Top Ten Tuesday – April 18th, 2017

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten things that will make you instantly want to read a book. It was a little tough thinking up ten things that turn me on to a book, which is odd considering I will read just about anything I can get my hands on. I guess that goes to show that I will give any book a try, but I somewhat rarely feel that need to instantly pick up a novel. However, there are a few cases where this is true.

Time Travel or Parallel Universes – Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely addicted to books about time travel and/or parallel universes. Honestly, this is one of the only cases where there is practically no hesitation on my part. I will literally read anything I find that involves either time travel, parallel worlds, or (preferably) both!

DeLorean_Arrival

Books About Books – I think many book lovers out there can relate to this one! I love reading books in which reading and literature plays a huge part. This can come in the form of the characters being book nerds like myself, the setting being somewhere like a bookstore or library, or a storyline that is shaped around either a real or fictional book within the book.

Recommendations – I’m not one who typically gives into major hype about books—I have been disappointed many times when I get sucked into that. However, if a friend that I trust and share a similar reading taste with highly recommends something, I will pick it up straight away. People like my best friend Lizzie, and my awesome blogger besties Heather and Anna, are to blame for much of my ever increasing TBR pile!

Retellings – I am a complete sucker for retellings. Whether it’s a retelling of a classic novel, folklore, or fairytale, that’s pretty much all I need to know before I pick it up. This can occasionally amount to me reading a really crappy version of a story I love. But many times I have discovered some absolutely wonderfully crafted retellings with their own unique twist.

tumblr_n5qfceSstF1sg4toho1_500

Interesting Magic System – I love love love fantasy novels! This is the primary genre that I read, but I do get a bit picky with them, at least in recent years. There are a lot of novels that deal with the same subjects over and over again, and those don’t make for the best reading experience. However, any fantasy novel with a unique-sounding magic system will instantly pique my interest.

Modern Fairytale – As I mentioned, I love fairytales and folklore, and I love present-day novels that give off that fairytale or folklore feeling. I find those types of stories to be absolutely beautiful and captivating. I really hope I can write a story like that one day.

k-bigpic

Highly Praised Classic – I am a huge fan of classic literature—I was always that weird kid in English class that loved almost every book they made us read! So if a classic is highly praised, either by people I know or just in general, I will most likely pick it up. I won’t say I always like them, but I’ll at least give them a try!

Little to No Romance – I’ve talked about this many times before, that, despite being a hopeless romantic, I actually really do not like reading about romance in novels. Sometimes a little bit is nice, bit I find that there are so many instances where it completely overshadows the actual plot. So if a novel boasts little to no romance, that’s definitely a plus for me.

Noir or Gothic – I love noir and gothic everything! Books, movies—you name it, I love it! So of course, these are major turn-ons for me when it comes to finding books. If it has a noir or gothic setting, I’m getting my read on! 😛

Sounds Like Sherlock Holmes – And finally, the most embarrassing book turn-on I have to admit. I typically don’t go for books that are compared to other books I love because ninety percent of the time, I end up feeling disappointed in a book that may have been great if I weren’t holding it to the highest possible standard. However, the one thing that gets me every time is when a novel (or a character in a novel) is compared to Sherlock Holmes…or Doctor Who (hence my love of the Jackaby series!).

holmesandwatson

Honorable Mentions

Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness, Victoria Schwab – …Enough said… 🙂

What are some things that make you instantly want to read a book? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for next Tuesday when I talk about my book turn-offs!

signaturetardis1

logo2

Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of Spring 2017

spring2017releases

Hey everyone!

Wow! It has been WAY too long since the last time I posted, and I am so sorry for that. My absence for the past few months—as well as my spotty posting schedule for most of last year—can be summed up in one familiar phrase: Depression sucks! I have been dealing with severe depression and anxiety for over a decade now, but never has it impacted me quite has much as it has in the past year or so.

