Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Coffee with "A", No. 1: I'M GETTING MARRIED!

You guys, this year has really been kicking my butt.

I am currently getting over a case of strep throat (no idea where I caught it from, but THANK GOD for antibiotics) and had just figured out why I was having abdominal pain. I think God has been trying to teach me what REST looks like. I am always go-go-go, so having a fever + chills + swollen lymph nodes + headaches + painful throat = SLOW DOWN AND STOP DOING TOO MUCH. And by "doing too much," I mean "doing all these extra things that don't matter."

So hi again. My name is Amaris and I am not a writer (which probably explains my absence(s) and a lot of other things) but I am typing these words here because I want to share my brain with you.

life updates and other stuff

I finished the first season of Westworld ... WHAT A TWISTED ENDING. It took me a while to get through it, mainly because it's an incredibly slow and detailed show. It's very heavy on the world-building and set-up, but man when it all comes together = mind blown. I would recommend it for fans of Black Mirror and Ex Machina.

I'M GETTING MARRIED!!! I said yes in the middle of June and we signed the contract for our venue this past Friday so it's really happening! So far I'm not too overwhelmed, but I know I will be once we need to make decisions on the little details ... it's hard to say whether Pinterest is helpful or hurtful right now — there are too many options!

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes is the last book I finished. The plot is incredibly intriguing — Minnow Bly escapes from a cult, ends up in juvenile detention, and is suspected to know who killed her cult leader. Also, she had her hands cut off?! 😱 I have a really strange fascination with cults, and this book was a really easy and interesting read!

I'll be in Seattle this weekend! My fiancé, my parents, and I are going as a birthday hurrah for my fiancé. He's turning 25 on Monday! We are staying 15 minutes away from Pike Place Market, so send over any recommendations on things to do and see :)

books i hope to finish by the end of september

Word-Filled Women's Ministry by Gloria Furman and Kathleen B. Nielson // I mentioned back in April that this is the book we're reading through at my church as part of the women's mentoring ministry. Even though it doesn't end until December, I want to finish this asap! Basically, I am reading two more books with the church groups I'm a part of (youth ministry and a community group) and I don't want to have too many things going on at once. Anyway, I only have three more chapters!

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda // Why I left myself only 32 pages, I don't know! But it's been so much fun reading through this and listening to each track.

The Dinner by Herman Koch // I hate to say it, but this book has been so boring 🙊 I'm 63 pages in but I don't want to abandon it because Abby from Crime by the Book thinks it's better than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I hope I can follow along with the audiobook.

two favorite things on the internet right now

Gabi from Let's Gab About Books shared her free bullet journal printables last month! She is one of the most creative people I've ever encountered, and I dig anything she photographs/makes.

Rachel from Hello, Chelly! has been in the ice cream game for a while now, and this round-up of the places she's tried recently makes me want to hunt down all the new shops in my city. This list is gonna be my go-to the next time I visit New York City!


I named this new series 'Coffee with "A"' because "A" is my response to baristas when they ask me what my name is! I never use "Amaris" because it's unlikely that someone will spell AND say "Amaris" correctly — "A" is much easier.

What do you use as your "coffee name?" Tell me below, and include some things you are grateful for this week. Happy Tuesday! ☺️

Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Thank you to Quirk Books for approving my NetGalley request to read Geekerella by Ashley Poston. This in no way affects my opinions.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Young Adult // Categories: Contemporary, Retellings
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Quirk Books
Format: eARC // 320 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars

LinksPurchase on AmazonAdd to Goodreads

Other books by Ashley Poston: The Sound of Us

Get ready for your hearts to burst with joy — Geekerella is the perfect read if you are part of a fandom and know what it feels like to love something so much.

Geekerella is a modern retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale told from two points of view: Danielle "Elle" Wittimer, passionate fan of Starfield (a classic sci-fi/Star Trek-esque series); and Darien Freeman, the actor chosen to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the upcoming Starfield reboot. No one believes Darien is good enough to play this iconic role, including Elle. Things get interesting when they "cross paths," and the story plays out from there.

You know what's going to happen if you've seen or heard the story of Cinderella, but I don't think this makes it any less enjoyable. There were so many fun twists, like who the fairy godmother is, and the pumpkin being a food truck! Reading Geekerella reminded me so much of A Cinderella Story, which made me love it even more.

Having two different points of view gave this book a little something extra — I think that's what makes this retelling stand out. Aside from our Cinderella storyline, we get to follow Prince Charming too. The more we learn about why he chooses to do the things he does and what's going on in his head, the more I grew to love him.

Knowing that Darien and Elle have misconceptions of each other in real life made me want to root for them even more. I couldn't stop turning the pages because I wanted to see how they would end up meeting each other!

