 

thriftybibliophile

annielikeswords

Bay Area Beauty Blogger

And my questions:

Why did you start your blog?
What posts are your favorite to write? To read?

Music while you work: yes or no?

Do you have a favorite film score/composer?

Your favorite genre of book?

Favorite movie?

The one makeup product you can’t live without?

 

Thanks for reading y’all, and thank you Leona for the nomination!

-Clara

Books I’m Hoping to Read This Fall

It’s finally here. Fall. The glorious season of boots, sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes. It’s also the season where I crave long high fantasy series. 

Ok, so it’s not officially autumn yet, but it’s beginning to feel like it and I’ve seen enough people in boots and sweaters to consider it that time of year. 

Today I’d like to share with you some of the books I’d like to read during the fall season.

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

I said I was going to read this last fall… And I didn’t. Maybe this year I’ll make it happen? My motivation is being able to watch the movies straight through (I saw them when I was 8, but my mom skipped a lot). Even if it’s only to stare at Legolas because he was my first ever crush of any sort and I still love him. 

2. Dracula by Bram Stoker

I’m saving this one for October, but this is a favorite of my dad’s and I think I’m going to enjoy it. Plus, I’ve never read a vampire novel. Not even Twilight. And then I may watch the French musical. I’ve heard some of the songs and they are amazing. 

3. InkHeart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke

This would be a reread. I absolutely adore this MG series and I want to take a look at the world-building for writing purposes. Cornelia is a master of high fantasy. 

4. Books by Brandon Sanderson

Everyone seems to rave about Brandon’s magic systems, and I want to know what the hype is all about. 

5. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

This doesn’t even come out until November… But Marissa is my favorite author and this book cannot get here fast enough. Seriously. Plus, it looks like there’s going to be an amazing ship in it and romance is my favorite. 

What do you want to read this fall? Any Brandon Sanderson recommendations? Are you excited for Renegades? Let me know in the comments!

-Clara

What Makes An OTP? A Discussion

Hi y’all!

After last week’s discussion on why female villains make us angrier than male villains, I decided to do another discussion post, this one about one of my favorite aspects of YA: the ships. 

Ah, OTPs. One true pairings. I love them. And there are lots I support (and a few that I don’t). 

Some popular OTPs you most likely know, even if you’re new to YA:

1. Katniss and Peeta

2. Ron and Hermione (I don’t ship these two. Sorry y’all, but no.)

3. Percy and Annabeth

4. Cress and Thorne

So I want us to discuss exactly what it is that makes a good, strong romantic relationship worth rooting for. 

For me, there are the ships I’d be willing to separate, if the male side fell in love with me instead. *sighs dreamily* And then there are the ones that, no matter how much I might want to marry the male love interest, I would never ever ever separate them. Some characters just need each other so much that the thought of one without the other is just plain awful. 

I want to take a look at the OTPs I ship the hardest: Wolflet (The Lunar Chronicles) and Everlark (The Hunger Games). 

Let’s start with Wolf and Scarlet. 

While Cresswell is certainly the most popular ship from this series, Wolflet is the one I love the most. I want my future husband, whoever he may be, to love me the way Wolf loves Scarlet. They have this relationship that is indescribably beautiful. And I know that part of it could be attributed to Wolf’s genetic tampering and wolf instincts, but regardless, he loves Scarlet so much and he shows it constantly. I love how he calls her his alpha female. He protects her no matter the cost, and even when Princess Winter is there, he looks at Scarlet like she’s the only one who matters. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

*Spoilers for Cress, Winter, and Stars Above by Marissa Meyer*

Remember when Scarlet was kidnapped? Remember Cress seeing Wolf cradling a can of tomatoes and just laying on Scarlet’s bed because he missed her so much it nearly drove him insane? The times when he and Cinder sparred, and Cinder could sense his hollow, heartbroken, terrified bioelectricity? And when Wolf and Scarlet are finally reunited, it is nothing short of beautiful. 

And then the wedding in Stars Above. I cry at real weddings. But that one, fictional though it may be, remains the most beautiful wedding I have ever “witnessed”. I cried happy tears the entire time. 

*End of spoilers*

And then there’s Katniss and Peeta. I would not separate them if you offered me the universe. They need each other. They know what the other is going through. They went through so much, together, over the course of the Hunger Games series that they need each other so much, I believe that separating them would make them both go literally insane. 

*Spoilers for The Hunger Games series*

Mockingjay is a heart-wrenching book. Peeta is the Capitol’s prisoner; Katniss is in District 13 with no way of knowing if Peeta’s alive. She is going crazy not knowing. And who knows what was going on in Peeta’s head, because he didn’t know if Katniss was ok either. 

And the thing with these two is, Katniss loved Peeta long before she ever admitted it to herself. One of my favorite parts in Mockingjay is the scene with Finnick, when he tells Katniss that she loves Peeta, deeply, in some way. 

Katniss and Peeta just couldn’t ever be separated. Never again. It would destroy them both.

*End of Spoilers*

Don’t get me wrong, I believe relationships need independence. But at the same time, if you’re going to love someone, and especially if you’re going to marry someone, make sure you love them so much you need them. 

