When Bookish Hype is so, so, SO RIGHT

Earlier this year, I wrote about my fear of starting a new series, and then later asked for your help for me to choose a new series to read.  The response was overwhelmingly in favour of the Throne of Glass series, as I had the first book sitting on my shelves.  I was a little bit excited, but mostly scared because I know that this series is so beloved across the blogosphere and I was so worried that I'd be the only person who didn't like it.  I let my fear of bookish hype get in the way for MONTHS, until Lauren @ Lose Time Reading and I decided to take the plunge together.  She's new-ish to fantasy, as am I, so I felt a bit more confident with her by my side. 

We decided to start with the novellas, and I'm so glad we did!  I felt like I really got to know Celaena's character and the novellas prepared me for who she had become by the time I reached the opening pages of Throne of Glass.  I liked Throne of Glass as well, especially towards the end when the plot got really exciting.  And then I started Crown of Midnight -- and oh my god you guys, my heart has shattered so many times while reading this book!  I'm about 100 pages from the end and I want to finish reading it, but I'm scared of the heartbreak that's awaiting me!  Plus, I've put Heir of Fire on my Christmas wishlist and Christmas is TOO FAR AWAY.  What will I DO while I wait for the next installment?!?!?

Honestly, if I try to talk about this book anymore, it'll be simply this: apoiufuhrhdughfjdieidkdk because my thoughts are all over the map, and my heart is aching, so let me end with this.  This series is AMAZING and totally worth the hype.  If you've been hesitant to start it because of fear of it not living up to the hype, let it go and just read it.  Seriously, seriously amazing and I absolutely cannot WAIT to see what happens next in this epic series!!!!!!

P.S. Thank you thank you thank you to those of you who recommended this series, but especially to Lauren @ Lose Time Reading for taking the plunge with me and to Sydney @ Utterly Bookish for gushing over Twitter once I'd started the series!

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Delirium Stories - Lauren Oliver

I haven't written a book review in quite a while, but it's Novella November, so I thought I'd do a little
update on what I've read so far!  What's Novella November you ask?  Hop on over here to find out more and sign up -- we still have half a month to go!

In all honesty, I'd never read a novella before.  Shocking, I know, right?  My Goodreads timeline is filled with my fellow reading friends' progress and I always see others polishing off the last pieces of a series, but I've just always felt fulfilled after the three books in a trilogy.  After chatting with Lauren @ Lose Time Reading, she begged me to read the Delirium stories by Lauren Oliver.  I'm still hoping to finish Requiem by the end of the year, so I thought I'd give the novellas a shot and allow the stories to spark my interest in the Delirium world once again.

Honestly, I loved the book!  The Delirium series is told through the eyes of Lena so, although we do get to know the other characters, we don't really get into their heads the same way we get to experience Lena's mind.  This collection of stories follows Hana (Lena's best friend), Annabel (Lena's mother) and Raven, who Lena meets in the Wilds.  Of the stories, Raven's was definitely my favourite, although Annabel's story definitely struck a chord with me because I'm also a mother.

I don't know if I'm a full convert to the world of novellas, but for a series that I adore, I will definitely consider picking up an extra piece of the storyline!

What about you?  Do you read the novellas in a series, or have you always skipped over them, as I had done?  Are there any can't-live-without-this-novellas that I should add to my TBR?  Leave me a comment below -- and don't forget to check out Novella November if you'd like to join the fun!

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Looking Back ... at the Past Three Years!

I've never celebrated my blogoversary before, and honestly wasn't too sure exactly when it was, until Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat and I were chatting and realized that ours were fairly close!  We briefly thought of doing something jointly to celebrate, but I've been a very disorganized blogger as of late, and didn't get my butt in gear in time!  Oh well, there's always next year... right?

Then, Magan & Estelle at Rather Be Reading shared their blogoversary post, and I realized that Writer Grrl Reads started at the same time as a few of my favourite blogs!  I feel honoured to share space on the internet with these wonderful ladies...

