writing update #2 | project X

So, my writing project officially has a name. For now, I am just going to be referring to it as Project X on here, but I came up with a title for it that I really love and I’m excited about. It could definitely still change, but right now, I really love it.

As far as actual updates, I actually haven’t really written anything else. Although I haven’t really added to my word count, I’m still working on the project! I’ve been doing some research about writing in general, and I have really been trying to work on my craft. Writing is something I really want to do, so it is imperative that I get better at it.

I’ve also been writing little snippets of stories in my journal, and I continue to work on my outline for this project. I tend to underwrite all of my first drafts, so I want to make sure I actually have enough content for my story.

I learned that I am definitely a plotter, and I can not imagine ever being a pantser (a person who doesn’t outline their novels, just jumps right into them). That sounds way too intimidating to me.

So, the novel is still in the works! I definitely plan to continue on with it, just experimenting and finding out what my writing style is exactly. This is definitely not going to be the book that gets me through the publishing doors, but it is necessary if I ever do want to step through.

chat with me

That’s all for now :)

Please let me know if you are currently working on some writing projects! I am looking for some writing friends that I can rant about the process to and that will help keep me motivated!

Good luck with your writing projects!

Xo, Jess

Book Bucket List- books i want to read before the year ends

I’ve mentioned this way too many times, but my physical TBR pile is so high right now. It is honestly overwhelming. I haven’t been reading as much as I would like to, but recently I’ve been working on it! So, I made myself a “book bucket list” for the rest of the year.

These are all books that I already own and want to read before the year ends. My ultimate goal is to read all of these before buying any new books! We’ll see how that goes though.

I’m just going to list the books without talking about them though, because there are 20 on this list and the post would drag on forever!

_ Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

_ Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

_ The Diviners by Libba Bray

_ Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

_ Beholding Bee by Kimberly Fusco

_ Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

_ November 9 by Colleen Hoover

_ Afterparty by Ann Stampler

_ Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

_ Roomies by Sara Zarr

_ Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

_ Joyride by Anna Banks

_ My Lady Jane by the Lady Janies

_ My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies

_ Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

_ When We Collided by Emery Lord

_ Dreamology by Lucy Keating

_ Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

_ Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

_ The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

chat with me

This list is long, and I am not very confident that I will finish all of these, especially since I’m starting my freshman year of college in 2 weeks! But, I will try nonetheless.

Wish me luck!

Also, let me know which books on this list I should get to first!

Xo, Jess

booktube-a-thon wrap-up

I can’t believe the booktube-a-thon is over already. I had such a fun time for my first year of this read-a-thon, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I did not successfully complete all of the challenges, and I didn’t end up sticking to my TBR, but I did well.

I read 5 books in total, which you might have seen if you follow me on my blog Twitter.

In my original TBR post, I said that my goal was to read at least 3 books, so I did pretty well, considering my low expectations! I’m not usually great with read-a-thons, but I really wanted to try hard for this one, and I’m proud of myself.

Let’s just get on with what books I read!

The Books:

Thin Space by Jody Casella

This book completed the challenge of letting a coin toss decide your first read. It was a little disappointing as my first booktube-a-thon read because I only gave it 2/5 stars. I did not relate to any of the characters, and I found it difficult to get into this book. I thought the plot twist at the end was really interesting, but the first 100+ pages of the book were just too slow (and the book is less than 300 pages).

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

This is the second book I finished during this week, but it was not part of my TBR. It’s a re-read that I started before booktube-a-thon began, but I finished it once it started. If you are new to my blog, then you wouldn’t know that this is one of my all time favorite books ever. The re-read just confirmed my love for it, and I can not wait to see more from Tamara. I can count this book for the “read a book about something you want to do” challenge because I would love to be part of a poet’s club like the main character is a part of!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I read this for the first time a few years ago and loved it, but I couldn’t remember much. This time around, I listened to it as an audiobook, and it was such a great experience! I really loved it and gave it 5/5 stars. Right after, I watched the movie (and completed the challenge of reading and watching a book to movie adaptation), which was just as good. This book is super dark but really interesting and heartbreaking.

