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Hello World…Allegiant

FYI, THIS REVIEW OF ALLEGIANT WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!

(you have been warned)

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So where have I been? Well, reading Allegiant, of course…then reacting to Allegiant…then…processing Allegiant…and…well, you’ll see.

It’s been a hectic two weeks, with work and all and then this week came.

Man, I have to say, I was so flipping excited for this book. I was stroking it saying, “My Precious” before I could read it. My heart was leaping outside my chest in anticipation, remembering how Insurgent ended. I was looking forward to Tris and Four’s relationship, after the hurricane rollercoaster it went through in Insurgent till, Oh, I don’t know…THE LAST FREAKING PAGE!

I was ready for some good FourTris feels. I was curious about Edith Prior and what was outside the fence. I was curious to see how this entire journey of hardship would end…

And here we freaking go…the foreshadowing of the sum of the book’s entire series now…everything else has been overshadowed by THIS:

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The Divergent series was my favorite YA series. Divergent got me out of my reading slump and led me to fall in love with YA. This book and I have history. Veronica Roth’s journey which she shares online through her blog struck a cord with me. Her writing voice felt familiar and I related to her as a person in a blog which encouraged me to take the brave step of finally tackling writing a novel, as I had wanted for years to do.

On both a book level and a personal level, this series was very close to my heart. Being so, the conclusion of it felt personal. I pictured myself reading, and re-reading this series over and over throughout my life time.

So here’s the thing, I understand some people loving the “hipster” move of not ending books, movies in a cliche happy ending and shocking the reader and movie goer with a “realistic” outcome that leaves your heart sinking to the ocean floor.

I think of movie wise, Moulin Rouge and how that ended: I cried. I think of book wise, The Fault in Our Stars and how that ended: I cried.

Both of those heart wrenching, none cliche endings, though it hurt and kinda sucked “Feels” wise, you accepted it and still took it in as a

“Bravo, well done” *audience finally rise one by one onto a thunderous applause*

I just could NOT feel that way with this book.

It broke my heart.

It ruined the rest of the series for me, now as a whole.

I am apprehensive about watching the movies (but still debating it-granted I’ll stop at Insurgent).

 I couldn’t pick up another book due to lack of trust with authors and my heart (first two days).

It felt wrong. Her death…felt wrong.

Now after days of processing and finally feeling like I have claimed my emotional state again, and after reading TONS of reviews, I wonder…

I have to agree with some reviewers who mentioned other holes in the last book, aside from the ending. I too noticed no distinction between Four and Tris’ POV voice but meh, that honestly didn’t bother me; I’m not that picky of a book reader. I do however feel as though this last book had a sense of complete disconnection to the first two. I was suddenly, after the first 100 pages, reading an entirely different and sometimes overwhelming and confusing story.

Divergent and Insurgent felt cohesive, in the sense that one followed the other and all the elements remained true and consistent with the first book. I don’t know if it’s because “we” went past the wall and clearly stepped into polar opposite world to Chicago factions but something felt not like home with this book.

Even in Insurgent, and the emotional mess it was, I was still in Divergent series, clearly but didn’t feel that in Allegiant.

Four and Tris’ relationship felt completely disconnected here, even on the good parts. The first 100 pages still felt “Divergent” but after that (which again, could be because we left Chicago) felt unfamiliar, the character’s relationship I have grown to know and understand, flaws and all felt, unfamiliar. The infamous “Tris and Four” had sex scene…yea…no feels…whatsoever. I was confused and shocked at my having no “Feels”. Their more innocent scenes in the first two books pulled at my feels more than this supposed BIG moment in their relationship…which happens soon before SHE DIES! (Excuse me, I’m still processing that fact there.)

The massive world outside the fence was confusing. There were at times too much overwhelming information about all that was going on with the genetics, Natalie Prior pre-Tris, then the US. Government was brought into the subject and then Fringe rebellion, then memory, death serums, then, what???? It was…a lot.

All in all, I was rushing after the first 100 pages through the book to know what happens already. I didn’t feel the same pull while reading as I did with the first two books but I wanted to finally have it end, Tris and Four finally get their chance to not think of dying every five seconds and series over…

BUT THEN SHE (VRoth) KILLED TRIS!