Inspired by Rather Be Reading's post, I decided to be retrospective as well...

In 2011... I'd just taken a library course in which I had learned all about blogs.  The Perpetual Page Turner was one of the very first blogs that I read, and I found it inspiring that she wrote all about books and reading and bookish stuff, and people responded and interacted and loved what she had to say!  I was a bit shy about starting up my blog, wondering if anyone would even read what I wrote, and shared these thoughts in my first post -- Hello World!  The very first book I ever reviewed on Writer Grrl Reads was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, a book that my husband had been bugging me to read ever since we first met.

Offline, I was working at a property management company as an administrative assistant and I was two years into my library technician program.  My hubby and were still newlyweds, having gone on our honeymoon in the summer of 2011.  We were talking about starting a family, but weren't quite there yet.  Romeo, our fur baby, was still a rambunctious kitten!

In 2014... My blog isn't the biggest or the most popular, but I'm pretty proud of my little corner of the internet.  In my first blog post, I wrote that "a Writer Grrl writes and a Writer Grrl reads," but in all honesty, I don't write all that much anymore.  Blogging has been the place where I do commit words to the page, and it's been my little safe haven to share my thoughts, whether those thoughts are about a book I recently read, a bookish topic on my mind, or just the latest news about my little man.  I'm deeply honoured and humbled whenever someone takes the time to comment on something that I've written.  I appreciate each and every person that stops by my blog, even if you're just reading.  I'm even more appreciative of those who I can call friends -- even though we may not have met in real life, you have changed  my life for the better ... from book recommendations to fangirling over favourite reads or to just knowing that I'm not the only person out there who's obsessed with books and reading.

Offline, I started a new job working as an administrative assistant in an engineering firm, which was the best decision that I have made in a long time.  My new job is so amazing and I work with some incredible people.  I only wish that I'd made this move a long, long time ago.  My hubby and I are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary this month, and our TENTH anniversary of being together next month!!!!  We're planning our first night away from Marko so that we can have a fancy dinner and overnight stay downtown -- a small getaway, but not TOO far away.

I've never done a blogoversary giveway, but I want to share some bookish love this year.  So, in celebration of three years of books and reviews, I will give away to one winner, one book of your choice (up to a $20 value).  This giveaway is open internationally, provided that the Book Depository ships to you!  Please enter using the Rafflecopter below -- and thanks for being a part of Writer Grrl Reads' adventures thus far!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Life of a Blogger - Concerts

My good friend, Jessi, over at Novel Heartbeat runs this awesome feature as a way for her followers to get to know her better!  Check out the list of upcoming topics here.

Today's topic is a fun one -- concerts that I've been to!  I was a late bloomer when it came to checking out concerts, mainly because I grew up on an island that didn't have too many concerts, since it's super expensive for an artist to get all their stuff to the island, and there weren't any massive concert venues where they could recoup some of those expenses.  After I moved to Vancouver, I went to my very first concert, to see Christina Aguilera (yes, I know, but I love her!!!) and I haven't looked back since then.  In no particular order, my husband and I have seen the following:
  • Snow Patrol
  • Blue Rodeo
  • The Tragically Hip
  • The Tea Party
  • Alanis Morrisette
  • City and Colour
  • Feist
  • 54/40
  • U2
  • Kings of Leon (twice!)
Now that I look over this list, that's a heck of a lot of Canadian music!  All of the shows were phenomenal, with the exception of the Tragically Hip, who were a bit of a disappointment....  We'd originally planned to see them at an outdoor concert called Rock the Shores, but the show was postponed due to a lightning storm.  I was three months pregnant at the time, and the show was poorly organized, so they ran out of food and we were starving.  Since we didn't know when, if ever, the Hip was actually going to be on stage, we opted to leave.  Then, we found out that they would be performing a year later at a smaller indoor theatre venue.  Since we'd missed their outdoor show, we were super excited to see them.  Unfortunately, Gord Downie (the lead singer) decided to play around with his more popular songs and mixed them around so much that it was impossible to sing along (which is one of my favourite parts about seeing a beloved band perform live!) and the volume was turned up so incredibly loud that we couldn't hear what he was saying when he talked to the audience between songs.