By Your Side by Kasie West

This book was just on the list to complete the challenge of “read 7 books.” Clearly, that did not happen. I could move this one to the “read a book with a beautiful spine” challenge instead. Initially, I did not think I was going to like this book because I thought it was going to just be a super fluffy read with no depth. I was wrong about that. There are so many heavy topics discussed in this book which I really appreciated, and it ended up being so much more than I expected. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

Girls Resist by KaeLyn Rich

This is another that wasn’t on my TBR, but I wanted to finish it before the book came out! Thank you to Quirk Books for being kind enough to send me this book! I loved it so so much, and I am so happy that I got to read it. It is super informative, and I think every girl needs this guide in her life. I know I will refer back to it from time to time :) I gave it 5/5 stars, and I can count it towards the challenge of “reading a book with green on the cover.”

chat with me

I had such a great booktube-a-thon! I am so happy with how I did, even if I didn’t complete all of the challenges. Did you participate? How did you do?

Xo, Jess

August TBR

We are already 5 days into August. How did that happen? Well, I feel like I’m already behind on this TBR, but I decided I would post it anyways! The books below are all ones I’m hoping to read this month before I go to school in the fall! Plus, there are a few books I have already read/am reading as part of the booktube-a-thon, so you can check out my TBR for that here.

The Books:

Joyride by Anna Banks

This book has been on my TBR for a while because I bought it off of bookoutlet on a whim, and it has just been sitting on my shelves. It’s a fairly short book, so I really want to knock it off my TBR soon!

Afterparty by Ann Stampler

This one is another random bookoutlet find, but I am absolutely intrigued by it. The premise sounds really interesting, but what really drew me in was the cover. I think it is so stunning, especially in person. I have been wanting to read it for months now, but have yet to get around to it! Hopefully this is the month it gets read!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

In case you didn’t know, I have been absolutely DYING to read this book ever since it came out. I bought it at Bookcon back in June, but I had so many other books that needed my attention first, so I haven’t gotten around to this one yet. I definitely plan on reading it this month. In fact, I have already started it but then the booktube-a-thon started so I put it down for the time being.

The House by Christina Lauren

I really want to get more into mystery/thriller novels, so I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time. I know I will love it, so I really, really hope I read it this month. However, my TBR is getting a little long this month, so I don’t know if I will have the time to get to it with the other books being a bit higher priority.

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

If you didn’t know, Every Last Word, also written by Stone is in my Top 3 of favorite books of all time. I just re-read it recently, and I fell in love with it all over again. Tamara came out with this book just a couple of months ago, and of course I bought it immediately! I can not wait to sink into this book and fall in love with another one of her reads.

chat with me

Aside from these books, I also have some ARCs I need to read, but I don’t want to talk about them just yet!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments below :)

Xo, Jess

July Wrap Up 2018

It’s that time again where I get to discuss all of the books I read this past month!

I fell into a huge slump this month, which is really unfortunate after last months amazing reading. I was on vacation at the beginning of the month, and then I just had so much going on with packing before I move in a couple weeks, and other things. In the past few days I have picked up some more books, but haven’t finished all of them yet. Hopefully I will finish them soon which will add a lot of books to my August wrap up!

Finished:

 

 

Looking For Alaska by John Green: I went into this book very optimistically because I am a huge John Green fan (even though I know not many people are), and I am happy to say my expectations were exceeded. The book was a little slow for me initially, and I had a bit of a hard time getting into it. BUT, once it picked up, I couldn’t put it down! It was very thought provoking and left me craving more from that world.

4/5 stars!

Thin Space by Jody Casella: This was my first book for the Booktube-a-thon this year that completed the coin toss challenge! I was not enjoying it too much up until the ending, which I ended up really loving. But, I did not find myself enjoying the majority of the book, and the only reason I even continued it was because of the read-a-thon. The characters weren’t relatable and the plot was pretty boring.

2/5 stars!

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone: I have talked about this book many, many times on here. It is one of my favorite books of all time because it was one of the first books that I really related to. It features a main character with OCD and anxiety, and I have never seen that in literature before until I read this for the first time 3 years ago. This month, I re-read it, and I loved just as much, if not more than the first time. I highly recommend it!

5/5 stars!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: This is another book I read for the booktube-a-thon! I listened to the audiobook this time around. I read it for the first time like 5 years ago, so I wanted to change up the way I read it this time around. It was such a great read. It is heartbreaking yet beautiful. As I write this, I am actually watching the movie adaptation! Such a sad book but I really enjoyed it.

5/5 stars!