One of my favorite things about Geekerella was the friendship formed between Elle and Sage, her co-worker. I don't want to say too much about their scenes, but there is one that really captures what it feels like to introduce someone to something you really love. There's excitement, because you're hoping they will love it as much as you do; and then there's some fear, because what if they don't?

I think I enjoyed Geekerella so much because I GET IT. I love things with a passion. The main synopsis says this book is a "love letter to nerd culture," which I couldn't have said better. I am wishing so hard for Starfield to be a real life thing!

Are you a part of any fandoms? Chat with me if you love THE FLASH!

Friday, June 2, 2017

TBR: June 2017

Out of the seven books I shared from last month's TBR, I read four: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don't Care by Bryan Lee O'Malley and Leslie Hung, Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Bryan K. Vaughan, and The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord! Yes, two of them were comic trade paperbacks ... but I would say it's a win since I normally throw my list out the window after reading one book!

This month is going to be insane, so I really should be choosing less books. Here are ten anyway, OH WELL ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm either out of town or at an all-day event for 15 out of 30 days in June ... if I survive, praise God for sustaining me cause I know it's definitely not of my own effort!!!

This summer is going to be filled with contemporary (as if my whole year isn't already, lol) and I'm planning to revisit some favorites!

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson // I've heard this one is the majority favorite of out of all the Morgan Matson books! I'm tackling her books in publication order, and I've really enjoyed both Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han // I picked up this book around seven years ago when I was in high school at BORDERS! It was one of the first YA books I've ever read, before I even knew what YA was. I didn't continue on in this trilogy, so I'm hoping to do that this summer.

That Summer by Sarah Dessen // I am so conflicted because I want to read Once and For All (it comes out on the sixth!) but I want to read Sarah Dessen's books in publication order first. What do you guys think? If I start with That Summer, I will not be reading Once and For All until next summer :p

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord // This would also be another re-read for me, so it doesn't actually count toward this challenge. But I didn't write a full review for it the first time around, so I'm hoping to do that this time! I'm also very curious to see if my feelings for this book has changed at all.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson // I was planning to start a new fantasy series this month, and Sierra (from @sierraiswriting on Twitter) just happened to mention that she was going to be reading this one for #oldiesYA! This works out really well for me because I own the trilogy so I am PREPARED. Although I really should be continuing on in the Grisha (now Shadow and Bone) trilogy ...

I will definitely be reading Alex, Approximately in June — I just picked up my hold from the library last week. Windfall was an unexpected addition (I want to read Jennifer E. Smith's books in publication order and I've only read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) but I just thought of a post idea that I want to do! I'm still not sure if I want to save I Believe in a Thing Called Love and When Dimple Met Rishi for July when I have more time ... my library has an option to "freeze" a hold, which I haven't been utilizing since last month, but I like it a lot because sometimes I get click happy and reserve a ton of books that I don't want to read *at that moment*. And then there are other times when I remove a hold and put it back on my account the minute I want to read it but then there's a long wait ... and when it's finally my turn, I don't feel like reading it anymore. Please tell me I'm not the only one like this!!! I also added Wonder to this list because the movie is coming out and I STILL haven't read it :x

What are you going to read in June? If we're reading the same book, let's discuss!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases

Top Ten Tuesdays is a feature created by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to share your own lists in the future, the prompts can be found on their page! You can also find my previous lists by searching the label "top ten tuesday" :)

We're talking about ANTICIPATED RELEASES today, specifically titles coming out between July and December. I am looking forward to many many many books, but these are the ones I'll be reading as soon as they're published! The first five are must-reads because of their authors, and the last five are must-reads because of their stories.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart // September 5
We Were Liars, E. Lockhart's previous novel, was a hit or miss with a lot of people but I loved the style of writing. I'm especially excited for this one because it's YA psychological suspense! Sounds like we will have an unlikeable main character.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin // September 26
Ryan Graudin comes up with the most unique storylines — seeing her on my list shouldn't come as a surprise! Wolf by Wolf, the first in her duology, is one of my favorite books; I was completely sold after reading the synopsis. It's no different with Invictus ("... after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.") I love a good time-travel story!

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins // September 26
I love this cover, and I've loved everything Stephanie Perkins has written so far. Mystery/horror is not her usual genre, so I am very curious about this new approach.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer // November 7
Yes to books about people with super powers. Other than that, I have absolutely no idea what this book is about but I will 100% pick it up because it's written by Marissa Meyer. Thank you and good night.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills // December 5
Another book I want to read only because of the author. Emma Mills is definitely an auto-read author for me — her debut novel, First & Then, is one of my favorites!