In short: I am not in a good place. I’ve been experiencing the deepest depression and most crippling anxiety that I ever have in my life so far. I have had zero motivation to do anything, and for the first time, I have not been successful in recovering any of that motivation. I constantly feel tired and worn out—I can’t focus on anything, especially reading and writing. My educational/career/financial life is very uncertain. Every day is very uncertain. And on top of everything, I have been more frustrated and angry with myself than ever because I haven’t figured out how to cope with any of it. I feel overwhelmingly lonely.

This is difficult for me to write about because I am prone to being extremely private about my personal struggles with mental illness. I’ve been scared to open up, I’ve even been scared to just come back to posting on here after being away for such a long time. I feel incredibly overwhelmed. But I also know that I am not alone, that there are plenty of people that understand, and that it is much healthier for me to get out of the habit of hiding.

I love reading, I love writing, and I LOVE interacting with all of you and getting excited about our mutual love of literature! Whether you are aware of it or not, you guys have been one of my biggest support systems and sources of friendship this last year and a half, and I thank you so much for that.

I desperately want to get back into things. I want to start posting more and reading more, and I know it’s going to be hard. It’s not something that is going to fix itself overnight—it will probably take a long time. But I need to make the decision to start working my way back toward “normal”, and I have. No matter how much I want to get back in bed and curl up into a ball and ignore everything I’m feeling, I’m not going to continue doing that.

So my posts might still be spotty for a time. My reading lists may take a bit longer to get through than usual. But, I will absolutely not let another two months go by without reading or writing!

Anyway, thank you for reading through my ramblings and for sticking around even though I’ve been MIA for so long! Now let’s get back into things with some anticipated upcoming releases! 🙂

1. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (March 28th, 2017)

strangethedreamerThe dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. 

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

2. Dreamfall by Amy Plum (May 2nd, 2017)

dreamfallCata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong.

Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. Hunted by creatures from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, Cata and the others will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

3. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (May 16th, 2017)

flameinthemistThe daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

4. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (May 30th, 2017)

oneofusislyingOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. 

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

5. House of Furies by Madeleine Roux (May 30th, 2017)

houseoffuriesAfter escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

What upcoming releases are you guys most looking forward to? What are some of your favorite reads of the year so far? Let me know in the comments! And I promise, I really will be posting more frequently! 🙂

signaturetardis1

logo2

Update + Writing

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a general update post, so I figured it was about time! Also I’m sorry in advance if this ends up being rambley and all over the place!

First of all…I officially hit 300 followers the other day!! 😀

25cce031093c09dfcf467d8b8256174f5a56b34d0ce8a0af5c8fee591144f414

A year ago when I first started this blog, I never imagined it growing into what it has! And that is all thanks to you amazing and wonderful people! I am completely shocked, and I feel so honored to have such an incredible community of book lovers coming by and reading my bookish ramblings. I absolutely adore chatting with all of you and meeting people from all over the world through our common interests. That is the coolest thing ever! 

Thank you all so much for following my little blog, and for all of your love and support. I know that my posting has been quite spotty and inconsistent in recent months, and you guys still stand by me even while I go through this tough time in my life. That means more to me than I could ever express. Each and every single one of you are awesome! ❤

Second, I wanted to give you guys a bit of a general life/blog update!

Though I have been getting back on track with posting/commenting/replying, I know I have really been inconsistent lately, and I apologize. I’ve let some life stress and sadness get to me, and that has caused me to go through the biggest reading and blogging slump I’ve ever been through.

Not only have I been behind on reviewing, but I have been terrible at replying to your comments in a timely manner. I promise, I always read (and appreciate!) every comment you guys leave, even if it takes me forever to respond! I’ve also been awful at leaving comments on your posts, but rest assured, I am always checking out your blogs and keeping up with your posts every day. ❤

Some of my goals going forward:

  • I will be catching up on reading/reviewing, and eventually trying to get to a point where I’m posting at least one to two reviews each week.
  • I would like to be getting at least three to four posts up per week.
  • I’ll be much quicker about replying to all of your comments!!
  • I’ll be better at keeping up with all of YOUR posts and much more consistent with commenting on them as well.