Currently Reading:

 

51BwhiXRXVL._SX370_BO1,204,203,200_

Girls Resist!: I was sent this book to review by Quirk Books which are such lovely people! I am so happy that they sent me this book because I am loving it so so much! It is a book about feminism, leadership, how to start campaigns, etc! It is such an insightful guide and I think it is going to be super helpful to teen girls everywhere. I can’t wait to finish it. I will do a full review once I do!

chat with me

What have you read in July? I hope you had a better reading month than me!

XO, Jess

Booktube-a-thon TBR!

I am so late with my TBR and by the time this is up, the booktube-a-thon will be starting TOMORROW! I am so excited to be participating for the first time ever. Obviously, this is not booktube, but I still think the read-a-thon looks like a ton of fun, so I want to participate :)

The read-a-thon takes place from July 30th-August 5th and the goal is to read 7 books. There are 7 challenges in total, so I picked a book for each one, and hopefully I can read at least 3! I am going to be moving very soon, so my days are filled with packing and getting last minute things done, so I don’t know how much reading time I will have.

The TBR/Challenges:

1/ Let a coin toss decide your first read.

51d6G3YXuaL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

For this challenge, I decided to flip a coin between The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers and Thin Space by Jody Casella just because they are two of the shorter books I own. I always try to pick shorter books on my TBR for read-a-thons if possible, because you do need to read so much. Plus, both of these have been on my TBR for so long, so it would be nice to knock one off. Obviously, Thin Space won, and I am actually pretty happy about that because I was leaning towards it a little bit!

2/ Read a book about something you want to do.

8182bkEoHZL.jpg

This one is a bit of a stretch, but I chose November 9 by Colleen Hoover for this challenge because I read in the description that the love interest in this novel is an author, and one of my main goals in life is to be an author.

I have heard so many negative things about this book, but I own it and didn’t want to give it away without at least giving it a shot first. It has a really high Goodreads rating, but I think I heard that it is problematic, so I’m not sure why the rating is so high. But, I am (hopefully) going to read it either way.

3/ Read and watch a book to movie adaptation.

I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold in 8th grade, which was like 5 years ago and I do not remember much of it. I have watched the movie as well, but it was also around that time. I have been wanting to re-read this for AGES, so I finally decided I would do it for this read-a-thon!

4/ Read a book with green on the cover.

I got The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood at Bookcon, and I actually met Jessica, too. She was super sweet, and this book sounds like it will be a really amazing read. There is a bit of green on the cover, so it fit perfectly!

5/ Read a book while wearing the same hat the whole time.

I absolutely hate hats, so I chose Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams for this challenge because it’s a pretty short book. I think instead of a hat, I will actually wear a headband, because I don’t know if I could do the whole hat thing.

6/ Read a book with a beautiful spine.

51Iw1UPnjwL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The spine and the cover of Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker are both so beautiful, so I knew this book would fit right in. I got it for my Book of the Month a while back, and I have been dying to finally pick it up. It is a mystery/thriller which is a genre I have been wanting to read more of because it is one of my favorites! I really hope I enjoy it :)

7/ Read seven books.

51dv3GRhnLL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

For my seventh and final book, I chose By Your Side by Kasie West because I know it will be really quick to fly through. It is a fluffy YA contemporary, which is perfect for read-a-thons because they are super easy to read. I have heard amazing things about this book, and it is on my Summer TBR!

chat with me

Are you participating in this read-a-thon? Let me know what books you’re reading if you are, or link your TBR post!

Xo, Jess

how do i know that im doing the right thing?

In just a few short weeks, I will be starting my first semester of college. I have never been more excited to explore and live life on my own in a new place. But, I still have my doubts sometimes.

I have doubts about my major and my future career choice. How do I know that the major I chose is the right one for me? Am I following the right path? Will I be happy with a career in this field?

Deciding your future can be so so terrifying. I know it was for me. I am a person with many different interests. I want to explore every single major that my school offers, so how was I supposed to narrow it down to just one? I love to write and read, so maybe English? But I am also so interested in the human mind. Maybe I’ll go with psychology. Buuuutt, I also think I would enjoy political science. I have never just been passionate about one thing- I have always been fascinated by the entire world. It’s hard to have to eliminate many of my interests just so that I can focus on one, maybe two if I double major.

Luckily, the one thing that I haven’t had any doubts about is my school- I am so excited to be attending such a beautiful campus surrounded by some really amazing people. I fell in love with the campus the first time I set foot there, and I knew it was the place for me. Plus, it is so close to the beach, which is my favorite place in the world. It’s such a relief knowing that I look forward to going to school next year, which means that I have made at least one right decision when it comes to deciding my future.