The one resolution I was looking forward to, after a heavy, disconnected, at times confusing feel of the book and she KILLED…TRIS and then made me “Watch” Tobias’ heart get ripped open, rub salt into and then have alcohol poured all over it!

Perhaps, if these other issues weren’t apparent, if perhaps we felt more satisfied with the time Tris and Four had left with one another, then just maybe, her death could have felt acceptable.

If one more person says,

“There was no other way it could have ended”

I will, in my mind, sucker punch them in the FACE! *grin*

OF COURSE IT COULD HAVE ENDED ANOTHER WAY! It could have ended a thousand ways! That’s the beauty of creativity, the possibilities are ENDLESS! Have her lose her memory if you wanted not the typical happily ever after, where two years later, they’d have to work on falling in love again.

Because, even though their relationship was stemmed from extreme circumstances, if that’s the only reason it could have worked (their relationship), it could have lasted, then I’m sorry, it was not love.

I love Tumblr by the way. They make me laugh. Tons of them have captured the emotions brilliantly…

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and then my personal favorite, captioned:

someone pass me the memory serum I wanna forget I ever read the Divergent series

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I have not BAWLED over a book, like I did with this one. There was Denial, Ache, Anger, Depression…I was genuinely going through the stages of grief with this thing here. I honestly yesterday, had wished I had never read Allegiant. I wanted to have known nothing further than Insurgent. I wanted Tobias to pass me the dang vile of Memory Serum and let me have at it. I wanted to forget.

I felt Tris was not justified. This sixteen year old girl lost everything, went through the butt of Hades and back, finally found the will to live again, super human-ed her way through death serum and then you freaking killed her with a gun. Yes, yes, I see what she did there: Four’s fear landscape came true, great…fabulous. Four did not get justice. He too lost everything. No one ever genuinely loved him. Here’s the one person who did and made him a better person and he loses that too. Sure, in the end he gets a half ass (excuse my french) relationship restoration with his mother, but he still aches 2 years later with the emptiness of Tris.

People say Tris wouldn’t have known how to live a normal life and her relationship with Four would have been strained by it. Bologna! There lies the challenge and test of true love. She grew up living a quiet simple life and roared for more. She got a life of more action and danger which killed her. I think, she could have found a happy medium in this new reality in the end and build a new reality in her relationship with Four, cause THAT too is reality.

Okay, I’m done ranting because I could probably rant forever.

Today, I’m happy to not be ruled by these emotions for this book as I was yesterday. It was bad. I’m so glad I didn’t have to go into work, because it was a sad scene let me tell you. Finally at night, got together with one of my besties and distracted myself, cause I had to.

I still value Divergent and Insurgent for what they are; amazing. Sure, I did not like or agree with the ending of the series but that’s okay because some of you loved how it ended, and thats okay too.

The beauty of many books, and their many varieties is that there is a little something for everyone out there.

Today I finally have the courage to pick up another book and read it. So, happy reading everyone!

Desi, out!

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Writing: Characters Write Themselves

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You’re the writer but most times it seems, them characters are the ones running the show:

Happy Saturday world! Hope it’s been a good one thus far. I have today off so I am trying to take advantage and get some writing in. Yesterday after work, I went to Starbucks with my friend, sat together for hours on our devices (her laptop, my iPad) and were productive. I’m proud of myself, I finished a chapter and am now writing Chapter 18. Interesting turn of events happened.

I heard in passing how characters will tell YOU who they are during the writing process. I laugh listening to Veronica Roth talk about how Marcus was planned to die in Book 2 but just refused to die, which now she sees how he needed to live to aid plot in Book 3. I kind of got her meaning but still asked myself, “well, how does that happen?”

Yesterday I came across an author highlight post WeHeartYA tweeted and Mindy McGinnis (Not A Drop to Drink) mentioned something about this that inspired me to pass by blog word and share today.

She said:

“The story’s going to tell itself. Before I started writing, I would hear writers talk about characters making their own decisions, thinks like that, and I was like ‘You’re the writer, you’re in charge, you’re God to these people,’ but you’re not. These people are their own people.”

So I’m on chapter 17, and at the end of chapter 16, I introduced a character who I just through was a higher ranking person coming to ask questions and then, that would be it, probably would never know of him again. Nope! I gave hint to my male lead character’s understanding, perspective on him ending chapter 16, then chapter 17, it was just this new character and my female lead character…boy, was I completely taken by surprise.