Lucky in Love by Kasie West // July 25
The synposis sounds very similar to Windfall ... it'll be interesting to read both. But I think the love interest is Vietnamese, and I'm all about books with Asian characters.

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee // August 29
The first book, The Thousandth Floor, was so addicting to read through. If you like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, there's a high chance you'll enjoy this series too. It's perfect if you are having a book hangover!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo // August 29
I am a little disappointed by the cover but that doesn't really matter because Leigh Bardugo is writing about WONDER WOMAN, whaaat?!

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke // September 1
Someone using dark magic to change history + time-travel = the perfect combination, so sign me up! Historical fiction is always a bit slow for me, but this sounds so good.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust // September 5
Jodi Meadows, author of the Newsoul trilogy, said this debut novel is "everything a fairy tale should be." I AM HERE FOR THAT.

Which titles are you most looking forward to read?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Q1 Recap: January-March 2017

WOW THIS IS EMBARRASSINGLY LATE. Normally by this time, I would've deleted the post from my drafts folder. But I want to stay committed to tracking my goals, so here we are. Also ... all of this information is still kinda relevant, right? *tries to make us both look at the brighter side of things*

Favorite book of Q1: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Cress by Marissa Meyer // This is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series. Each book is about a different fairy tale character (we follow Rapunzel in this one) but it's ultimately intertwined with the big story started in the first book, Cinder. I started this one back in November 2016 and of course it took me forever to finish. It's a hefty book (550 pages!) but really fun to read. I do admit it was a little slow at times (especially when they were walking through the desert) but overall entertaining.

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu // It's one of those hard-to-read contemporaries because the main character is a bit unlikeable. We follow a girl named Tabitha who is in love with a boy, but he has a girlfriend. She comes across this site called "Life by Committee," a chatroom of people talking about their secrets, and decides to share hers. Things get messy and Tabitha is tough to sympathize for, but it's a story that will challenge your way of thinking if you are interested.

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes // The Fixer is about a girl named Tess who finds out her sister is paid to cover up powerful people's problems. If you like Pretty Little Liars and the words "conspiracy" + "secrets" interest you, read this! (I will say, however, The Fixer is much more fulfilling, haha.) The pacing was perfect, with just enough revealed after each chapter to keep me turning the pages.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena // The Couple Next Door is about a couple who leaves their baby girl at home while they have dinner next door, and of course she gets kidnapped. This is another one that took me a long time to get through, it was a really slow read for me. The story wasn't bad though, I just wish it was more captivating.

Books read in Q1: 4
Pages read in Q1: 1,568
Comics (volumes) read in Q1: 3

I definitely failed to upkeep my goal of averaging one book a week, but I did a lot of traveling during February and March — more trips than I'm used to taking, so it was hard to make time for reading. I also started freelancing for Epic Reads (!!!) so that takes priority. I honestly don't mind at all, I love designing marketing graphics just as much as I love reading :)

#RockMyTBR challenge (3/61) // Cress, Life by Committee, and The Fixer are all books I own, and all three were purchased/received before 2017! My physical TBR has increased by six since I made the goal of reading 61 owned books, TIME TO GET READING!

POPSUGAR reading challenge (2/52) // I'm focused more on reading the books I own vs. tackling this list, it's just something extra to do. I want to see if I can fit the books I read with their categories! This quarter had two that fit: a book with a title that's a character's name (Cress) and a bestseller from 2016 (The Couple Next Door).

This is my favorite section to write; I love it when you guys read it and we find similarities!!!

  • Dear Evan Hansen (Original Broadway Cast Recording) // I HAVE NOT FELT THIS MANY FEELS FROM LISTENING TO A CAST RECORDING, EVER. I first heard of DEH in November because one of its producers followed me on Twitter. (He has since unfollowed, followed, and unfollowed me back. LOL. Get it together, my friend.) Waving Through a Window was the only song out at that time, and WOW that one speaks to me. Although my social anxiety is on a different level than Evan Hansen's, I know exactly what he feels when he sings the opening lines. I haven't watched the musical yet, but I already know it's an incredibly powerful story just by listening to the recording. You Will Be Found gives me the shivers, Words Fail breaks me, and Only Us makes my heart swell.
  • ÷ (Ed Sheeran) // Another Ed Sheeran album, bless his giving soul. I've been listening to him for a long while now, and the guy doesn't disappoint. Even in concert he is perfection. I can't stop listening to Galway Girl and What Do I Know?
  • Girl Meets World // I can't believe they cancelled this show ... apparently the ratings were declining so they dropped this one for Raven's Home, a That's So Raven spin-off. HOW DARE YOU, DISNEY CHANNEL. But to be honest, season three wasn't as good as the first two. I wanted more Auggie!!!
Tell me about your favorite reads of this year so far, and your obsessions too!!!
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