Thank you all again for sticking with me through this, and I promise, things will be improving around here! 🙂

And lastly, I’ve made some new changes and additions to the site!

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve gone and added some new graphics to the blog. Finally, I’ve created a header (took me long enough!), and some general new designs for my pages. I’m hoping to do a bit more with the site in terms of the design, but it’s not my strongest area so it may take some time!

Also, I have done something I have been debating for quite some time which is add a section for my personal, creative writing to this blog. I haven’t had a place to share my creative writing for quite some time, so I figured, why not put some on here! I’ll be updating it more in the future, but for now I have a short story, some excerpts from full stories, and a few poems to start off. So, just in case anyone’s interested… 🙂

storieslogo

poetrylogo

And here’s an example of what you’ll find there:

Paradise

Prologue

Many faces passed up and down Westminster Road each day, all respectively bearing a distinct expression. Every person possessed a detailed and utterly singular mask, crafted by every moment experienced within his or her lifetime and continuously changing as the seconds ticked by. Some were fresh and eager, others timeworn and wise, but all were important. No two were—nor ever could be—the same.

The road was rich in history, full of marvel and intrigue. It had seen change, felt every footstep, heard every sound made and word uttered. It had been the sole witness to the drama of human life that unceasingly played out. A million stories flooded the streets, tumbled from the eaves of houses and the signs of shops, and danced on the wind among discussions and shouts.

However, life would not pause to observe, time would not stop to catch its breath, and the faces bled together into a mass of chaos and bustling traffic. These stories remained untold, trampled into the dusty ground of the old town where they were never bothered again. Secrets melted into the spaces between cobblestones and the cracks in walls. The days hurried on, the nights slept peacefully, and nothing in particular was noticed. This was the first mistake.

****

I know a number of you guys are writers as well, so I’m also really hoping that some of you will share your writing with me! I would absolutely love to read some of your work! Always feel free to send me links to your writing, either in the comments here or in the writing section of my blog!

Anyway, that’s all for now! Hope you are all doing well, and I’ll talk to you in my next post! 😀 ❤

signaturetardis1

logo2

Top 10 Tuesday – November 15th, 2016

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a movie freebie, so I’ve chosen to do my top ten favorite movies of all time. As well as being a major book lover, I am also quite a big film lover. And though there are tons of newer films I love, I am a particular big old movie fan. Even though it’s incredibly difficult to narrow down my list, I absolutely love sharing my favorite movies with people and hearing what theirs are (and fangirling over common favorites!). So this post is going to be a bit less bookish today, and more of a personal, get to know me type post! 🙂

The Birdcage

thebirdcage9

This has to go on the list as my number one favorite movie of all-time. This movie is a classic to me and my family. Watching this every year (or multiple times a year, really!) when my aunt and uncle are in town has been a long-standing tradition in our family, and it was a sort of “rite of passage” thing when I was old enough to watch it with them for the first time. It is absolutely hilarious, and even though I’ve watched it a thousand times, I will never get tired of it!

Back to the Future

DeLorean_Arrival

This is another movie that I can watch over and over again and never get tired of. I fell in love with this movie (or the whole trilogy, actually) when I was a little kid, and it has been a huge favorite of mine ever since.

To Kill a Mockingbird

11752424_10207436501729468_5740868339406158290_n

I’m sure none of you are surprised by this one! My favorite book of all-time and, of course, one of my favorite movies. It is a brilliant adaptation of the novel—very faithful to the story—and the casting is top notch.