This new character was unfolding before my eyes. He was commanding attention and leaving thick essence of mystery to who he is, what he knows, and how he knows it. I’m writing, or shall I say, he was writing himself and I was dumbfounded, in a good way.

I’m siting in Starbucks, typing away on my made-for-nimble-fingers keyboard and suddenly I’m asking the questions, “Who is he?” “How does he know that?” “Is he connected to so and so?” Laughing, I’m suddenly the reader here, dripping with curiosity of events to come when I stop and think, “Uh…wait, I’m the writer. Shouldn’t I have the answers to these things?”

Apparently not, because clearly, this character is writing himself, telling me slowly who HE is and telling me only what I need to know right now, which I find hilarious! Man, these fictional characters, don’t underestimate them.

I thought that was cool and wanted to share.

Well, off to Starbucks to get some more writing done. I work tomorrow morning so gotta take advantage today. Have a great weekend all!

What is everyone reading this weekend? I’m finally (overdue I know!) reading Catching Fire. (half-way through)

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Copy-editors: What They Really Do

It will be worth every penny…

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

Today we have a guest post from editor Robert Doran, whose previous guest posts on the subject of all things editing —Structural Editing for Self-Publishers and Why Hire An Editor? — were exceedingly popular. Today he’s explaining exactly what it is copy-editors do, and he’ll be back on Thursday to tell us all about proofreading. Welcome back to Catherine. Caffeinated, Robert! Take it away…

“People often think that if you can write you can edit – and vice versa. But writing and editing are very different skills, and competency in one doesn’t guarantee ability in the other. The creative impulse that often drives the author should be largely absent in the copy-editor, who is tasked with problem-solving and who essentially approaches the text as a puzzle. Happily, the editor’s eye for detail complements the author’s creativity, and when they are combined successfully you end up with something…

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Time is a Luxury…Books & Writing

Time is a Luxury…

Oh how the hands of time betray me, leaving me destitute, eager, grasping for more.

Hey everyone!

So this Booknerd in a Bookstore has been working her petunia off! She’s been working hard for the money! Her no longer early 20’s body as well is not happy about it and hindering the experience some what.

Anyhoo, I have missed sitting and writing. I just want to be brisked away, to a cute, lively, cultured town, sit at a local coffeehouse on a cool crisp Fall day. I want to wear a scarf, sip on the delicious comfort of a for-here mug of coffee, have a laptop, books and all the free time in the world…excuse me for a moment…I’m drooling. Snapping back to reality.

Books…

I’ve been trying to coordinate my days off appropriately. Mostly, I have definitely been trying to get my reading on. I finished Defiance and then!!!! I won the second book of the series, Deception by C.J. Redwine last week. Heck. Yes! I’m excited about getting that in the mail.

This past week, I began, finally the Shatter Me series. Shatter Me, first book of the series by Tahereh Mafi.

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So I read a lot of the Goodreads reviews and I was a bit worried starting it out. There were a lot of negative reactions to the book. In the beginning especially, the author takes an extreme unique poetic approach. She also uses, which I thought was different and brilliant, “strikethrough” effect over words, sentences, that were the deepest, truest inner thoughts of our narrator, Juliette. Tahereh uses crazy metaphors I would never have thought of. Some are outrageous, some are brilliantly beautiful, some are poetic and tug at your soul, some are just plan gibberish that makes complete sense! I think the gibberish metaphors are so true to our inner complexity of emotions at certain times and circumstances in our lives. We almost dont know how to describe the mess we’re feeling inside; good or bad.

In the beginning, I’m not gonna lie, though I understand it now, at the time, I was ready for the story to happen, get moving. I was pushing through, waiting, hoping, for more story telling to begin. Oh, and it did my friends. Her chapters are short and quick, so when I say Chapter 19, that is still fairly early on in the book. So…Chapter 19…from there on, these eyeballs were glued to every page, upset about needing to be responsible, put it down, go to bed in order to wake up early in the morning for work.

I don’t want to give any spoilers but others have criticized about it being a replica of a certain well known character from a well known comic/movie series. Perhaps, yes it is, but it still stands on it’s own, originally told and is not about that well known character at all.