So, I want to hear your thoughts: what makes a romantic relationship truly work in a novel? What is it about certain ships that make them so beautiful? Let’s talk in the comments.

-Clara

My Favorite Fashion from Books

Hey y’all!

Today I would like to talk about my favorite fashion from books or their movie adaptations. It’s not a secret that I love fashion, and sometimes books can be fabulous inspiration for outfits. And, as in the case of The Hunger Games, the movies convey the clothing of the book marvelously.

Here are my top 5 favorite looks from books:

5. Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind

scarlett ohara

I don’t much remember the clothes being overly described in the book, but I adore poofy dresses and Scarlett’s are absolutely beautiful. And it’s not just her Southern belle dresses that are gorgeous- the below is probably my favorite of her costumes. It comes a bit too low, but I love the color.

scarlett 2

4. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby

daisy buchanan

I have never seen the movie, but I love the book. The 1920’s is one of my favorite eras for fashion, and the clothes in Gatsby are stunning.

3. Azalea’s ball gown on the cover of Entwined

entwined cover

Yet another poofy dress- and I have been in love with this cover since the first time I saw it. I love the neutral tone of the dress, but at the same time it is a graceful gown that would make Azalea the belle of any ball.

2. Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire

catching fire clothes.gif
Mesmerizing, isn’t it?

I want clothes that light on fire. Seriously. And that dress is dramatic on its own, no flames needed. I love Katniss’s entire ensemble: the dress, the hair, the makeup. It’s not only beautiful, it’s dramatic and makes her look just as powerful as she is.

I love all of Katniss’s clothes, whether it’s her Capitol party dress, that fancy wedding dress, or her day-to-day outfits. Cinna was a fabulous stylist *cries*.

katniss clothes collage

  1. Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games series

effie clothes collage

Although I’m not fond of her pink ensemble at the first reaping, Effie’s clothes are some of my favorite in this world. I love how they manage to be a little out there but still modest; Effie never shows too much skin. My favorite is the metallic lavender dress in the middle right.

What’s your favorite outfit from a book or its adaptation? Tell me in the comments!

-Clara

*Please note: all pictures are not my own and all credit goes to their owners*

Female Villains vs. Male Villains: A Discussion

Hey y’all!

So I had this thought while I was trying to go to sleep the other night, and wanted to see if anyone else agreed with me.

I realized that it’s the female villains that make me scream the most. Yes, I do scream at books. No shame. Don’t get me wrong, I will yell at President Snow all day long, but even he doesn’t make me half as mad as Queen Levana. And I’m pretty sure all of us hate Dolores Umbridge more than Lord Voldemort.

Why is that? Sure, there are a few books where the male villain has really made me mad (the InkHeart trilogy, for instance), but really, no one has ever made me as mad as that psycho Lunar queen, Levana. 

So I want to know your thoughts: is it the male villains or the female villains that make you angrier? Why do you think this is? Please tell me in the comments!

-Clara

August Wrap-Up: The Month of Non-Fiction

Hey y’all!

So somehow September showed up… Yay, fall fashion is coming! I just wish I could have fall fashion without school.

Anyway, August was, as you probably got from the title, a month of non-fiction. I didn’t read a single novel in August. What is going on with me? I did start rereading Winter, however, so it wasn’t completely a month sans fiction.

Why did I read so much non-fiction? Well, recently my interest in fashion and beauty has been revived, and I guess I need a way to support myself while I’m working on my novels. So I read mostly books on fashion and makeup. Doing my makeup is one of the best parts of my day, and I’d love to be a makeup artist, whether that’s for film, runway, or the everyday woman.

So the books I read in August:

1. Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn-Ferrer; 5/5 stars

This book was amazing; here is my review.

2. How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World by Jordan Christy; 4.5/5 stars

This book was revised and retitled How to be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World. I enjoyed this book very much; it had lots of good advice every girl ought to hear.

3. Running for my Life by Lopez Lomong; 3.5/5 stars

This was for school, and I liked it, but there was something off about the writing style that I just didn’t like- I would have been fine not finishing it if I hadn’t had to for school.

4. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton; 4/5 stars

This book was mostly pictures, so rating it is kinda hard, but I did read the text parts and it was fascinating. I’ve been a fan of McQueen’s clothes since I discovered that his house did some of Effie Trinket’s costumes. They’re so unique!

5. Beauty from the Inside-Out by Bobbi Brown; 5/5 stars

For starters, this book has me wanting to eat maybe just a little healthier. The book was quick and easy to read, the recipes looked delicious, and the bits of makeup advice were very helpful- especially the part about makeup for glasses.

6. Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown; 5/5 stars

This one was solely makeup with a dash of skincare- and it was fabulous. I love Bobbi’s straightforward writing style, and the advice, along with the gorgeous photographs, made this one of the best books I read this month.

It was also a great month for blogging; these are the posts I wrote in case you missed something:

For a brief update on the sequel to Captain Guinevere:

The editing is still going on; I’m waiting on my editor. Also, I’ve been working with the amazing Rebecca Treadway  on the cover! Rebecca did the last cover, and I’m super excited to be working with her again.

How was your August? What was the best book you read? 

-Clara