Little Miss Sunshine

littlemisssunshineposter

This movie. Words cannot express how much I adore this movie. So many feels. ❤

It’s a Wonderful Life

11173371_ori

This is my absolute favorite Christmas film. Not only is it an incredible movie in general, but it is also such a unique tale for the holiday season. While it has an ultimately happy ending, it’s quite a dark story overall. This has been a long-time favorite of mine, ever since I was a little kid.

Rear Window

rearwindowgif

I am a MAJOR Hitchcock fan and a MAJOR Jimmy Stewart fan, so of course, this is one of my favorite films of all time. Fantastic cast, fantastic and gripping storyline—I just love this movie. Never gets old!

Rebecca

rebeccaposter

Again, another Hitchcock favorite and another book to movie adaptation, though I have yet to read the novel. It’s the perfect mix of dark, mysterious, and romantic, with another stellar cast.

The Lego Movie

tumblr_n0qeynkbo31tre0g4o1_500

Everything is awesome…about this movie (heh…see what I did there?)! This is such an adorable, hilarious, fantastically quotable movie and I have been completely obsessed with it since I first saw it. Such a fun and feel-good movie.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

harry-potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets-official-movie-poster

Okay, so really every single Harry Potter film is a favorite movie of mine, but this is my all-time favorite from the series. I’ve said before, from what I typically hear, I think I’m in the minority with this one, but Chamber of Secrets has always been my favorite of both the films and books (and the videogames!)!

The Avengers

avengers-movie-gif-12765-13216-hd-wallpapers-jpg

This one was so difficult to choose because I absolutely adore every Marvel movie ever (or at least every Marvel Studios/recent Marvel character movie ever). But after much thought, I had to choose The Avengers because it is the film that reinvigorated by love of Marvel from when I was a little kid. And even though I don’t think it is the absolute best of the recent films they’ve made, it has a very fond place in my heart. I will always completely adore this movie! ❤

What are some of your favorite movies (book related or otherwise)? Do we have any top favorites in common? Let me know in the comments!

 

signaturetardis1

logo2

The Playlist Shuffle Tag

playlistshuffletag

I’m feeling a bit under the weather, so today’s post is a bit of a short and random one. I wasn’t specifically tagged to do this, but I’ve seen it floating about the Internet, and was inspired by a few of my blogger buddies to do this.

Just like I love seeing what books are on other people’s shelves, I also absolutely love finding out what songs/artists/bands are on other people’s playlists! So I figured this would be a fun, quick post to do to give you a brief glance at my playlist. Now, mine is EXTREMELY eclectic, and this doesn’t even begin to show that, but here’s a little peek into what I listen to!

Also, make sure to check out these awesome people that inspired me to do this tag:

Anna @ My Bookish Dream

The Orang-utan Librarian

Beth @ Reading Every Night

List the first 15 songs that come on shuffle (no skipping):

Alan Walker – Faded

Like I Do – Thomas Jonak

Heathens – Twenty One Pilots

Caro Emerald – That Man

Rogue – Adventure Time

Starship – We Built This City

Immediate Music – World on a String

Muse – Uprising

Two Steps from Hell – Winterspell

Immediate Music – Tales of the Electric Romeo

Fall Out Boy – This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race

Muse – Hysteria

Keane – Strangeland

The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright

Mozart – Recordare

BONUS (because it came on next and is one of my all-time favorites): Panic at the Disco – Nicotine

What are some songs you guys have been listening to lately? Some of your favorites? Or randomly shuffle through your playlist and let me know in the comments what comes up!

signaturetardis1

logo2

The Get To Know Me Tag

thegettoknowmetag

____________________________________________________________________

I’m currently traveling, so this is a scheduled post. At this point, I’m uncertain what my ability to access the Internet will be like while I’m gone, so I may not be able to respond to comments right away. I’ll definitely be back with regular access to the blog next week! 🙂

____________________________________________________________________

I was tagged to do the Get To Know Me tag by my lovely blogger friend Anna from over at My Bookish Dream! Thank you so much for tagging me! Anna is an absolutely wonderful book blogger, so please make sure to stop by and check out her blog! 🙂

VITAL STATS

gettoknowmetagpicName: Ariana
Nicknames: Ari is the nickname that I go by most frequently. I also have a ton of random ones that certain family and friends call me (including “Ajax”, which is my best friend’s nickname for me!).
Birthday: July 18th
Star Sign: Cancer
Occupation: None at the moment.