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I am so bummed I do not have in my hands yet, “Unravel Me” the second book of the series. I need money. I need book money. I need a long lost rich uncle to show up and generously shower me with blessings of money!

Oh, by the way…

ALLEGIANT COMES OUT NEXT WEEK AND MY STORE ALREADY HAS THEM HIDDEN AWAY SOMEWHERE AND I CANT TOUCH THEM TILL OCTOBER 22 AND OMG OMG OMG, I NEED THAT BOOK IN MY LIFE YESTERDAY!!!!

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*breathing…into bag…heart rate slowing down…crazy eyes fading back to a more normal expression…breathing*

So how are you? Oh, that’s wonderful.

Writing…

What else…

Time…truly a luxury these days. I have a new beta reader from overseas who I chat with on Twitter. She’s awesome and witty and a classic literary nerd so yea…no pressure that my little first draft, of my young adult book in the making, that is not nearly as descriptive or eloquent as Tolstoy or Austen or the Bronte sisters…yea…no pressure. Not freaking out that she might think its cute and hate it.

*more breathing again*

Funny enough, while I was freaking out about it yesterday, one of my favorite YA authors who I admire for countless personal reasons, was answering questions yesterday and posting them. Then this morning, another YA author I follow posted something relevant to it as well and I began to feel better, giving myself pep talks.

They were asked and wrote:

“…asked: Do you have any advice for beginning writers who think they can’t get anything decent done?

My first piece of advice is stop thinking about whether it’s “decent” or not! Assessments of quality are stifling at the early stages of drafting in particular (and all throughout the writing process!)— just do the best you can at any given moment. And my second piece of advice is to stop worrying about getting anything “done”! All I did from ages 11-20 was write little broken pieces of stories that fizzled out after ten pages, twenty pages, fifty pages, three hundred pages…and then one day I found something that I thought was worth writing to the end. And after that I was able to finish things more often. But no time spent writing little pieces is ever wasted— Divergent was one of those pieces, for me, something I started and abandoned quickly after my freshman year of college and then picked up again four years later with a fresh perspective. I don’t really think any writing is wasted. Everything gets you where you need to go.

So, once you’ve stopped worrying about both of those things, try to just write because you love it. Write even when you don’t love it, too. And you’ll be fine.”

and:

asked: How many drafts did you go through before making the final draft for Divergent? And what about Insurgent? Did you make more or less drafts for that one?

SO MANY DRAFTS. Oh good heavens. At least seven? It depends on what you call a “new draft”— I call it anything to which you make substantial changes. Two before I got an agent, two after I got an agent, and maybe three after I got a publisher? For Insurgent I had fewer drafts simply because I had less time. I’m one of those people who has really sloppy rough drafts and only really discovers the important parts of the story when I revise. For me, the real work of writing is in revising. It’s my favorite part.”

The other author tweeted:

“1st drafts are allowed to be awful. Writing a book takes as long as it takes. Lots of coffee is good for you. <–Things I tell myself daily.”

So in conclusion, first drafts are suppose to suck, for the most part. The revision process is where one can go in, dissect it, improve it, fill in holes, make sound better, ect. In other words…“STOP FREAKING OUT DESIREE!”

*yea…doing that breathing thing again…in and out, in through the nose, out through the mouth*

I’m on chapter 16 which is exciting. I cant wait to get a laptop, and run away every day-off I can, to sit and just write for hours. Soon, soon…

So that’s what’s been going on. I’ve been m.i.a. lately but finally trying to find a groove again. Tomorrow is TEA TIME with EPIC READS which is awesome. I’m off from work and get to join in.

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I need more books. I’m practically through my physical TBR (To Be Read) pile. My desired to have in hand TBR pile is much, MUCH longer.

I guess until ALLEGIANT comes out, I’ll read Catching Fire next before it comes out in theaters. I know, I’m WAY behind on this series. Remember, this girl here hasnt had mula, bear with me.

Have a great week all!

Happy Reading, Living and Loving

❤ Des!

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Scarecrows, Coffee, & Authors, Oh My!

Check out my other blog, documenting my adventures and shenanigans at a bookstore!