I realized I shouldn’t doubt myself so much. I know who I am and I know what I like. As long as I’m always working hard towards my goals, I know I will be okay. Besides, if I really don’t enjoy the classes I’m taking, I can always switch my major.

The future is a scary place. Venturing into the unknown always is. But follow your heart and it will lead you on the right path.

Good luck with your future.

Xo, Jess

a writing update !

I have finally started a new writing project again!! I know that I have posted about my writing numerous times on this blog, but I never really stay up to date on updating you guys.

BUT, a couple weeks ago, I came up with a really great story idea for a contemporary YA romance, and it is the only thing consuming my thoughts at the moment. Camp NaNo started at the beginning of July, and I decided (very last minute) that I wanted to participate. I tried participating last year, but I completely failed and gave up. The story I was writing wasn’t something that I was passionate about, so it was hard to get myself to write.

However, this time around, I completely outlined a novel that I am so excited about. I haven’t been this motivated to write in a really long time, so I know that this is what I need to dedicate my time to.

Currently, I am a little over 3,000 words into this novel. I have just begun introducing my characters, and there haven’t been any major plot points yet. My goal for the Camp was to hit 10,000 words, but I don’t know if that will actually happen. I am trying not to force myself to write too much because I don’t want to burn out and get discouraged.

There is about a week left of NaNo so I am hoping to write about 1000-1500 words a day to reach my goal, but that is definitely not a sure thing.

I am really excited to get deeper into it, and my plan is to update you guys on how it is going every week. I will also give more details on the plot itself once I have established more of it because my ideas are constantly changing, so I don’t want to give a synopsis just yet!

chat with me

Are you participating in Camp NaNo this month? How far along into your writing project are you?

Xo, Jess

If You Love Me, I’m Yours | Blog Tour

Hello everyone! I hope you are having an amazing day :)

Today I am here to introduce you to a new book titled “If You Love Me I’m Yours” by Lizzie Chantree.

unnamed

Synopsis:

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realized he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art. 

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agentextraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smolderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

My Review:

This book is all about friendship and discovering who you are, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the two main characters, they were very interesting to read. It was a really light-hearted and simple book, but it was still engaging.

The dialogue between characters was really funny and relatable, so I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the aspect of art because being an artistic person myself, I really found myself connecting with the majority of the book.

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a quick and easy summer book to read!

My one complaint would be that the writing style was not my type. Some of the sentences were a bit too juvenile for me, and I think this book would have been better written in first person, so that you could get a feel for the girls’ personalities more and read from their two POVs.

Overall, I would give this a 3.5/5 stars!

Purchase:

If you are interested in the book, you can purchase it by clicking the link here.

chat with me

Thank you for reading :) I hope you enjoyed this post!

Xo, Jess

The Poet X- Review!!

Hello everyone!! I just got back from vacation in Punta Cana, so I’m sorry for being a little MIA recently. I am back on the blogging grind though, and I have been reading more than ever.

Today I wanted to post a review of a book I just read recently and completely fell in LOVE with! That book is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. 

My Review:Image result for the poet x

**There are some trigger warnings that I want to include first for abuse and sexual assault.

My initial thoughts were: Wow. Just wow.

This book is told entirely in verse, which was just so unique and wonderful to me. It made the book flow quickly and smoothly, so I finished it in about a day. This writing style just really suited the book and I loved it a lot.

The main character, Xiomara, is such a badass and I loved her personality so much. There were some things she did that made me cringe a little bit because I thought they were just a bit too much, but overall she was a great character.

I also loved how the book involved religion. I felt myself relating to Xiomara so much because of this aspect of growing up in a religious home when I, myself, am not religious.

Overall, the book helped me fall in love with poetry all over again. I have always been a poetry fan, but recently haven’t been as involved in writing it. After reading this, I immediately grabbed a pen and paper and started writing again. It felt so freeing.

The one downfall of this book that I have to mention is the ending. It wrapped up way too quickly and too perfectly. I think the ending could have used some more development, or at least just made longer so it wasn’t so sudden.

Besides that, I loved every other aspect of this book, and I am incredibly happy that I have read it.

Definitely recommend giving it a read!

5/5 stars

chat with me

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it if you have?

Xo, Jessica