APPEARANCE

Hair Color: Brown/Dark Brown/Red
Hair Length: Extremely long! Like down to my butt long! …I really need to get a haircut…
Eye Color: Darkish brown with some gold bits.
Best Feature: My smile? 🙂
Braces: I used to have them back in elementary school, but I don’t currently.
Piercings: Lots! 10 total at the moment, all in my ears!
Tattoos: None at the moment!
Right or Left: Right.

FIRSTS

Real holiday: For years, my family had a tradition of going to the beach for one or two weeks every summer, so the first one after I was born was probably the first real holiday I ever had.
Best friend: My first best friend was a girl that I met on the first day of preschool. We aren’t really close anymore, but we’ve still kept in touch at times over the years.
Award: I’m pretty sure it was a choral award.
Sport: I’m fairly certain my first sport was either swimming or tennis, which, coincidentally, are pretty much the only two sports that I am remotely competent at!
Concert: Okay, so I am primarily (at the moment) a classical musician that grew up in a family of classical musicians, so I’ve both been to and performed in countless classical concerts over the years. My first ever concert was most likely a classical concert, though I don’t recall what it was. At this point, I’ve actually only ever been to two non-classical concerts, but my first one of those was Maroon 5!

tumblr_mt9wmzCaFF1s5mpquo1_400.gif

FAVORITES

Film: My favorite film of all time is The Birdcage! ❤
TV Show:
My favorite TV show of all time is Frasier, but my favorite shows that are currently still airing episodes are Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Game of Thrones.
Color: Black.
Song: I definitely don’t have one favorite song! I listen to so much music, and my favorites are always changing. One song I’ve currently been listening to a lot is Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time by Panic at the Disco.
Restaurant: I don’t think I really have a favorite restaurant. I have plenty that I really like, but none really stand out as a particular favorite.
Shop: Barnes & Noble? Target? GameStop? Do those count? 😛
Books:
Way too many to list! My top three are: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and A Monster Calls.

Shoes: Converse!

thebirdcage9

CURRENTLY

Feeling: Tired! 😛
Single or Taken: Single.
Eating: Nothing at the moment.
Thinking about: This blog post! And the trip that I have coming up.
Watching: Right at this moment? One of my favorite streamers on Twitch playing the new Hitman game.
Wearing: A comfy, book related t-shirt (of course!) and shorts.

FUTURE

Want children: Not sure at the moment. Definitely not right now, but in a few years, who knows?
Want to be married:  Yep, definitely!
Careers in mind: First and foremost, I want to be a writer! Possibly a book and film reviewer, and I want to continue creative writing no matter what. I’m also very interested in screenwriting/filmmaking and voice acting.
Where you want to live: I’d love to live somewhere in Europe one day, probably in London or Prague.

RepChecaPragaRio

DO YOU BELIEVE IN…

God: Is it okay if I say still questioning/settling into my beliefs?
Miracles: I do sometimes, yes.
Love at first sight: Not love at first “sight”, but I definitely believe in love at first meeting/social interaction!
Ghosts: No, not really.
Aliens: It’s less that I believe in them and more that I really hope they exist! Haha 😀
Soul Mates: Totally!
Heaven: Yes.
Hell: No.
Kissing on the first date: Sure, why not, as long as you’re both on board with it!
Yourself: On a good day! 🙂

I Tag:

Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek

Zezee @ Zezee with Books

The Orang-utan Librarian

Emma @ The Terror of Knowing

logo2