Booknerd in a Bookstore

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Pumpkin Patch Festival & Author Book Signing

 

Welcome back everyone to “Booknerd in a Bookstore”! If you’re checking out my blog for the first time, “Welcome”!

I’ve had some fun adventures these past two weeks at the Bookstore. Remember how I mentioned that on Day one, I was recruited for Acting in Children’s theatre? No? Did you read my previous post? It’s okay, I’ll give you a couple minutes to skim through and catch up..

No really, I’m good. I’ve got yummy pumpkin coffee and buttery, crusty bread here for dipping.

Hey, you’re back! So, the next few shifts I worked were split between training for the Bookstore and rehearsing in the outside patio, the skit for the Pumpkin Patch Festival on Saturday morning. It was really cute and excruciatingly hot! That’s Florida for ya!

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The skit…

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Writing, Reading & Hey, I Missed You Guys!

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Cute bookend from my job (bookstore)

I MISSED YOU BOOKISH FOLKS!

I attempted starting this blog an hour ago before I had coffee in my system. Yea, that was not smart. I sat in front of the computer for, I don’t even know the length of time, starring, not moving, not thinking. My brain was OFF. Then I snapped back into reality and realized, “Uh, Des, you need coffee…NOW!”

Anyway, enough of that. How are y’all? What’s new? What have I missed? I feel as though it’s A LOT!

So as you all may know, I started working at a bookstore! (check out my documented adventures at www.booknerdinabookstore.wordpress.com )

This is my second week. I have been training. After a season of working on my butt at different desks, freelancing, office work and writing my book and blogs, this whole on my feet and keeping busy back and forth from bookstore to cafe is a bit of a change for my body. It screams at me every night and oh, don’t even get me started on the mean vulgar profanities it attacks me with during those 7am wake up calls. All in all, though my body is mad at me (she’ll be fine and get over it soon. It’s good for her) my mind and my heart are happy and alive. Those who I’ve shared about my writing ventures have then understood and said,

“then working at a bookstore is perfect for you”.

Exactly!

At my age and with my past work experience in the corporate world, I get the perplexed look of,

“Why are you choosing to work retail for much less pay than before?”

This is was what I needed. I wanted to back away from full-time corporate world and get a part-time which gives me time for writing and reading, ect. Besides, I have never liked corporate 9-5, it drives me insane and smoke spouts from my nose on the verge to release fire. It’s not pretty.

My other passion (which I havent given up on completely) Acting; is something that needs to be placed on hold again. It’s not the right time. I believe my delving back into it and going to auditions, and getting training was not in vain, at all. It was necessary to re-enter with new understanding and perspectives. I’m more knowledgeable of the business so when the time is right, and I decide to pursue it again, I’m better prepared. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the last 6 months of pursuing acting.

Now, another love that was always there but never realized has awaken and brought me home. It’s funny, a friend I haven’t seen in quite some time came over and surprised me at work. I was on break and we did a quick catch-up. I mentioned again how I never saw this whole writing a book thing coming. She responded,

“but you’ve always been a writer. You’ve always been writing things for as long as I’ve known you”

(which has been many years) That made my heart feel light and smile inside. Others have told me the same thing and have recognized a part of me, I never realized myself because I have allowed insecurities to lie and stray me away from admitting it.

Right now, I’m at a time in my life where many things have changed, shifted and I have the support of my amazing family which allows me to back away from needing to do the ‘corporate world for financial provision’ thing, get a part time and focus on bringing this dream to life.

I’ve been exhausted and nursing my exhausted body these last two weeks that unfortunately, my books and writing have taken a back seat which makes my heart sad. I continue to remind myself that, the whole point of this new sporadic busyness (retail means random, no set scheduling) is taking care of one; A NEW FREAKIN LAPTOP, and some other necessities that will free my mind and give me some peace. Once those things are taken care of, I can really get back to focusing on finishing this first draft.

The other exciting opportunities are meeting authors, getting connected to the writing community and readers in my city, as well as crazy things like, my boss wanting me to research on how we can get a Teen Book Festival going for our city. This is amazing, crazy, big, “omylanta how am I going to figure this out” and so cool to think I may be apart of something that I passionately believe and am excited for. I want to awaken the YA lovers of South Florida who think they’re alone or don’t know they’re a YA lover yet *wink*

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Yesterday, the bookstore had a MG (middle grade) author, Tyler Whitesides who wrote the “Janitors” series for an author book signing. Tons and tons of kids came with bright, happy faces, books in hand, ecstatic to have him sign it. It was so cute. That made me excited, seeing all these young kids, excited about reading! I want to see the same with the Young Adults in our city.