My favourite of the shows that we've seen is probably Blue Rodeo.  When we bought the tickets, the show was scheduled for a month before my due date, which made us a bit nervous, but this is OUR BAND and we just knew that we had to go.  The song "Lost Together" has a special significance for us, as it's been a bit of a theme song for our journey together, and we had it incorporated into the video slide show at our wedding.  The show was perfect from beginning to end: Blue Rodeo rocked out when they needed to be loud, then brought a mellow vibe for some of their slower songs.  The show was held in the same smaller theatre venue that hosted the Hip's concert, but Blue Rodeo really knew how to work the smaller venue.  Plus, this concert was one of our last big outings pre-baby, so it was super special to see one of our all-time favourite bands before our lives were irrevocably changed forever.

How about you?  What's one show that you saw that changed your life?  Leave me a comment below!

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Series Spotlight - November

Welcome to the November edition of the Series Spotlight!  This is a monthly feature where we'll highlight some of our anticipated series books that are releasing this month, as well as which series are on our TBR piles for this month!

New Releases ...

Michelle Hodkin's The Retribution of Mara Dyer (release date: November 4)
I read, and really enjoyed, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and have the second book sitting on my shelves.  I've heard that the ending is an OMG -- WHAT?!?!? moment, so I wanted to wait and read them both together ... maybe with re-read of book 1 first?

Robin LaFevers' Mortal Heart (release date: November 4)
It's another month of featuring series enders for series that I haven't even started yet!  Grave Mercy is on my fall TBR list, and I'm excited to start this series knowing that all of the books have been published.

From My TBR Pile ...

I originally read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer in October 2012, so my memory of the storyline is fuzzy.  I'd like to re-read book one, then binge read the next two -- hopefully I can make this happen!

What about you?  What's on your TBR pile this month?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Novella November Sign Ups!


Welcome to the second annual Novella November! We changed the name up a bit since last year (Last year it was called "November Novella Knockout Mini Challenge" and that title is a bit long!) Last year it was hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat and Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads, but due to Reanna's busy schedule she was unable to host this year (don't worry, she'll probably be back next year!). Since Jessi and I are doing the 2014 Prequel & Sequel Challenge together, she invited me to co-host this monthly challenge with her!

The goal

Read as many novellas as you can - you set your own goal!

The rules

  • The challenge will run from November 1st at 12:00 am until November 30th at 11:59 pm
  • You can sign up here or at Novel Heartbeat
  • To join, just make a sign up post and add it to the linky below
  • Any short story counts, not just those in a series
  • Any series novellas read during this month will count for double points in the Prequel & Sequel challenge (2 points each instead of 1)
  • We will try to host a small giveaway for all participants at the end of the challenge!

Grab a button

Sign up!

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Prequel & Sequel Challenge -- October Wrap Up!

Hello fellow prequel and sequel challengers!  I know that I said this in the August wrap-up post, but I STILL can't believe that this year is flying by so quickly!  Seriously, there's less than two months left until CHRISTMAS.  Where is 2014 going?

We still have two months left for this challenge, so lots of time to finish up some series ... or start new ones!  Remember that every book after the first one counts, so even if you want to binge a series in the next two months, you can!

I'm pretty proud of my reading in this challenge so far.  I've read some more of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, started the Throne of Glass series and am poised to finally, yes FINALLY!, read Requiem!  Seriously, this is the one book that I cannot, simply cannot, leave until 2015.  I'm also hoping to binge read the Mara Dyer series next month!

As always, please include the number of points earned when you link up your reviews below!  Happy reading guys!

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