Before the signing at night, in the afternoon a school bus of seniors (high school) came with their English teacher to sit and have class at the bookstore. Very cool. I went and did a survey about which of them like YA. I believe some were “too cool for school” for YA…or so they think they are as they boasted about reading Hemingway. I mentioned YA and one young man said,

“Ugh no I don’t like corny vampires and werewolf stories.”

I chuckled because his answer did not surprise me. Not to bring down my fellow vampire and werewolf authors but there is a certain cliche that has stereotyped YA when it’s so much more. I retaliated by making mention of John Green and the intelligent and witty story of “The Fault in Our Stars”. Brought the cover over and one girls eyes sparkled and said, “OooOoo”. I explained how YA has so many different sub-genres within it, that there is a lot of something for everyone out there! I also mentioned how we were developing a Teen Book Festival in the near future, so for them to check out some books.

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I am on a mission now! Convert young adults to get excited about reading, period (doesn’t matter what genre, at least they’re reading…well, almost any genre “back off 50 Shades!” lol) and then introduce the wide variety world of YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE!

READING!

Last night I determined myself to forget sleep, channel my old nocturnal habits and finish reading the last 200 pages of the book I’ve been trying to finish forever now. I missed those late night book binges. I finished at 3:30am. I felt full and satisfied, ready for another. The next two days I have off so this was not a problem. I’m teetering on which of my books to partake in next. I have a slight idea which, so I’ll let you all know.

I finished Defiance by the lovely and hilarious C.J. Redwine.

“RACHEL AND LOGAN LOVE EACH OTHER!”

I was very happy by the end of the book and curious to know what happens next which is always a good sign. I need to purchase the second book of the series, Deception. I need to purchase many second books of series. I have finished a few firsts and need their proceeding counterpart, asap!

Today I will be visiting my niece who finally received my birthday gift she’s been waiting for since May. BEYOND TWO SOULS game that I placed on pre-order for her! So I’ll be spending the next two days off passing by and watching her play as well as writing!

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Ok, seriously. The graphics in this game are freakin amazing! (starring Ellen Page, William Dafoe)

I went to my first Writers Critique Group with a SCBWI (Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators…I have botched that acronym a ba-zillion times). I was so nervous and intimidated. They were all really nice and funny people. They quickly put my at ease…until some read their chapters that is. I’m waiting for the second or third meeting to read my stuff. I’m nervous about it and need to revise my first couple chapters before taking it over to them. In the end, even if they rip it to shreds, its going to make me a better writer and I have to see it that way and not allow it to discourage me.

So I continue on this journey, while taking you all along, kind of.

TODAYS BOOK SHIMMY WEDNESDAY! Tea Time with team Epic Reads!

I havent been able to tune in for a couple of weeks now so I’m excited to watch the bookish fun today at 3:45pm EST.

Hope you all are having a great week, month, so far!

<3, Des

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Books, I’m Sorry.

I had to reblog this because frankly, I couldnt have said it better myself! Change the housemates, and university for my new Bookstore + Cafe job training, long first week, too exhausted to think when I get home and pretty much, its right on the money. I too promise Books to come back to you real soon! Missing my reading and writing time 🙂 On the bright side! I’m one paycheck closer to getting my laptop (among many other more important things)

It's me, Charlotte.

Reading, this week I feel we have been distant.

Reading, this week I feel I may have neglected you a bit.

Reading, this week I feel you haven’t been a main focus in my life.

And this post is my apology.

The introduction of university, housemates and flourishing social life has led for my reading habit to vanish into thin air. To be fair, I carry my current around, with intention of spending a spare five minutes but I am always busy, with others. I can’t just curl up and get engrossed. I’m so tired before bed, one chapter and that is it. No half books before bed. And I strongly believe the introduction of my wifi and tv has killed this reading star. Bad referencing. I know.

Although I do sort of fear that it may be because I can not get invested in ‘The Death Cure’. But this…

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